Christmas item including Santa banned in China

Christmas-themed performances and other 'religious propaganda activities' now banned in some areas.

Jan 04, 2019

HONG KONG: The Urban Management Bureau in Langfang city of Hebei province in northern China on Dec. 15 that was circulated online requires all local law enforcement agencies to "comprehensively ban all Christmas items such as Christmas trees and Santa Claus placed along the street."

Moreover, they have been instructed to "clear away all Christmas stickers, banners, signs, light-box advertisements and other related promotional items."

Christmas-themed performances and other "religious propaganda activities" have also been strictly forbidden at public areas like parks and malls.

If any are detected, they must be "closely monitored and reported in a timely manner," the edict states.

In addition to schools, parks, malls, supermarkets and commercial districts, local authorities must also closely monitor vendors, who can be prosecuted if found selling Christmas trees, Christmas apples or images of Santa.

Christmas has been slowly gaining in popularity among young Chinese despite it lacking a public holiday or the cultural roots that make it such a big deal in Western countries.

Reports last year claimed Christmas apples were proving a hit among the food-loving Chinese public, causing their prices to soar.

The state-run Global Times even cited one student in Chongqing who sold over 4,000 to his schoolmates in just two weeks.

Some critics suggested their sales were partly a result of China's love of Apple products like the iPhone. Others say it relates to tradition: the Chinese refer to Christmas Eve is ping'an ye, which means a safe and peaceful night; this is similar to the Chinese word for apple, pingguo.

But the social and political landscape appears to have become less Christmas friendly this winter.--ucanews.com

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