This picture below is how far my Easter celebration goes this year I’m afraid. And when I hear friends talk about a Passover party at the Jewish centre in Shanghai.
I went to Lotus (China’s answer to Carrefour) last night for some grocery shopping. Not that I specifically looked for them but could not see, among the dried chicken heads and feet, Easter eggs or anything that would remotely remind me of them. Sure, why would I in an atheist-Communist, but, in any case, traditionally Buddhist-Taoist-Confucian, country?
But. While Christmas decorations is a lucrative business here; a couple of mega-factories manufacture 70 % of the world’s Xmas ornaments and I hear the White House celebrates a “Made in China Xmas”. One of the biggest players of this multi-billion dollar industry (besides Shenzhen) is the city of Yiwu (义乌), not far from Shanghai actually, in central Zhejiang province. There’s 3.7 million square feet market, the world’s primary source of knickknacks, which I hope to visit one day, why not.
I honestly don’t know where the Easter industry’s global center currently is but it can easily be somewhere here in China. Only that locals don’t seem to care for it, as “much” as they do for Christmas. Much in a sense that most people here use Christmas deco as some colorful Western design that can be displayed at any time of the year. Naturally there’s no religious symbolism nor emotional attachment to it, other than aesthetics (or lack thereof). And most of the time there are mistakes, like the one Nelly spotted in Beijing once: Santa Claus on a crucifix.
What I can very well imagine is that as soon as an investor sees a point in bunnies and painted eggs the craze will begin. Yesterday I spotted some, maybe 3 altogether, Easter holiday cards at Marks and Spencer (sorry mum, yet another shopping spree). Anyhoo, once China takes to it, every cafe in Shanghai will get some permanent Easter decoration to accompany the all-year-round Santa Claus and Advent Calendars on their walls.
Hoppy Easter Everyone!