To learn Chinese culture, it is better to learn some Confucianism since it has been well integrated in Chinese culture and is the official state philosophy for over 2000 years.
Chinese Lucky Symbols
There are many traditional auspicious patterns or symbols in Chinese culture. The lucky patterns are widely used in Chinese New Year Pictures to express people's desires for a lucky and happy new year.
Year of the Animal
The Chinese New Year for 2007 is the Year of the Pig. It is on 2/18/2007. We have many articles about Chinese new year.
Chinese Tattoo Culture
Tattoo has a long history in China. Chinese tattoo was probably originated from a punishment to prisoners in ancient China, which was a type of tattoo on one's face.
Chinese Name Culture
Chinese names are usually composed of two or three Chinese characters. The first Chinese character of a Chinese name is the surname of the name, or xing4 in Chinese.
Chinese Stamp Art
Chinese stamps are unique in Chinese culture, which not only have practical functions, but also are works of art themselves and an indispensable part of Chinese painting and calligraphy.Town God Temple
In almost every large and medium-sized city in China, one can find a Chenghuang Temple or Town God Temple. In the temple, sits a statue of the town god. Usually, there are one or two sacrificial ceremonies each year. The ceremonies are important occasions for both old and young.
The Gate Gods
In China, there used to be a custom to put drawings of the gate gods on gates during the Chinese New Year. The door or gate is very important for Chinese since it is the way to get in and out for the family. Then it is believed it is also the way for ghosts, monsters or other evil things to get in and out. Thus it is important to have the door guarded, especially for the new year.
Chinese Kitchen God
The Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival is the most important event for the Chinese. Traditionally the Spring Festival actually begins its course a week before the Chinese New Year (the 24th of the last month from Chinese lunar calendar), with the practice of offering a sacrifice to the Kitchen God.
Chong Yang Festival
The Chinese Chong Yang Festival falls on the 9th day of the 9th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. People celebrate the festival the traditional way, climbing hills, drinking chrysanthemum wine, and eating Chong Yang cakes.
Chinese HistoryThe warring principalities and kingdoms of ancient China were unified under the Qin dynasty. (221-206 BC) Qin Shihuangdi, the first 'emperor' of China, best known for building the precursor to what we now know as the Great Wall of China.
The Han dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD) gave China its administrative model, a model of bureaucracy that ruled the world's most populous kingdom according to Confucian principles. The Han dynasty, after ruling for over 200 years saw its downfall with the invasions of barbarian tribes from the north, which lead China into chaos for about 350 years. This period of infighting saw the rise of the Three Kingdoms and the Dynasties of the North and the South, and gave the Chinese one of their enduring insights - the importance of having 'one emperor over China, like one sun in the sky'. This period also saw the 'barbarian' tribes taking over the North and being assimilated into Chinese society, while the Han were being pushed further south. Surprisingly, this period of chaos saw the spread of Buddhism in China, which quickly overtook Confucianism as a cultural force.
The Sui (589 - 618) subsequently reunified China, as did the Tang dynasty (618 - 907). The Tang dynasty extended the borders of China to Siberia in the North, Korea in the East, and even extended up to modern day Afghanistan in the West, establishing the Silk Route, which became the main conduit for trade between the Orient and the West.
The Song dynasty (ranging from 960 - 1279) saw great economic, technological and cultural advances. During this era, efficient agricultural methods together with the import of a fast-growing Vietnamese strain of rice saw a boom in food production in China. This system of farming exists in some parts of China even today. Politically however, the Song dynasty saw repeated upheavals in the North, leading to a disintegration of the country, and subsequent conquering of the country by the Mongols. The Mongol Yuan dynasty occupied China from 1279 - 1368.
The otherwise undistinguished Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644) oversaw the fortification of the Great Wall of China as we know it today, built the Forbidden City (Beijing as it is known today) and saw the handover of Macao to the Portuguese. 1516 saw the establishment of the Portuguese in China, with Britain, France and Japan slowly making inroads into Chinese property. The crumbling of imperialist China came with the Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), which with its restrictive, inflexible and head in the sand attitudes refused to acknowledge changing international scenarios. The collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911 and World War-I saw an end to imperialist China and the subsequent rise of Communism.
Republican China (1911 - 1949) saw utter chaos and sweeping changes. Dr. Sun Yatsen of the Nationalist Party (KMT) forged alliances with the emerging Communist Party, and started the task of unifying China. After his untimely death in 1925, the Nationalist Party, under Chiang Kaishek tried to break the back of Communism with a countrywide persecution of their former allies.
1930 saw the rise of Mao Zedong as a Communist leader with a guerrilla army of about 40,000 people. Chiang's concerted efforts to exterminate Mao and his forces lead to the Communists retreat . the Long March of 1934. The Long March allowed the Communists to retreat and regroup - they armed peasants and redistributed lands, and spread their tentacles through the countryside. Mao was aided by the Japanese invasions of Manchuria, which eventually saw the downfall of the Nationalist Government. Chiang Kaishek fled to Taiwan by the end of World War II, and with the Japanese defeat by the allies, Mao Zedong and his Red Army were undisputed rulers of the newly declared People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949.
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