Dec 25th and Chinese Food

Is there some unwritten rule that a lot of Jews in North America go to the movies and eat Chinese food on December 25th? I never heard of this mishegas until I moved here…. Anyone know how this “tradition” got started?

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  1. Shira Adatto says:

    Because it used to be that nothing else was open on Christmas Eve and was the only thing for Jews to do. It’s actually a lovely tradition because you run into everyone from the community.

  2. “What’s with Jews and Chinese food?” explains a little bit. Also, Chinese food didn’t mix milk and dairy so those that didn’t eat kosher food but still didn’t mix milk and dairy would go to the Chinese restaurants that were open on Christmas Eve and Christmas.

  3. Tuvia says:

    How have you never heard it before??

    Its definitely the only things open, so why not?

    Oh and check out this video:

  4. tesyaa says:

    Here’s an old chestnut:

    Q: According to the Jewish calendar this is the year 5770. According to the Chinese calendar, this year is the year 4707. What does this prove?

    A: That for over a thousand years, Jews ate in on December 25.

  5. RivkA says:

    Yup, it’s Jewish law — you can find it in the Shulchan Aruch

  6. yep, it’s a big thing among non-orthodox jews, the orthodox jews I grew up with did not do this at all (because they made no acknowledgment of christmas) but the reform/conservative jews love doing this, and I did it one year a few years back (saw The Life Aquatic and then went to chinese food). I think it’s because pretty much every restaurant except chinese restaurants are closed on christmas/christmas eve (chinese people don’t celebrate christmas I guess?)

  7. Duvii says:

    AFAIK it’s Chinese Food followed by a Movie in the theater. This minhag is usually found by the not so Orthodox as the Orthodox are playing Kvitlach for Nittle Nacht.

    I believe it is first brought down in Minhagei Yisroel Amerikeiner which is a sefer Torah SheBebaal Peh, meaning it is transmitted orally from generation to generation :-).

  8. Ari says:

    Awesome vid, Tuvia. Thanks for spotting it. I’m going to make it go viral with my posse.

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