Top 10 Chinese Culture Facts You Should Know
China is a large country with more than 5,000 years history. In the long course of Chinese history different cultures gradually came into being, becoming an important components of Chinese life. Let’s discover the many aspects of Chinese culture, from Confucianism to Chinese language, to Chinese Food and Chinese Festivals. Hope these 10 Chinese culture facts will help you understand China better.
China is a country deeply influenced by Confucianism. In the past 2,500 years Confucianism beliefs dominated mainstream ethical and religious beliefs of Chinese culture. And Confucianism is reflected in all major aspects of Chinese culture. To understand the Chinese culture you need to know the basic philosophical beliefs of Confucius (552-479BC). Check the wisdom quotes of Confucius by clicking here.
2. Chinese Language
Chinese (汉语) is an old language used by the Han majority and many other ethnic groups in China in the past 5,000 years. About 1.2 billion people (16% of the population in the world) use Chinese as their first language. As for written Chinese, Mainland China is using Simplified Chinese while Hong Kong and Taiwan areas are still using Traditional Chinese. As for spoken language, Mandarin Chinese is the official language of Mainland China and Taiwan, Cantonese is widely spoken in Hong Kong.
3. Chinese Zodiac
Chinese has a zodiac culture known as Sheng Xiao. This is based on a twelve-year cycle in Chinese lunar year system and each year in that cycle is associated with an animal sign. These 12 signs are rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Each animal represents unique traits, in Chinese culture people’s personalities and destiny are believed to be affected their zodiac animal.
4. Chinese Family Culture
Chinese people place great emphasis on family. Marriage, family and children are very important in the Chinese culture. Chinese people’s leisure life mainly revolves around the family. People tend to work close to their hometown and go home regularly to reunite with the family.
5. Chinese Tea
Tea is the national beverage of China. About five thousand years ago, Chinese ancestors discovered the tea as a drink. In traditional Chinese culture, drinking tea demonstrates one’s morality and social status. In modern China, a pot of hot tea shows a welcome to visitors to a Chinese family. Besides tea is also an important social tool, people go to tea houses, not for the drink, but for a spot to meet people for friendship or business.
6. Chinese Kung fu
Chinese martial arts, or known as Chinese Kung fu or Wushu means a series of fighting styles which were formed during thousands of years history of China. The famous Kungfu styles include Shaolin, Tai Chi and Qigong. The famous Kong fu Stars Bruce Lee, Jet Li and Jackie Chan bring Chinese Kungfu to the world through their Kung Fu movies. And this make many westerners think that all Chinese are Kung Fu masters. But that’s not true, only some professional practicers can master Kungfu, while common people only practice Kung fu as a sports for physical fitness.
7. Chinese Food
With more than 5000 years history, Chinese food is an important part of Chinese culture. Chinese cuisine has many different styles originating from the diverse regions of China. There are eight most famous culinary traditions: Guangdong (Cantonese) cuisine, Shandong cuisine, Jiangsu cuisine and Sichuan cuisine, Fujian cuisine, Hunan cuisine, Anhui cuisine and Zhejiang cuisine. Chinese people like to use chopsticks to pick food from a shared dish and eat directly. Food and beverage are an important part of Chinese social life. Different from westerners, Chinese people like to talk business during meals.
8. Chinese Religion
China has been a country where many religions exist. Confucianism is widely considered as an indigenous religion and the soul of Chinese culture. According to latest statistics, in China about 185 million people believe in Buddhism and 33 million follow Christianity. There are up to 20 million Muslims and 12 million Taoists.
9. Chinese Festivals
Traditional Chinese festivals are an important components of Chinese culture. Most traditional festivals were formed during the Han Dynasty (206BC – 220AD). The most important traditional Chinese festivals include Spring Festival (1st – 15th of the first lunar month), Lantern Festival(15th day of the first lunar month), Qingming Festival(April 4th or 5th of the solar calendar), Dragon Boat Festival(5th day of the 5th lunar month) and Mid-Autumn Festival(15th day of the 8th lunar month).
Different from dragon as an evil being and misfortune in the Western culture, Chinese dragons are an auspicious, kind and friendly creature. Chinese people even think they are the descendants of of the dragon. The Chinese dragon was the symbol of imperial power in Chinese feudal society. Today Chinese people still believe that dragon represents wealth, power wisdom and success.
Do you know another other Chinese culture facts. Share your your ideas by leaving comments below.