Christmas in Beijing - Celebrating Christmas 2021 in Beijing
Chinese Festivals and Events

Christmas in Beijing - Celebrating Christmas 2021 in Beijing

By Fercility JiangUpdated Mar. 18, 2021
Christmas 2021 is definitely celebrated in Beijing, but not as much as in the West.

In Beijing around Christmas 2021, everything's open: churches, theaters, restaurants, shopping malls. It's a winter wonderland of options for tourists and travelers to enjoy Christmas in the Orient.

Christmas sales and markets help make the Christmas season the biggest shopping period in Beijing. Don’t worry about everything being closed during the Christmas holidays. Christmas sales are big business. You'll see Chang'an Avenue adorned with Christmas displays and the big malls likewise.

Best Christmas Shopping Markets

christmas box Christmas shopping in Beijing

The peak season for shopping is during the Christmas and New Year season like in the West. During the Christmas shopping season in Beijing, department stores and shopping malls launch promotions and prolong business hours starting in the middle or end of November. Be prepared for large crowds in public places, and remember to keep your belongings in a safe place. Check out our Beijing shopping guide for more information.

Unique Christmas tourist souvenirs and gifts: Light and easy to carry items for local-color souvenirs or gifts include silk products such as scarves, porcelain, wall hangings, tea, Chinese calligraphy, wood carvings, weaving, and embroidery. These items could be excellent choices for souvenirs and gifts if they are inexpensive. However, tourists shouldn't attempt to buy quality or expensive products to avoid fake or overpriced products.

Christmas trees and ornaments shopping: Before Christmas, Christmas trees are usually available at flower markets. Christmas ornaments can be found in small goods markets and some supermarkets. And It is worth checking out these markets too:

Liangma International Flower Market 亮马国际花艺空间 

Chinese mall at Christmas Christmas is one of the best times to go shopping in Beijing.

It is the largest flower market in northern China. They offer wholesale and retail services, flower auctions, and Christmas trees of every size, and ornaments for customers to consider. Due to recent market closures in Beijing, such as the old Tianyi market, this is now your best bet for picking up Christmas decorations and other Christmas-themed novelty items.

Top Christmas Events

Hoping to capitalize on the holidays, retailers and communities alike decorate the city in their Christmas best and lure you in with Christmas concerts, music, and countless other events.

Christmas Eve gala partiesIn recent years, many four- and five- star hotels have held gala parties to promote social networking (guanxi). The Christmas eve gala parties include three elements: high-level performances, a big dinner, and many rounds of exciting lucky draws. 

Beijing Playhouse is one of the biggest holiday players with a Christmas themed play every year.

The Bookworm features readings and live music in the evening that links China to Christmas like never seen before for a cultural event. Expect Christmas carol-signing and other Christmas themed activities.

The Bird's NestThe Bird's Nest

For more active Christmas days for the entire family, check out the Bird's Nest as the national stadium transforms to host the Ice and Snow Festival every year. This is a long-term event that runs from Mid-December until Mid-February with ice-skating and themed winter fun for all ages.

Christmas Bazaars

There are several Christmas bazaars every year.

The bazaar at the German Embassy is popular with foreigners living in Beijing as well as locals. If you plan to go to this Christmas market, do make sure that you bring your passport for security purposes as the market is on embassy grounds and get there early as tickets sell out fast. 

There is also the Hutong Winter Fayre in December that is also popular with visitors and foreigners living in Beijing. All of these will make your Christmas atmospheric while away from home. 

Christmas Choirs at Churches

There are six Catholic and five Protestant church buildings in Beijing. In most of them, there are activities, mostly choirs, on both Christmas Eve and Christmas. Christmas choirs usually start at 7 p.m. and last for 2 or 3 hours. You should call the church in advance for more details. Below is a short list of churches in Beijing.

Beijing International Christian Fellowship 北京国际基督教教会

International church choir International church choir

About 3,000 evangelical tourists/ex-pats meet weekly in three locations around Beijing. Meetings are held in more than ten languages. The largest English-speaking meeting is held at the 21st Century Hotel in Chaoyang.

