Traditions and Custom
China is a country steeped in ancient customs and traditions of which the native people are proud. To many people in the west countries, the word 'China' typically conjure up thoughts of dragons, giant pandas, the color, the number 8 and the distinctive calligraphs, all of which are traditional to this country.
China and the whole Europe share similar-size land area. With such a large area, customs are always different in different parts. In addition, due to the fact that this country is one of the existing oldest cultures, traditions have grown over centuries with unique festivals, customs, arts and cuisines.
Chinese New Year (or Spring Festival) is the most important festival celebrated all over the country. It is the first day of the whole year in Chinese lunar calendar. It's hard to miss the good fortune or happiness messages hung in red from every doorway and the smell of feasts being cooked as families gather at this time.
As a legend goes, a monster, named Xi, always finds food in villages for its lack of food in winter. Villagers are afraid of this monster, so they come up with a way to frighten and expel Xi by lighting bamboos and paste red paper on their doors. Xi fears the sound of lighted bamboos and red color, so it runs away.
People successfully chase away Xi. The day people expelling Xi, people call it Chu Xi which is the Chinese of New Year’s Eve. (Chu in English means expelling or killing.). Nowadays, people still kindle bamboos in New Year’s Eve, but just for celebrating the coming of New Year.
Chinese calligraph has played a significant role in Chinese art. Dating back over 3,000 years, characters were pictures of objects representing their meaning.
The Oracles is the origin of Chinese characters. According to Chinese mythology, Cang Jie invented Chinese characters. Findings show that the earliest characters are the Oracles which were engraved on animals’ bones or tortoises’ shells.
Master Wang Hsi-chih (303—361 A.D.) was an outstanding representative of Chinese calligraphy. Many people facsimile his works until today
Through all these years evolution, characters have evolved into the words we used today.
The food is one of the traditional cultures in China which is famous around the world. From Roast Duck and Noodles with Bean Paste in Beijing to dim sum in Hong Kong, no one would deny that the kinds of Chinese cuisines are various. It's not uncommon to hear people greeting each other by asking "Have you eaten yet?" Many travelers are aware but unsure of all the etiquette traditions but most locals will be tolerant of the odd mistake; a smile and following what your fellow diners do will get you through.
The age-old Chinese culture, permeating the heart and soul of every Chinese person, is hugely different from western culture. Traditions such as greeting friends with “Have you eaten?” are sometimes difficult to explain in words or pictures. The best way to understand how and why Chinese people have unique traditions and customs is to visit China.
It would be advisable to prepare a little bit before any trips. China Travel can help you tailor-making your China trip, worry-free, save time and money! You can also join the Memorable Karst Landscape and Best of China Tour and stroll around the hutongs in Beijing; or have a traditional dinner by the riverside in Guilin, a city with both beautiful scenery and rich cultural history.