Mandarin Chinese Christmas Vocabulary

How to Say Merry Christmas and Other Holiday Phrases

Due to the relatively small numbers of Christians in China and Taiwan (about 1 to 5% of the total population), Christmas is not a public holiday in these countries. Both Malaysia and Singapore, however, celebrate Christmas as an official holiday.

Despite it being a regular workday in Taiwan and China, many people in recent years have begun celebrating Christmas. You can see Christmas decorations in department stores and the custom of exchanging gifts is becoming more popular – especially with the younger generation.

Many people also decorate their homes with Christmas trees and other Christmas ornaments.

Two Ways to Say Christmas

There are two ways to say “Christmas” in Mandarin Chinese – either ►shèng dàn jié (聖誕節 trad 圣诞节 simp) or ►yē dàn jié (耶誕節 trad 耶诞节 simp).

In each of the phrases, the final two characters (►dàn jié) are the same. ►Dàn refers to birth, and ►jié means “holiday”.

The first character of Christmas can be either ►shèng or ►. Shèng translates as “saint” and yē is a phonetic which is used for Jesus - ►yē sū (耶穌 trad 耶稣 simp).

Shèng dàn jié means “the birth of a saint holiday” and yē dàn jié means “the birth of Jesus holiday.”

Shèng dàn jié is the more popular of the two phrases. Whenever you see ►shèng dàn, though, remember that you can also use ►yē dàn instead.

Mandarin Chinese Christmas Vocabulary List

Here is a list of other words and phrases that tend to be more popular during the Christmas season.

Celebrate the holiday with your Mandarin-speaking friends! Audio files are marked with ►

Christmasshèng dàn jié聖誕節圣诞节
Christmasyē dàn jié耶誕節耶诞节
Christmas eveshèng dàn yè聖誕夜圣诞夜
Christmas eveping ān yè平安夜平安夜
Merry Christmasshèng dàn kuài lè聖誕快樂圣诞快乐
Christmas treeshèng dàn shù聖誕樹圣诞树
Candy Caneguǎi zhàng táng拐杖糖拐杖糖
Christmas presentsshèng dàn lǐ wù聖誕禮物圣诞礼物
Stockingshèng dàn wà聖誕襪圣诞袜
Poinsettashèng dàn hóng聖誕紅圣诞红
Gingerbread housejiāng bǐng wū薑餅屋姜饼屋
Christmas cardshèng dàn kǎ聖誕卡圣诞卡
Santa Clausshèng dàn lǎo rén聖誕老人圣诞老人
Sleighxuě qiāo雪橇雪橇
Reindeermí lù麋鹿麋鹿
Christmas carolshèng dàn gē聖誕歌圣诞歌
Carolingbào jiā yīn報佳音报佳音
Angeltiān shǐ天使天使
Snowmanxuě rén雪人雪人
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Your Citation
Su, Qiu Gui. "Mandarin Chinese Christmas Vocabulary." ThoughtCo, Apr. 26, 2017, Su, Qiu Gui. (2017, April 26). Mandarin Chinese Christmas Vocabulary. Retrieved from Su, Qiu Gui. "Mandarin Chinese Christmas Vocabulary." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 21, 2018).