There are English Christmas events scheduled each December at the Haidian branch, at the 21st Century Hotel, and the ZGC branch. There are also events in Chinese and other languages at other places.

South Church (Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception at Xuanwumen) 南堂 (宣武门天主教堂)

Established in 1652, it is the first Catholic Church in Beijing.

North Church (Xishiku Cathedral) 北堂(西什库教堂)

Established in 1703, it is the location of Beijing Cardinal Bishop Office. The present building was built in 1900.

West Church (Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church) 西堂(西直门天主堂)

Dongjiaominxiang Cathedral (St. Michael's Church) 东交民巷教堂(圣弥厄尔教堂)

It is located near the foreign embassies area. This church was part of the French Embassy, and it was built in 1901.

East Church WangfujingEast Church Wangfujing

East Church (St. Joseph's Wangfujing Cathedral) 东堂(王府井天主教堂)

Beijing Christian Chongwenmen Church 崇文门教堂

Chongwenmen Church of Beijing Christian Council was established in 1870. Back then, it was called Asbury Church. It is the largest Christian church in Beijing and enjoys high prestige both at home and abroad. It has hosted countless big names such as Former U.S. President George Bush, Bill Gates, George Carey, and the former Archbishop of Canterbury.

Gangwashi Protestant Church 缸瓦市教堂

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Buffets

China hitel buffet servery The typical China hotel buffet servery usually looks more festive at Christmas in international hotels.

Get your fill during Christmas with the numerous Christmas buffets around the city. 4-star and 5-star hotels and upscale restaurants often offer the best in special Christmas Eve dinners and buffets, and they serve all kinds of dishes like Christmas turkey, ham, apple pie, and even eggnog. Reservations are essential.

Skiing Spree

Warm things up during the chilly holiday season by hitting Beijing’s hottest slopes. Some of the best in Asia and gradually approaching world-renowned status, slopes like Huaibei, Snow World, and Nanshan Ski Resort offer winter fun for the whole family. Getting ready for the Winter Olympics in 2022 is the area of Zhangjiakou, where you'll find top ski resorts such as Wanlong and Genting Secret Garden resort. 

New Year's Eve

Christmas cheerThere is plenty of Christmas cheer to be found in Beijing!

The ball drops in New York City, the Eiffel Tower gleams on a backdrop of fireworks, and now the excitement doesn’t end at the Great Wall in Beijing. This once a year gala includes dinner, dancing, and live jazz in the Schoolhouse Art Room.

Another great New Year's alternative is The Place in Beijing’s Financial District. Beijingers, Chinese out-of-towners, and foreign tourists pack the square and countdown in unison. Free and open to the public, it’s an improvised, play-it-by-ear ceremony, and ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN. And that’s a good thing.

New Year's Eve Watch at BICF 北京国际基督教教会

On New Year's Eve, 2021, Beijing International Christian Fellowship's branch at the Xijiao Hotel and the 21st Century branch have special midnight watches.

Christmas Season Travel Information

The Great Wall in winterEnjoy the Great Wall with snow and no crowds!

Low Season: The last half of December is an excellent time for touring in Beijing. The prices are low. The busy crowds of Chinese tourists don't visit until Chinese New Year, but some foreign tourists arrive during their Christmas/winter vacations. Local ex-pats often travel or go back to their countries during this time.

Our Beijing and China Christmas Tours

Would you like to take your family on a Christmas holiday they will never forget? Book a tour with us, and we can arrange festive activities like those above into your itinerary. See our most popular Beijing and China family tours:

Our tours are developed through years of experience and customer feedback and are reasonably priced. They can be customized to your requirements. You can contact us for help.

Recommended Tours:

Beijing sidecar tripOur Beijing sidecar guide makes this Christmas tour of Beijing unique.

If you happen to spend your Christmas eve in Beijing, let us help you plan a personalized tour of Beijing.

Free Christmas E-cards

China Highlights has designed some exquisite Christmas e-cards. Check them out and send cards to your family or friends for free.

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