2013 A Comparison of Christmas and Chinese New Year

A Comparison of the Chinese New
Year Spring Festival and the Western
Festival of Christmas
Jane Coates 2013
How is the Spring Festival celebrated?
What special food is prepared and eaten?
What preparations are made at home?
Are any special visits made?
Are gifts or cards given?
Are any special games played?
How long do the celebrations last for?
What special arrangements are made for the
How is the Western Festival of
Christmas celebrated?
• Christmas occurs on a fixed date-December 25th.
• It is both a religious festival and also a very
commercialized festival now.
• It is a time for the family to meet together.
• Special foods are prepared and eaten.
• The family exchange gifts and cards.
• It is a very exciting time for children in particular.
• The house is decorated with lights, a Christmas
tree and many decorations.
• Families travel a long way in order to be together.
The birth of Christ over 2000 years ago
The Christmas story
• The word ‘Christmas’ means ‘Christ’s Mass’.
• The Mass is a very old Christian Church service at
which people choose to pray and to praise God.
• Christians believe that Jesus was born in a stable
in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago and that He
was the Son of God.
• The story of His birth explains many of the things
that we see and do at Christmas time.
• But today-many people just enjoy the traditions
of Christmas.
The Advent Calendar
An Advent Calendar
• Advent begins 4 weeks before Christmas.
• It is a time of excitement and getting readyespecially for children.
• An advent calendar has 24 numbered doorsone for each day. Behind each door will be a
picture, a sweet or a chocolate.
• One door is opened each day.
• The last door is opened on Christmas Eve.
Decorating the home
The Christmas Tree and decorations
Decorating the home
• It is a tradition to bring evergreen trees and
leaves inside the home.
• A Christmas tree is very popular-but now
many plastic trees are used!
• Holly, Ivy and mistletoe are common plants to
bring into the home. Holly is a symbol of good
luck. Mistletoe is a symbol of peace and
Holly Ivy and Mistletoe
The Holly wreath and candles
Christmas Candles
• In the old days fires were lit to celebrate the
• At Christmas we light candles to celebrate the
Son-as Christians believe that Jesus is the Son
of God.
• Candles are also a lovely way to decorate the
home in the winter.
Sending Christmas cards
Christmas cards
• Many people wrote letters at this time-but
then these began to be replaced by cards.
• Robins, Santas and winter pictures are very
common on the cards.
• It is a good way to send news to family and
Hanging up the Christmas Stocking
Christmas stockings
• Christmas stockings are hung up over the fire,
at the front of the room or at the end of the
children’s beds.
• Small gifts, toys and sweets are place in them
on Christmas eve-the night before Christmas
• Children also hang up a large Christmas sack in the hope that Santa will bring toys and
presents for them.
Building a snowman
Buying gifts for the family
The Christmas star and Christmas
• It is common to put a star at the top of the
Christmas tree and to use stars to decorate
the home.
• In the Christmas story the wise men from the
East followed a star in the sky to find the baby
• The wise men gave gifts of gold, frankincense
and myrrh. So now it is a tradition to give gifts
at Christmas.
Christmas Stars
A time for all of the family
Special food
The Christmas dinner
• The most common meat eaten on Christmas
Day is turkey.
• The turkey is a South American bird-larger
than a chicken.
• Duck is also very popular at Christmas.
• We eat lots of roasted vegetables.
• Christmas is a time for eating!
Christmas pudding and cake
The Christmas pudding
• This is a very rich fruit pudding.
• It is a tradition that every member of the family
should help to make the pudding , stir it together
and make a wish!
• Sometimes small coins are added to the mixture.
• When it is very hot and placed on the table
alcohol is poured on the top and lit with a match
to create flames!
• A cake is also a rich fruit cake. It is decorated with
Santas and winter scenes.
Mince pies
• These are not made with meat but with lots of
dried fruit, spices, sugar and chopped peel
from the fruit.
• They are very sweet and can be eaten hot or
• Christmas cake and mince pies are eaten
throughout the Christmas period.
Christmas Crackers
Christmas Crackers
• The first cracker was made in 1840. It was
made of paper with nuts, sweets and a love
message inside. When it was pulled open the
cracker went ‘snap’.
• Today crackers contain a party hat, a joke and
some small prizes or sweets.
• They will be placed on the table on Christmas
day for the family meal.
Children love Christmas
Father Christmas or Santa Claus
Santa Claus
• All over the world traditional gift bringers visit
children at Christmas.
• Santa Claus is the best known one of these.
• His name comes from Saint Nicholas, a Dutch
man. He was a rich man who used his wealth and
money to help others. He was famous for his
generosity and his name is always linked with
• It was the Americans who gave Santa Claus a
sleigh and a team of reindeer.
Christians will go to church
Christmas Carols and songs
• Many people will visit the Church at this time.
• The carols and songs are about the birth of
• It is common for the church to be lit by candle
light only.
• Families will remember the Christmas story
and sing songs about it.
• The word pantomime means ’all mime’.
• They have become part of the Christmas
• Early pantomimes were acted entirely through
acting, dancing and mime.
• Now they tell famous stories -mainly children’s
stories- and they are done with words, songs,
dance and lots and lots of fun! They are for
the whole family-but mainly for the children.
Boxing Day
• Boxing Day is the day after Christmas day-the 26th
• The name goes back to a time when boxes were
placed at the back of the church in order to
collect money for poor people. The boxes were
opened on the 26th and the money given to the
• Today this day is used for sports activities. Horse
racing, hunting and football will take place on this
The Differences-Spring Festival
• The date is different-February.
• Families visit the family tomb.
• Salt pork, sausage and fish are commonly
• There are fireworks and lots of noise.
• Red lanterns are hung.
• Lantern day is the last day of the celebrations.
• Dragons and lions
The differences-Christmas
December 25th- a fixed date every year.
People go to church.
Chicken, duck and turkey are eaten.
There are lots of special foods.
Children expect a visit from Santa or Father
Christmas -with gifts.
• Homes are decorated with a tree.
What is the same?
They are the most important festivals of the year.
There are lots of preparations to be made.
The family meets together-it is a very happy time.
There are many family meals with special food.
The house is cleaned and decorated with special
Houses are decorated-banners, lanterns, paper cuts,
Christmas decorations.
Visits are made to relatives, family and friends.
Presents are given-the red envelopes/Christmas gifts.
There is singing, dancing and family games.
What is the same?
Cards are given.
There is a long holiday for everyone.
The weather is cold.
Factories and shops are very busy producing
goods and food.
• The festivals are now very commercialized-lots of
money is made by businesses, shop keepers and
• The cost of transport and taxis rises.

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