Despite it being a regular workday in China, many people in recent years have begun celebrating Christmas. You can see Christmas decorations in department stores and the custom of exchanging gifts is becoming more popular – especially with the younger generation.
Many people also decorate their homes with Christmas trees and other Christmas ornaments.
Two Ways to Say Christmas
There are two ways to say "Christmas" in Mandarin Chinese – either shèng dàn jié (圣诞节) or yē dàn jié (耶诞节).
In each of the phrases, the final two characters (诞节 dàn jié) are the same. 诞 refers to birth, and 节 means "holiday".
The first character of Christmas can be either 圣 or 耶. 圣 translates as "saint" and 耶 is a phonetic which is used for Jesus – yē sū (耶稣).
圣诞节 means "the birth of a saint holiday" and 耶诞节 means "the birth of Jesus holiday."
圣诞节 is the more popular of the two phrases. Whenever you see 圣诞, though, remember that you can also use 耶诞 instead.
Christmas Vocabulary Mandarin Chinese
shèng dàn jié
yē dàn jié
shèng dàn yè
ping ān yè
shèng dàn kuài lè
shèng dàn shù
guǎi zhàng táng
shèng dàn lǐ wù
shèng dàn wà
shèng dàn hóng
jiāng bǐng wū
shèng dàn kǎ
shèng dàn lǎo rén
shèng dàn gē
bào jiā yīn
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