General Question

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Why is it that Chinese restaurants are open on Christmas, but not Indian restaurants?

Asked by MyNewtBoobs (19054points) December 26th, 2010

Why is this? Is there a Hindu holiday around the same time that they’re all celebrating? What about all the other ethnic restaurants that wouldn’t be celebrating Christmas?

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13 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I saw Shiloh and someone else I know was at a Japanese restaurant Christmas day. I had not thought of Japanese yesterday. Great question by the way. I have no idea what the answer is.

Kardamom's avatar

I don’t think so. It’s just that Chinese restaurants have been popular in the U.S. for a long time. Indian food is “relatively” new as an “ethnic” cuisine and is still considered extremely exotic for most folks (not me, I love it!) and I just don’t think there would be that many people who would go out for Indian food, as opposed to Chinese food on Christmas (if they were not celebrating). But now you have me craving alu ghopi and channa masala!

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jaytkay's avatar

This it totally speculation, but Chinese restaurants have a 150+ year history in the US and maybe it’s a tradition, staying open for people who are not celebrating Christmas. Chinese restaurants are amazingly everywhere here. Big cities, little towns, East, West, North, South – most everywhere has Chinese food.

For perspective, most Christmas customs in the US are less than 150 years old.

Indian restaurants are newcomers in the US.


Most Chinese are extremely hard-working and success-driven, so opening on Christmas Day (or any other holiday) is not an issue for most Chinese restauranteurs. This is not to say that Indian restauranteurs are not hard-working themselves. Secondly, some Chinese do not celebrate Christmas, so they have no reason to close on Christmas Day. Third, because of the great popularity of Chinese food, business owners use that fact to capitalize on the market during the holiday season, when other popular food places (eg., pizzerias) are closed.

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downtide's avatar

Where I live it’s more likely to be the other way round. Most Indian restaurants in the UK are owned by Muslims rather than Hindus, and Muslims do not (as far as I know) have a winter holiday at this time of year.

answerjill's avatar

I noticed at least one Indian restaurant this year that was open on Christmas in Cambridge, MA. I was not paying attention to the other ones, though.

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bccreative's avatar

Not Indian or Chinese, but we had our Christmas dinner at a Thai/Malaysian restaurant in Lodi, NJ.

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