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In One Of China's Rare Catholic Communities, Christmas Is A Colorful Mix Of Customs

A predominantly Tibetan region in southwest China is home to one of the nation's few Catholic communities. Christmas for them is a raucous affair mixing Buddhist and Christian traditions.
For the past 150 years, Cizhong Church in southwestern Yunnan province has been home to one of China' rare Catholic communities. Source: Amy Cheng

Cizhong Church in China's southwestern Yunnan province is bathed in a golden light on Christmas Eve.

The faithful are streaming into the church in full Tibetan regalia, with the women splitting off to sit on the left in their bright pink headscarves and silk brocades, and the men to the right in cowboy hats and shearlings. Neighbors wave at each other. Heavily swaddled children run up and down the church aisle.

The rare Catholic community has survived more than 150 years here in the village of Cizhong, just a few dozen kilometers away from the border with both

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