Banning Christmas not a good idea

Updated: 2014-12-31 09:19

(China Daily)

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Banning Christmas not a good idea

A banner hanging in Modern College of Northwest University reads "Strive to be outstanding sons and daughters of China, oppose obsession to Western holidays" in Xi'an, Shaanxi province. [Photo from web]

Comment on

"Happy seasonal spending" (China Daily, Dec 26)

The fun, activities, gifts, trees and decorations associated with Christmas and New Year celebrations in China have nothing to do with Christianity. Christmas is a festival that can be celebrated in many ways. Chinese people love anything that brings the family together or offers a chance to enjoy good food. Chinese people also love spending money on gifts.

Christmas is not a national holiday in China but enjoyed nonetheless by many. Christmas does no harm. It does not preach the Christian gospel. Maybe it tells an interesting little story.

Banning things is an extreme reaction, sometimes necessary, but in this case uncalled for. The early Christian missionaries to Europe absorbed the pagan practices observed at this time of year, including log burning, and worshiping trees and mistletoe, and made them part of Christmas. They were clever enough not to ban but to use such activities to their own advantage.

China is such a huge country. Many of its ethnic traditions and festivals have vanished. Even Dragon Boat Festival is not celebrated in the city where I live. I think banning festivals like Christmas is repeating what many US states had done by banning alcohol consumption during the years of "prohibition", which in hindsight was rather foolish.

Imagine the West banning Chinese New Year, or any other "foreign" festival. I don't think so. Wishing a prosperous New Year to everyone in China.

TEDM, from China Daily website

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