A Christmas message- a bit late…

Hi everybody,
Just a quick Christmas and New Years message for all my dearest and nearest during the festive period.
You may wonder why it’s only a ‘quick’ one. Truth be told there quite simple isn’t too much to say… The festive period which has become so important in the Western calendar just doesn’t exist in the same way here. But it doesn’t stop a few people trying. A good example of this is a Chinese attempt at a Christmas tree which I saw in the street the other day- surrounded by presents, topped off with a star, but no decorations in between. Close, but no cigar, China.

Also, Christmas music blares out of speakers in shopping centres and in the streets themselves, alas, with none of the warmth that we have come to love. There are no public holidays as such, and whilst more and more families are choosing to celebrate the occasion privately, or at cringeworthy gatherings at local institutes and universities, the large majority let the day pass them by as any other might. In fact, several of my students had a term-ending written exam in the morning, which shows how little festive spirit has flooded into China. So, I barely noticed Christmas this year- a blessing in disguise perhaps- until the day itself.

New Year was filled with a constant flow of good cheer and more ‘cheers’ among the western contingent, but the Chinese are preparing with increasing frenzy for Spring Festival- Chinese New Year to you and I. As the Gregorian Calendar is recognised formally, the lunar calendar embellishes Chinese culture in many ways, as the next few weeks will prove. Should be a good one….

I’m aware that there is nothing of interest to say, so I’ll wrap up by wishing everyone a prosperous and happy new year ahead to one and all!!

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