There is a church within easy reach of my house. Whenever Christmas Eve comes around, there is always a long line in front of the church. After the stroke of midnight, people will begin to sing
However, if you were to approach the crowd, you will find there are many young people in the line, laughing and joking, or even taking photos of themselves on a cell phone; when the Mass starts, they wave their hands, and boys carry their girlfriends on their shoulders, struggling for candies thrown by “Santa Claus”. Some true Christians standing in the crowd will murmur to himself “They do not believe God at all.”
They indeed do not believe in God. Taking part in the Mass is just fun for these young people. According to a report, two-thirds of people celebrate Christmas in the top six big cities in China. About 60% respondent treat Christmas as a day to “express love to partner, friends and family”; and 35% respondent think Christmas is a day to relax and be entertained.
Even 10 years ago, the celebration of Christmas was forbidden in China — Christmas was considered a weapon of Westerners in the struggle of ideology. Nowadays, the government has made a U-turn concerning their attitudes about Christmas – but it’s not for religious reasons —they just want to spur the economic growth caused by “holiday spending”. Apparently they made it — western festivals, including Christmas, are even more popular nowadays than the Chinese traditional festivals, and therefore contribute more to the economic development of China. In 2006, when the Lantern Festival, which is a Chinese traditional celebration, fell on the same date as the western Valentine’s Day, lanterns were totally upstaged by roses. It seems “Traditional holiday” can never beat “occidental holiday”.
I am thinking, in this year of economic crisis, maybe the American government should try the same thing as Chinese government, encouraging people to spend money in the holiday, to address the great economic crisis?