Chinese students enjoy a British Christmas


Middlesbrough Town Centre’s Christmas Tree.

 Everyone of us knows how to celebrate Christmas. But what if it was the first time you ever experienced a British Christmas. Well for some Chinese Students here at Teesside University it was.

MA student He Niu recounts her experience of the festive fun.

In the last few weeks we have seen shopping centres, streets and public buildings being transformed with the Christmas Spirit.

Coloured Christmas lightings, beautiful Christmas trees and shop  sales let everyone feel that it is Christmas.

Christmas Day is one of the most important festivals in western countries. It is also a good season for everyone to take a holiday, enjoy family life, relax and shop.

Like  Christmas in the West, The Spring Festival (the Chinese New Year) is one of the most important festivals in  China and everyone celebrates this traditional event with their families.

But because of the different cultural backgrounds in Britain, China has no Christmas Day.

However, with globalised communication, national cultures are more easily expressed to the outside world.

Now many Chinese observe Christmas as an event but we have no holiday for Christmas to enjoy with our families and  we have no religious cultural background to celebrate.

So Christmas in China is mainly used as a marketing tool for sales. The sights and sounds of Christmas are all around, making it one of the biggest commercial seasons in Chinese cities.

For some Chinese students, who had just arrived in Britain, the Christmas experience is an important opportunity to understand British culture and customs.

 Some Chinese students choose to go back home for the festive break , but the majority of Chinese students wanted to stay  and experience an authentic British Christmas.

Computing student Zhang planned to throw himself into the Christmas celebrations.

“I  travelled to London and enjoyed the festivities down there,” He said.

Accounting student Wen spent her second year in Middlesbrough.

 She celebrated with friends and had a fireworks display.  


The festive decorations at He’s friend’s house

This was my first Christmas in Britain and I was invited by one of my father’s friends Huang, who lives in Hatfield and has a British wife and a three-year-old boy, to spend Christmas with them.

When I got to their house on Christmas Eve they had prepared different kinds of gifts for their family and guests, such as Christmas candles, cakes, cards and  biscuits.

A Christmas tree was placed in the corner of the brilliant hall. How beautiful it was!  I saw and felt these, it impressed and made so much sense to me.

After a wonderful dinner, they told me some interesting stories about Christmas.

We went to bed at midnight. Though I knew that Santa Claus was not true, I was still waiting for the him  to bring us presents.


He learnt all about Christmas pudding.

On Christmas Day, the game about  a pudding, I have never heard it before.

Christmas Pudding is a traditional Christmas dessert. The whole family will be involved in cooking, which symbolizes reunion. Children would search in their Christmas pudding for new coins which are hidden in it.

It is very interesting, I cannot wait to introduce this to my friends in China.

The rest of the day is full of games and eating until the happiest of all Christmas holidays comes to an end.

About Christmas, some people choose travelling, some people choose enjoying the Christmas scenery, some people choose reunion with family.

Well I experienced a real family Christmas in Britain.


from Tside