New traditions

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Christmas in China comes with its own interesting set of behaviors that vary by place. While my own most overwhelming Chinese Christmas experience continues to be the one I passed in Kunming in 2009 – envision of a mob of thousands in downtown spraying silly string in each other’s faces to simulate “snow” – here are two Chinese takes on the tradition that inspired a reflective pause. First, in Chengdu, carrying home the freshly “harvested” (bought, synthetic) tree, complete with its own pre-installed decorations. Next, in Chongqing, the seamless integration of the Christmas tree with the Chinese tradition of handing out red envelopes filled with money to ring in the Lunar New Year.

Happy, merry, peace, and so on.

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