5 Places to Experience The Winter Spirit in China This Christmas

You may be in China this year for Christmas, but you don’t have to miss out on the holidays altogether. Sure, Christmas is not exactly on the list of Chinese national holidays but as of recent years, more locals are getting into the spirit. Plus, the holiday times aren’t all about Christmas, but the winter spirit as a whole and there are plenty of places around the country where you can experience it. If you are going to be in China this Christmas, here are some places where you could go for a little winter spirit.

Hong Kong

Photo Source: Picschristmas.com

Photo Source: Picschristmas.com

Because of the overwhelming British influence in Hong Kong as well as its high population of western expats, this city is a fantastic place to experience the Christmas you know and love. This city is internationally famous for its shopping so you won’t have to worry about what to send home to your friends and family as holiday gifts.

Plus, there are tons of sales going on during this month so you can get your gifts for a discount. And, the weather is quite mild (around 70 degrees) so you won’t have to freeze while you shop. Some other things to get you in the spirit include:

Light Shows: Check out the holiday themed light shows that decorate the skyscrapers of Victoria Harbor or head to the Cultural Center for the Pulse 3D light show.
Stanley Market: There are tons of markets around the city, but this outdoor market is transformed into a German style Christmas Market towards the end of December. You can shop for nutcrackers, drink mulled wine and eat bratwursts while you shop for gifts.
The Malls: Aside from shopping, you can see some festive decorations like teddy bears and Christmas trees in malls like IFC and Landmark.

Beijing

Photo Source: Scout Real Estate

Photo Source: Scout Real Estate

One of China’s biggest tourist hubs, Beijing knows how to bring the holiday spirit into its culture for both locals and visitors. There will likely be some snow on the ground to really bring the winter spirit to the mass amount of Chinese architecture and history that you will get to experience as well. Some top things to do in Beijing to get in the holiday mood include:
Department Stores and Shopping Malls: Aside from shopping, these places are the most likely to have Christmas music playing and the décor to match.
Markets: Tianyi market and Lai Tai Flower Trade Center have a nice selection of Christmas trees and ornaments to look at or purchase. The Hutong Winter Fayre, as well as the bazaar at the German Embassy, are great places to really get in touch with the Christmas you are used to from home.
Christmas Events: They can be easily found all over the city but some good ones to keep in mind are the Christmas themed plays at Beijing Playhouse, Christmas themed flea market at The Bookworm and the Ice and Snow Festival at the Bird’s Nest.
Church: There are 11 churches in the city and many of them hold services and choirs on Christmas eve and Christmas.
Skiing: There are some pretty renowned slopes near Beijing to get your skiing fix. Check out Snow World, Huaibei and Nanshan Ski Resort.

Harbin

Photo Source: Archive.Boston.com

Photo Source: Archive.Boston.com

This northern city is well known for hosting the world’s largest snow and ice sculpture festival. It’s held in early January and has between ten and fifteen million visitors every year. Thousands of ice sculptors come from around China and abroad to work on massive sculptures of snow and ice. Once they finish these works of art, they are lit up with colorful LEDs and turned into interactive exhibits. Aside from enjoying the festival, you can also get in some skiing at Yabuli Ski Resort or eat some warming hotpot, a traditional Chinese meal.

The Yellow Mountains

 

Photo Source: Meetup.com

Photo Source: Meetup.com

Located in Huangshan, the Yellow Mountains make up the better part of the famous scenic landscape. While they are beautiful to see all year round, the winter time is especially magical. The snowy landscapes are a must see for anyone who is looking to get in the winter spirit while visiting China.

Mt. Emei

Photo Source: Culturalchina.com

Photo Source: Culturalchina.com

Located in Sichuan Province in western China, this scenic destination also becomes a wonderland during the winter months. It’s known for its towering peaks, ancient trees, temples, waterfalls, and springs. Top these beautiful sights with a heavy helping of snow and the place is breathtaking. Plus, there aren’t as many tourists during the winter months which will allow you to experience the beauty in peace.

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Shannon Ullman

Hey! I'm a published American travel blogger and teacher. My travel writing has been featured on Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Matador Network and Thought Catalog. I spent over a year living and traveling around China while I taught English there. I have also visited dozens of other countries around the world.