Christmas Cancelled in This North China City

By Bryan Grogan, December 19, 2018

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A city in Hebei province has canceled Christmas. Langfang, which borders on Southeast Beijing, has banned stores from putting up decorations like Christmas trees and Santas, while also prohibiting the sale of Christmas decorations and from holding outdoor Christmas-related events. 

This is according to a paper circulated by the city’s Urban Management Bureau on Saturday, December 15. While the ban seems to be an outright prohibition of Christmas in the city, representatives at the Urban Management Bureau have stated that it comes as the city gears up to take part in the National Civilized Cities competition, according to Global Times

The notice additionally states that religious events taking place in parks, squares and other public venues will be prohibited, while also encouraging people to report any such gatherings to officials. No specific religion was mentioned in the statement. 

Street hawkers selling goods such as Christmas apples, socks and other ornaments will also be punished. According to the notice, all law enforcement staff will be on duty on December 23, 24 and 25, to ensure that none of these regulations are flouted. 

201812/Langfang-Chengguan-Notice.jpg
Image via @神气飞天猪/Weibo

Here is a partial translation of the notice (translation by Tristin Zhang of That’s):

“Each law enforcement unit should enhance supervisions and ban Christmas decorations on the streets in their entirety, including Christmas trees, Santas and other related objects. Remove Christmas-related stickers on shop windows, banners, decorative lightings, billboards and other publicity apparatuses. Shops are strictly prohibited from staging promotional shows during Christmas and law enforcement should fully control religious events taking place in parks, squares and other public venues. If discovered, they should be closely monitored and reported to superiors. During the holidays, especially on the 23rd, 24th and Christmas Day, all staff at city law enforcement units should be on duty. They are responsible for investigating and penalizing street hawkers who sell Christmas Eve apples, Christmas socks, Santa Claus-like goods, etc.”

UPDATE (December 19, 2018 at 6.48pm CST): An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Langfang City is in Hubei Province. This story has been update to clarify that Langfang City is actually located in Hebei Province. Sorry for any confusion this has caused.

[Cover image via Unsplash]

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