Hong Kong does Christmas Decor in a Big WAY. Like Wow! I was so surprised to see the massive Christmas decorations— a mish mash of snowmen, gingerbread houses and flying Santas at every turn in this city, often called the World City of Asia.
Christmas wreaths, Merry Christmas banners, colorful lights, and the same sorts of ornaments. There were decorations, everywhere. Huge Christmas displays, involving not just oversized Christmas trees, but giant baubles, plastic deers, weighty-looking angels, oh my. It’s an odd scene. I shouldn’t have been surprised. My guess is that most of these decorations were made in Asia to be displayed in the West.
About half of the Hong Kong population adheres to traditional Chinese religion principles and traditions. The rest are a mix of Muslim, Christian and others.
Hong Kong is the major shopping mecca of the Asian world. Since Christmas has become a huge commercial holiday it makes sense that they would go all out to celebrate the Festive Season in the malls.
For the most part I thought it was a little bizarre. Do I sound like Grinch!? Probably.
I’m tired of the commercialization here in the Western World and some how I thought being in Asia would be, well, somehow subtle. Wrong. The only place I found peace and quiet was the Chin Le Nunery and Garden—an amazing treasure of a retreat—surrounded by sky scrappers. I’m sure there are other oasis of peace and serenity in this massive city but I didn’t visit.
I did find all the selfie proud folks, sharing good tidings of Instagram amusing. Everywhere. Actually it was fun taking pictures of people taking pictures. All the posing. It was like the decor was set to be a backdrop for photos to share on Social Media. Look at me!
But maybe I need to look beyond the garish decor, the perpetual selfies and the blaring music and ponder at the bigger picture.
Andrew Sun of the South China Morning Post observed, “In Asia, celebrating Christmas also has a subtle cultural significance. It’s actually a way to demonstrate one’s worldly-ness. Santa Claus, Rudolp and a baby manager here and there represent cosmopolitanism and, in fact, an embrace of cultural diversity.
He continued, “We’re ok with foreigners and we whole heartedly embrace these exotic festivals of theirs. Just don’t make us drink their weird eggnog.”
It’s a healthy way to look at all the hubbub. And he’s right about the eggnog. Ghastly stuff.