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Chinese New Year’s Traditional Activities
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

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The Spring Festival  (chūn jiē 春节) is the most important and the biggest traditional festival in China, the grand holiday will be celebrated on Sunday, February 9 and lasts for 15 days till Lantern Festival on Sunday, February 24. During the spring festival, Chinese people will take a series of traditional activities to celebrate their reunion. But different part of China has very different customs. Here are the most typical traditions. 

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Images of blessing
Learn Chinese - History and Culture
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Being a vast and diverse country with over fifty minorities groups,China is a homeland to a myriad different types of images which are meant to give good blessing. In the festivals or celebrations, people like decorating their houses and devices, for the blessing of a happy life and to celebrate the festivals.
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Chinese New Year's Couplet (春联)
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

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Chun lian is a special type of Duilian, or couplet. It is used only during the Chinese New Year as part of its celebration. While duilian is permanent, chunlian is a temporary decoration to be placed on the entrance of the house, somewhat akin to Halloween and Christmas decorations.

Duilian comprises of a couplet written on vertical strips of red paper in the best calligraphic style one can muster. In addition, a third horizontal piece may be posted across and on top the door.

Chun lian is written on red paper with ink. Red is a very lucky color for the Chinese, it frightens off the Chinese New Year monster 'Nian' who arrives at this time of year and destroys crops and homes. "Nian" has three weaknesses: it was frightened by noise, sunshine, and the color red. So villagers built fires, set off firecrackers, and painted the doors to their houses red and placed red couplets beside the doors. Red to the Chinese also represents good fortune, fame and riches.

These couplets can be hung outside beside the main door and also inside in important rooms like the kitchen, bedroom and lounge. They are also hung either side of the cooker or hob. They are normally hung for two months after the Chinese New Year although many people leave them all year round for continued good luck.

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Spring Festival's Eve ( 除夕)
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

As the Chinese saying goes "xin nian tou, jiu nian wei" (beginning of new year, end of the old year), chu xi is one of the most important occasion in Chinese culture. Chu Xi 除夕 marks the end of the Lunar Year and the start of a bright new year. The Chinese word "chu" takes to mean to discard (qǜ 去). The term chu xi, in essence, means to discard the old and herald the new. It is celebrated as a family affair, a time of reunion and thanksgiving.
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Red Envelope (红包)
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

In Chinese society, a red envelope or red packet / red pocket (Known as Hong Bao in Mandarin, Ang Pao in Hokkien and Lai See in Cantonese, 红包) is a monetary gift which is given during holidays or special occasions.

Origin
There are no clear literary sources from which to trace the origin of the red envelope tradition. In China, during the Qing Dynasty, the elderly would thread coins with a red string. The money was called yāsuì qián (traditional Chinese: 壓歲錢 压岁钱), meaning "money warding off evil spirits", and was believed to protect the elderly from sickness and death. The yāsuì qián was replaced by red envelopes when printing presses became more common after the establishment of the Republic of China in 1911. Red envelopes are also referred to as yāsuì qián.

 

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Lion Dance (舞狮)
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

History
Lion dance (wǔ shī 舞狮) is a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture, in which performers mimic a lion's movements in a lion costume. The lion dance originated in India. The lion is alttraditionally regarded as a guardian creature. It is featured in Buddhist lore, being the mount of Manjusri. There are different variations of the lion dance in other Asian cultures including mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Okinawa, Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Sydney, and Singapore, with each region possessing their own styles.

Chinese lion dances can be broadly categorised into two styles, Northern (běi shī 北狮) and Southern (nán shī 南狮). Northern dance was used as entertainment for the imperial court. The northern lion is usually red, orange, and yellow (sometimes with green fur for the female lion), shaggy in appearance, with a golden head. The northern dance is acrobatic and is mainly performed as entertainment. Sometimes, they perform dangerous stunts.

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Temple Fair in Beijing
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

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The temple fair (miào huì 庙会) is a kind of social activity in China. Legend has it that it originated in ancient times when people offered sacrifices to the village god, which later gradually evolved into a marketplace for people to exchange products and a place for cultural performance. Temple fair in old China had a unique status in ordinary people’s life. It is the time to worship gods, pray for the blessing. It is also a great time to have fun. All the traditional shows went on at the temple fairs, talk shows (xiàng sheng 相声), banner shows (wǔ qí 舞旗), kongfu shows (wǔ shù 武术), lion shows (wǔ shī 舞狮), etc. It became a paradise for the kids. Fortunately this century old tradition is still preserved today.

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Fuxian Lake
China Travel Guide - Travel in Yunnan

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Fuxian Lake (fǔ xiān hú 抚仙湖) is located in the area connecting Chenjiang (chéng jiāng 澄江), Jiangchuan (jiāng chuān 江川) and Huaning (huá níng 华宁) counties. It is about 60 kilometers from Kunming (kūn míng 昆明). The total area of Fuxian Lake valley is 1,084 square kilometers. Here, the land is fertile and abounds with various local products: rice, wheat, broad beans, tobacco and rape-seed. It is the well-known center of Yunnan tobacco in China. It is a glittering pearl in the Yunnan-Guizhou plateau.

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Tianshan Mountain
China Travel Guide - Travel in Xinjiang

The Tianshan Mountain
The Tianshan Mountain
(tiān shān 天山), renowned for its natural beauty, lies in the middle of the vast area of China’s Xinjiang Uigur Autonomous Region (xīn jiāng wéi wú ěr zì zhì qū 新疆维吾尔自治区). There the far-stretching Gobi Desert (gē bì shā mò 戈壁沙漠), grand icy peaks and snow-covered mountains, quiet valleys and vast expanse of grassland plus the hospitable, music and dance-loving ethnic minorities with different folk customs are major attractions for tourists to explore mysteries on the Silk Road.

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相敬如宾 (xiāng jìng rú bīn)
Learn Chinese - Chinese Idiom

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During the Spring and Autumn Period (春秋 chūn qiū,770-476 BC),there was a high official in the State of Jin (jìn guó 晋国). He once saw a farmer working in the field and his wife bringing his lunch to him in a very respectful manner.

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A French Lady’s Stage in China
Foreigners in China - Foreigners in China
By Li Dan

She comes from overseas, yet is quite a know-all of Chinese traditional culture.

She has been in China for seven years, growing from an visiting student to a beloved cross-talk performer.

Honored as a foreign comic star, she speaks fluent Beijing dialect and operates her body language in a lively manner to perform Chinese-style humor perfectly.
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Western Horoscope vs Chinese Zodiac
China Living Tips - Communication & Others

Western Horoscope refers to the twelve zones of celestial longitude during one cycle of the earth's orbiting the sun. It is actually a way of dividing months in a year. 

The twelve zones are addressed by twelve constellation names: 

Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces.
 
The so called "Chinese Zodiac" is actually a different concept from the Zodiac in western horoscope. Maybe because both of them have twelve items and many of the items are named after animals, the original interpreter connected them together.
 
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Zhongnan University of Economics and Law
Study in China - Colleges and Universities

Founded in 1948, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law (ZUEL) is located in Wuhan, a metropolis of Central China. It is an institution of higher education under the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China with economics, law, and management as its core disciplines. These are coordinated with the development of eight other disciplines including literature, history, philosophy, engineering, etc. ZUEL is also one of the universities sponsored by “211 project”, which is the Chinese government's new endeavor aimed at strengthening about 100 institutions of higher education and key disciplinary areas as a national priority for the 21st century.

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