Do the people in Taiwan really celebrate Christmas?

I have been listening to all these Christmas songs around the city, in the supermarket, in the restaurants, food courts. But really do the people here do the Christmas shopping? I know that they shop a ton for Chinese New Year. But do they take Christmas seriously ? Does the Christmas season increase the selling of products in Taiwan ?

On a scale from 1 to 10, they take Christmas at about a 5.

I don’t miss living in Australia where they put Christmas decorations up months ahead of Christmas. That’s just too crazy.

It’s Taipei. What do people do for fun? They shop.

Christmas here, if celebrated at all, is usually yet another Valentine’s Day - a day for couples to go out together. Sometimes friends will exchange gifts, but more often it’s just for boyfriends/girlfriends. Some churches become quite active, but you have to be near a church to notice that. In terms of sales, I guess they need to have some kind of sale between all the anniversary sales in October-November and then the Chinese New Year sales.

EDIT: Following up on bumclouds (and what a lovely image that is!): I’m so glad to be away from the December Christmas nonsense in North America. Christmas Day itself, I wish I were back in Canada - but all the other stuff preceding it? Thank goodness I miss it.

I have some friends already worrying about Chinese New Year gifts. They got a bunch of nephews and nieces, need to start saving money to give those “red envelopes”. Some want to run away from these celebrations, travel to some other country. I don’t see them shopping for Christmas because they need to save money for the “red envelopes”.

[quote=“bumclouds”]On a scale from 1 to 10, they take Christmas at about a 5.

I don’t miss living in Australia where they put Christmas decorations up months ahead of Christmas. That’s just too crazy.[/quote]

I’d say that is grossly overestimating the imortance most folks put on Christmas. I’d guess for 95% of the population, it’s just another day. The department stores, of course, are trying to cash in and turn it into something bigger. A small minority of Taiwanese Christians(2% ?) do take it seriously and have activities planned around Christmas.

And yeah, it sickens me to look at facebook over the last couple of weeks and see people putting up xmas trees. When I was young we never had a tree up before the 22nd. And we were usually sick of looking at it by early January. That being said I did buy a gift last week, the first ever in November, only because the music player speakers happened to be on sale at Costco that week. I’m usually shopping on Dec 22-24.

[quote=“bumclouds”]On a scale from 1 to 10, they take Christmas at about a 5.

I don’t miss living in Australia where they put Christmas decorations up months ahead of Christmas. That’s just too crazy.[/quote]

I’d say they’d take Christmas at about a 1 in most of the country. It’s not even a day off anymore. The shops don’t even do much in terms of Christmas promotions.

Hola had xmas music playing in early november. But it was just another gimic no one really takes it seriously

It’s weird, having lived here for several years, Christmas has become more popular in Taiwan. I always get homesick if I stay in Taiwan over xmas. But having said that, I tend to go back to UK in the summer to avoid all the disruptions due to the shitty weather. I shall go and listen to Wham to cheer me up.

You first need to explain what you consider taking Christmas seriously to be. Otherwise how can we decide whether the Taiwanese do this?

I know some Taiwanese people who take it seriously… not in the religious sense, but in the tree, gift-giving and Christmas dinner (complete with turkey) sense.

Yeah what does Christmas mean to a lot of Americans too? DOes it have any to do with Christ even?

for me, nowadays im ok with it, i have to spend hundreds for presents and i get a buncha stuff back (mostly i cant use cuz its the wrong size, which I then regift ). haha

but getting together with family to tell the same stories we pretend we never heard ? PRICELESS !!

The encroachment of Christmas here has been steadily on the rise for a number of years. I recall the bliss it was many moons ago, when not a single cheezy muzak holiday tune could be heard.
It used to be quite swell, as we had the day off for Constitution Day. Now it is just another dismal kitsch-filled exposition of tacky Western commercialism. It’s enough to turn one over to paganism.

Well it used to better , one it was a public holiday, two office workers used to go out and party like mad the night before.
I don’t think my in-laws even know what is Christmas. I remember working in some companies in Taiwan and nobody would even notice it or mention anything about it. I would be homesick as hell that day, true misery. I could have taken the day off, but to do what, spend it in my own?

for i know there’s not much Taiwanese celebrate the Christmas…because they focus much on the Chinese New Year.
and i really miss celebrate Christmas, it’s been 7 years that i don’t get to celebrate with my family and relatives. :frowning:

Be grateful at least with Christmas we get a variety of songs. It is mindless drivel, but not the same over and over again… like the same ubiquitous 3 songs for Lunar New Year… Now that makes you wish someone will put you out of your misery, or you’ll go postal on the next pair of speakers you hear spewing kongxi! kongxi! kongxi ni la!!!

Yes, and some even translate those songs into English and the translation is weird. I was in a rest area during a Chinese New Year season and that was this song blasting “Fresh blood of the season…” (English) translated from one of those Chinese New Year song. I can see why some locals go overseas during this season of intense traffic and bad songs, relatives expecting some cash in the red envelopes, the rotation of visits to the relatives and close family members, the hot pot with strange seafood and pickled cabbage or the hot pot with goat meat that stinks.