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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Chinese celebrate Christmas with Oriental twist (3)

(Xinhua)

13:45, December 19, 2011

A sales clerk solicits customers at a department store in Shanghai, east China, Dec. 10, 2011. The oncoming Christmas and New Year's Day bode well for retail business in many Chinese cities such as Shanghai, where consumers start to benefit from various sales promotions in department stores and shopping centers. (Xinhua/Pei Xin)

Upcoming holiday bodes well for retail business

As Christmas and the New Year's Day approach, various decorations have been built by shopping malls, hotels and so on to warm up for festival sales promotions. The oncoming Christmas and New Year's Day bode well for retail business in cities such as Shanghai, where consumers start to benefit from various sales promotions in department stores and shopping centers.

Online shop owners on Taobao Mall, China's largest business-to-consumer platform, launch promotions during the festival to boost sales during the traditionally slow business season. Despite the avalanche of complaints following the Singles' Day sales boom, online shops are keen to launch similar promotions during the shopping seasons such as the New Year's Day and the Spring Festival. They also promised to dole out presents on Christmas Eve.

Giant Santas are seen in front of restaurants in major cities across the country, promoting luxurious dinners for Christmas Eve. A fancy Christmas Eve dinner, which comes with music, art performances and raffle games, is priced at 988 yuan (150 U.S. dollars) per head in upscale Shanghai restaurants.

But instead of roast turkey and lamb, a growing number of restaurants are offering traditional Chinese cuisines, such as spicy hot-pots. "I plan to eat spicy Sichuanese food on Christmas with friends," said Yu Lin, a young white-collar worker in Shanghai. "What matters is not what you eat but who you eat with. Christmas is a time meant to be spent with family and friends."

Roast turkey with eight rice delicacies; spaghetti and hotpot; apple pie and steamed stuffed bun; red wine with green tea: Christmas feast with both Chinese and Western flavors were creative in Christmas menu.

Christmas has become increasingly popular among atheist Chinese in recent years, but mostly as an occasion for shopping spree and fun-seeking.

Many Chinese Christians, however, said they would observe the day commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ in the traditional way -- go to the Church, hear the Mass and pray.

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