‘Twas the night before Christmas, and in the streets of Shanghai,
Roamed one sober expat who’d been left high and dry;
By his friends who’d gone back to their homes overseas,
Leaving him lonely and clueless about places to be;
If only he’d read this cool post on Shanghaiist,
He’d instead be off reveling, lost in holiday bliss.
Okay, we’re such terrible poets that even Hallmark holiday cards won’t be including our works anytime soon. Bad rhyming aside, we do empathize: you’re still in Shanghai while most people you know have joined the mass expat exodus and taken off for far-flung lands. But that doesn’t mean you’re going to miss out on the holiday spirit. To help our readers get a fill of red and green cheer this year, we’ve highlighted some of the coolest Christmas parties happening around town. Go to one, or make appearances at all – there’s no excuse to be alone in Shanghai for the next few nights.
CHRISTMAS EVE – Thursday
Shanghai’s new burlesque club Chinatown has decked their halls to celebrate the night before Christmas. The entertainment line up includes new performances by the Chinatown Dolls, guest appearances by Mr. Frank Bray and the Shanghai AllStars Band, a fire dance act, fan dancing, and sing-alongs. Down all the mulled wine, eggnog and Christmas spirits included in your ticket, and get ready for a few other surprises that we’re just as in the dark about.
8 PM. Chinatown, 471 Zhapu Lu near Haining Lu (乍浦路471号, 近海宁路). Tickets are 220 RMB and limited, please call 6258-2078 (day) or 6307-7607 (evening) ASAP to enquire.
Mural brings back Rhythm Nation for some pre-Christmas underground fun. Lined up for the night are DJs Shige and HBD, as well as the beats of Jammala, the city’s popular West African drumming and percussion band. Included in the 60 RMB admission is a free flow of special drinks until 1:30 AM, though we expect you’d get good and inebriated before that.
9 PM. Mural, 697 Yongjia Lu, near Hengshan Lu (永嘉路697号，近衡山路). 60 RMB.
For those who want to spend the holidays bonding with one party spot, Longitude is hosting a three-day Christmas celebration from tonight until Boxing Day. The theme for the festival is Red-White-Blue, with different DJs playing a mix of house, minimal techno and electro-jazz each night. And of course, what are the holidays without a free flow of drinks?
9 PM. Longitude, 1 Yueyang Lu, near Dongping Lu (岳阳路1号， 近东平路). 300 RMB for three-day admission, 200 RMB for one day.
CHRISTMAS DAY – Friday
Since you’re still in Shanghai, you might like Christmas with some local color. Do you wonder what the Chinese do on this holy day? Well… rocking it out to a pillow fight, apparently! We hear that there’s going to be a huge Christmas party in Jing’an Stadium, brought to you by the creative team of 591party.com. It features music by 4 local rock banks, Black Luna, Thunder Human, Screw, and Moonlight Shadow. And yes, there is supposed to be a pillow fight involving over 1000 people. Hopefully, you’ll be one of them.
8 PM. Jing’an Stadium, 123 Nanyang Lu, near Xikang Lu (南阳路123号, 近西康路). 280 RMB, also gets you free drink and a free pillow for the fight.
Dada hosts The Future on Friday nights, and tonight they present their Christmas version. The whole DJ family will be gathering together to create the atmosphere for a self-described “warm fuzzy” Christmas party. They’ll be playing whatever feels good, with DJ Ozone filling in the gaps between booty bass with holiday-friendly Christmas carols for some sentimental moments and thoughts of home while you enjoy those drinks.
9 PM. Dada, 115 Xingfu Lu, between Fahuazhen and Pingwu Lu (幸福路115号近华山和法华镇路). FREE.
Here’s a holiday present for the men – SIN is hosting its first Santa Babe Battle. It’s a party-slash-beauty pageant of girls in fur-trimmed Miss Claus wear, and you have a chance to vote for your favorite contestant. The competition starts at 11 PM, but head over before that to enjoy music provided by former model DJ Ivy. (For ladies: if you’ve always had fantasies of being a Santa Babe, take part! After all, the winner gets 5000 RMB in cash. You have to be between 18 and 35, and design your own Christmas costume. Each contestant gets up to 30 seconds to strut her stuff on stage. To participate, you have until the night of December 24 to contact Operations Manager Greg Klibaner at SIN. Good luck!)
9 PM. SIN Club, 23/F, Want Want Bldg, 211 Shimen Yi Lu, near Weihai Lu (石门一路211号, 旺旺大厦23楼, 近威海路). 100 RMB for guys, ladies free.
If your inner feminist turns up his/her nose at beauty pageants, then head over to Not Me for a less testosterone-laced Christmas party. It’s Jungle Xmas night, with special guest DJs including fashion editor Leaf Greener and Ch-Air-Pie, founder of local street fashion brand ¥UAN. Choka-Mart will also be there showcasing the talents of new urban designers, selling handmade bric-a-brac and accessories.
9 PM. Not Me, 21 Dongping Lu, near Hengshan Lu (东平路21号, 近衡山路). FREE.