Home World [Christmas 2020]How do people in the Qing Dynasty call Christmas? Don’t collapse after hearing these four characters-Hong Kong Economic Times-China Channel-Social Hotspot

[Christmas 2020]How do people in the Qing Dynasty call Christmas? Don’t collapse after hearing these four characters-Hong Kong Economic Times-China Channel-Social Hotspot

by news dir

There is still a lot of debate in the mainland society on whether Chinese people should celebrate Christmas. Some nationalists say that “Chinese people are no more than foreign festivals.” However, some people ridicule the behavior of boycotting Christmas because they lack cultural self-confidence. Looking back on Christmas when it was first introduced to China, how did the Chinese view this holiday? In the late Qing Dynasty, when Western learning spread to the east, Chinese people generally called Christmas “foreign winter solstice” instead of “Christmas.”

In a paper entitled “From “Foreign Winter Solstice” to “Christmas”: The Holiday of Jesus’ Birthday in Modern China”, a scholar from the School of Media and International Culture of Zhejiang University stated that Shanghai and its surrounding areas have been a part of the spread of Christianity since the late Ming Dynasty. center.

Since the opening of Shanghai, especially after the Second Opium War (1860), the influx of Westerners made Christmas celebrations no longer confined to churches, but began to penetrate into social life.

Declare that Christmas is the “Foreign Winter Solstice”

After the earliest Chinese newspaper, Shanghai Shenbao, was launched, there were regular news reports on Christmas every year, but there was no Christmas name. Most of the festivals were translated into names such as “foreign winter solstice.” The main reason was that Chinese people were I don’t know much about Christianity. I only know that Christmas is celebrated with a family by Westerners, just like the Chinese winter solstice, so I simply call it “foreign winter solstice.”

According to records, the first report on Christmas by Shen Shen on December 24, 1872 only said that it was the “Birthday of Jesus”, and in the report the following year, it was called the “Western Winter Solstice.” The “Western Festival” was often used in reports in the following years, and until 1881, it was also called “Western Winter Festival” and “Western Solstice Festival”.

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Starting in 1882, the “Shen Bao” uniformly referred to Christmas as the “foreign winter solstice.” So far, “foreign winter solstice” seems to have become the most common folk term for Christmas.

In the late Qing Dynasty, Christmas was originally a holiday for foreigners in the concession. But after the mid-Guangxu period, more and more Chinese people also joined the festival. In 1888, the Christmas Mass of the church was mainly attended by foreigners, with only a few hundred attendees. But by 1898, as many as 3,000 people had come to Hongkou Church to watch the ceremony, and there were no parking spaces, and some of them were Chinese.

Taiwan called Christmas in the 1980s

The Christmas activities organized by the churches, in order to attract Chinese people to watch and increase the missionary effect, on the contrary reduce the religious flavor and increase a lot of secular joy. For example, celebrations include magic, burlesque, chorus, etc. Santa Claus also appeared, and Christmas cards began to spread all over the sky.

​According to reports at the time, “men, women, and children are all dancing with joy and smiles.” A religious festival evolves more and more into a secular theme of joy.

In the Republic of China, the upper-class people who believed in Christianity and Catholicism were also keen to regard Christmas as their main event. Christmas parties were held on this day and became the main social event of the upper class. Gradually, universities began to celebrate Christmas, even There is also a cigarette company, which took the opportunity to start a “Christmas” business, and decided to print “Santa Claus” on the cigarette box, saying “Santa Claus, come out of the chimney in the middle of the night, and bring prosperity to the new year.” Accidents became auspicious words at the time.

In fact, the society has different opinions on Christmas. It is not a unique social phenomenon in Mainland China. Similar discussions have also existed in Taiwan. In the 1980s, still in the Kuomintang’s long-term ruling period, “Christmas” was renamed “Christmas”. At that time, the government believed that the “sages” in Chinese culture-Confucius and Mencius, were offensive, and Jesus did not belong A part of Chinese culture, so the day when Jesus was born should be called “Christmas” instead of “Christmas.”

Editor in charge: Deng Guoqiang

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