Clockwise from top left: A giant Christma tree decorates the entrance of a department store in Wangfujing, Beijing, on Sunday. Photo: Li Hao/GT
As countries around the world are on high alert concerning potential terrorist attacks during Christmas, celebrations are proceeding as planned in China, despite sporadic restrictions from local government organizations and educational institutions.
In Beijing, giant Christmas trees dominate major shopping malls and cafes alike to woo customers, while the halls of major business areas are decked with festive decorations.
In fact, Chinese business owners are fully embracing the cultural event in order to turn it into a consumer carnival.
It's been a good business period for restaurants, pubs and anyone involved in the catering industry.
Farmers are taking advantage of the similar pronunciations of the Chinese name for Christmas Eve (ping'an ye) and the word for apple (pingguo) to sell the fruit as something that must be eaten the night before Christmas, while hotel owners are marketing the holy night as a romantic event for couples in love.
Chinese experts have stated that there is no need to target non-local cultural events like Christmas, as most Chinese are simply enjoying it as an opportunity to eat, shop and have fun.
A pastor leads a service in a Shijingshan district church in Beijing on Sunday morning. Photo: Li Hao/GT
Christians attend a service on Sunday. Photo: Li Hao/GT
A shop attendant greets a young customer at the newly opened Hamleys toy store in central Beijing. Photo: Li Hao/GT
Children dance with performers dressed as Santa and cartoon characters at a restaurant in Beijing. Photo: Li Hao/GT