Chinese New Year is celebrated a few weeks after the Christmas holiday, but these major holidays have many similarities.

Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus for many, while Spring Festival is also based on a historic story. The Chinese New Year story tells of a monster that terrorized villages, and people were told to ward off the monster with red banners and firecrackers which are still commonly found during Spring Festival celebrations.

Food is also a big focus. For Christmas, it’s ham or turkey with many side dishes. For Spring Festival, it’s dumplings, long noodles and whole fish.

Presents are also given for Christmas celebrations as well as to the commemorate Spring Festival. The presents for Christmas are wrapped and put under a tree. For Chinese, the big gift is money, which is tucked into red envelopes. 

Of course, the most important part of both holidays is spending time with family. The travel rush in China for Chinese New Year is said to be the largest annual human migration in the world. It’s not quite at that level for others around the world celebrating Christmas, but it’s still congested.