With a history as ancient as China’s, there is little doubt why its culture has developed to become one of the most unique and colorful on Earth. It is a huge attraction to visitors, almost as much of a draw as China’s sites. Chinese culture can be difficult to understand and with so many aspects to it, studying it can be a never-ending endeavor. Our Chinese Culture Guide was created to give visitors basic information about many different aspects of Chinese culture, such as; Chinese tea, traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese opera, and much more.
★ Chinese History
The earliest men living in China can be traced back to 1.7 million years ago. After long evolving, the ancient hominid commenced to step into civilization society. With a recorded history of nearly 4000 years, China is known as one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Cultivating the main Chinese civilization for thousands of years, the Yellow River and The Yangtze River are seen as Mother Rivers by Chinese people, with the Yellow River also being hailed as "the cradle of Chinese civilization". For thousand of years, colorful cultures of Chinese ethnic groups have been lasting, blending and developing, creating the glorious civilization of China.
★ Chinese Festival
About eight traditional festivals are celebrated nationwide in China, namely, Spring Festival, Lantern Festival, Tomb-sweeping Day, Dragon Boat Festival, Qiqiao Festival, Ghost Festival, Mid-autumn Day and Double Ninth Festival. Some other festivals are also celebrated but varied in different areas such as Laba Rice Porridge Festival, Double Sixth Festival, and Winter Solstice Festival. In addition, unique festivals are celebrated among different ethnic groups, e.g. Torch Festival among Yi people, Lusheng Festival among Miao people, Water-sprinkling Festival among Dai people and the like. The following table is a brief overview on general information of the eight major festivals in China.
★ Chinese Cuisine
Chinese food owning a long history has varieties of genres and featured styles. Exquisite and complex skills are needed, if one wants to cook Chinese food. Chinese Cuisine Culture is an important component of Chinese culture, which makes Chinese Cuisine one of the world three main cuisines: Chinese Cuisine, French Cuisine and Turkish Cuisine.
In China, cultures in different regions are respectively distinctive. So are the food cultures. It gives rise to the different styles of food. There are eight main regional cuisines, Eight Great Cuisines (八大菜系): Anhui, Guangdong, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan, Zhejiang. Except the Eight Great Cuisines, Beijing Cuisine and Shanghai Cuisine are also famouse from China and abroad.
★ Chinese Kung Fu
Far and wide known as Kungfu (功夫) all over the world, Chinese martial art is also called Wugong (武功) or Wushu (武术) at home by Chinese people. It can be seen as an art of attack and defense in which a series of skills and trick are highly emphasized.
Being a characteristic martial culture, Kungfu agglomerates the Confucius, Taoist and Buddhist theories of keeping one's mind in equanimity and nourishing one's vital spirit, while vigorousness permeates the soft theory simultaneously, with ancient Chinese transcendents' insights of life and the universe. Has been developing for thousands of years, Kungfu is not only a kind of martial art but also a precious cultural treasure, a way of body building as well as sport fashion. Made up of various styles, Kungfu always charms its fans with its ever-changing and challengeable skills, from all kinds of Kungfu shows to Chinese Kungfu films.
★ Religion in China
China is a multi-religious country, and Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Christian are the main religions in the country. China is also a multi-nationalities country that most of the 55 ethnic minorities observe a religion, for instance, Tibetans observe Buddhism, Hui people observe Islam. Incomplete statistics show that there are more than 100 million religious followers in China with over 85 000 religious sites, over 3000 religious groups and some 74 religious colleges. Chinese people enjoy the freedom of religious belief according to low, and regular religious activities are protected by the Constitution. All religious believers and non-religious people in the country respect for each other in beliefs and customs and live together in harmonies.
★ Chinese Tea
Being a vivid Chinese cultural specialty as well as Kungfu and traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese tea has been being developed in China for a long time accompanied with which a series of tea culture took shape. Widely known in Chinese history as a fortuitous discovery of Shennong (神农), a renowned Chinese legendary chieftain and respected physician in the far ancient times, tea had been mentioned in the old Chinese medical work "Herbal Classic (本草经)", which was written in the 1st century.
"Tea Classic", the first work about tea in the world written by Lu Yu (733-804, the "Chinese Tea Saint" living in Tang Dynasty), represents that not only did Chinese tea play an essential part in diet but also tea culture seeped into all aspects of people's daily life, e.g. poetry, painting, calligraphy, religion, medicine. Nowadays in China a great deal of knowledge about tea is still treated as invaluable patrimony, tea is still a common drink on the table and it has even become an ideal present when people host or visit others.