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Christmas is an event in Guangzhou. The local Chinese generally enjoy the festivities and commercial aspects. Christmas isn't a Mainland China holiday, and most people will work on December 25 because it doesn't fall on a weekend. Some foreign embassies, consulates and Western companies have several days off to celebrate Christmas.
Here is 2019 information for tourists about Christmas season shopping, events, and dinners.
Most Guangzhouers celebrate Christmas more as a time for couples and friends to get together or to have parties instead of as a religious festival.
Hundreds of thousands of foreigners live in Guangzhou for business, work, or study mainly, and they've helped make the festival popular. Guangzhou is the administrative capital of the Pearl River Delta region, and the region exports more Christmas ornaments and gifts than any other region in China.
Foreign business people and merchants converge on the city from all over the world, and they enjoy the holidays.
Around the country, the government is stopping Christmas festivities, but in Guangzhou, Christmas and New Year's Day (January 1) are shopping days. Department stores, shops, and restaurants are open as usual.
For tourists and travelers, the favorite place for Christmas shopping is the Tianhe District. The district includes the scenic shore of the Pearl River and the brightly lit Zhujiang New City area of super-tall skyscrapers and extends northwards to the conveniently located Guangzhou bullet train equipped East Train Station.
Most of the malls that tourists most like are in Tianhe Zhujiang, and several convenient subway lines crisscross it. Malls such as TeeMall are crowded and festooned with holiday shoppers.
Good buys: Electronics, clothing, fashion, jade, and fine tea are things to consider. Chinese specialties such as quality Chinese green tea that are hard to find abroad make for light to carry and appreciated Christmas gifts. See our Guangzhou shopping guide page.
Word of caution: In public places, be prepared for crowds and keep an eye on your belongings. For example, while eating around the big train stations, place your bags/luggage where people can't snatch them. When riding crowded trains, carry your backpack in front of you where you can see it and not on your back.
Christmas ornaments can be easily found in many large supermarkets, for example:
As China is the world's biggest supplier of Christmas toys, and the Guangzhou area leads production... see what can you find priced low at Yide Road!
The foreign luxury 5-star hotels are probably the best places for Christmas celebrations in Guangzhou this year. In 2019, the Four Seasons Hotel and Langham Place feature Christmas meals and festivities. Many Western restaurants and bars also offer Christmas meals. Reservation in advance is essential.
Christmas food, snacks, and candies are readily available in large department stores, supermarkets, and international chains. You might even find special sections for Christmas food with imported products.
Caffe Mondo serves up Italian Christmas dinner buffets on Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
Dolcetto has Christmas themed chocolates, dedicated desserts, and fantastic festive hampers that are specially prepared from December 1 to December 25.
Remember the true meaning of Christmas at a church in Guangzhou. Guangzhou has large expat English-speaking churches and Chinese churches. At the Chinese churches, there are Christmas choirs and activities on Christmas Eve and Mass or services on Christmas day. You can contact the church in advance for detailed times and schedules.
This is a large foreigner-only church. Hundreds of local business people, tourists, and students gather every Sunday at 10 am for worship, fun, teaching, meals, and fellowship. It is conveniently close to the East Train Station in Tianhe. You'll find rousing singing and preaching. To prove you are a foreigner, you might be asked to show ID.
Annually, the fellowship has a special New Year's Eve watch that lasts past midnight.
Built in the 1800s by the Emperor of France, it is one of the architectural highlights in Guangzhou City. It is one of the biggest Gothic churches in China.
It was built by some French missionaries in 1890.
By the end of December, the average low and high temperatures are respectively 11 °C (52 °F) and 20 °C (68 °F). It rains little at this time. You can feel comfortable wearing a jacket or overcoat. See more on December Weather in Guangzhou.
Once Guangzhou was a dreary business city for wholesale shoppers, now it is a tourist destination in it own right with megascale Chimelong multi-them-park resort, Canton Tower, and some of the world's tallest observation decks/tower/mall complexes.
We can help you discover the new Guangzhou.
Discover the best of Guangzhou and China with one of our recommended Guangzhou itineraries:
For an even grander Christmas festival, experience Christmas in Hong Kong, where there are big world-class events and entertainment. You can go to downtown Hong Kong in about three hours via high-speed train from Guangzhou.
China Highlights has designed some exquisite Christmas e-cards. Check it out and send cards to your family or friends for free.