In this video I ask students in China what they want for Christmas, and it turns out that ordinary apples are the Christmastime Tickle-Me-Elmo of China. Watch this video and you’ll see what I mean. Students here love apples, and they want to wish you a Merry Chinese Christmas.
It was fun filming these students and their responses because Chinese college students are outrageously friendly. A small group of students congregated nearby and helped recruit interviewees once they saw that I was making a video. I was almost overwhelmed by how many students wanted to answer my question.
The Christmas spirit is gaining popularity in China, but western holidays and traditions have a little Chinese twist. Namely, there’s a Chinese tradition of giving away apples to friends and loved ones every Christmas Eve. That’s why so many students asked solely for an apple in the video.
People in China give apples to each other on Christmas Eve because Christmas Eve is called “Ping An Ye” in Chinese, which means ‘silent night.’ The word for apple is “Ping guo.” Because the words sound so similar, the exchange of apples has become a symbol of Chinese Christmas spirit. The giving and receiving of apples is an exchange intended to bring good health and protection to the lucky recipients.
Since today is Christmas Eve, a couple of my students stopped by my apartment to deliver apples wrapped in decorative paper. I’ve already torn open one of the apples and devoured it. The next apple must wait until Christmas morning for it’s demise.
Hope you enjoy the video. Merry Christmas!