Traditions and rituals in China
China is a large country with a rich history, and a lot of traditions. The lion dance is one of the most famous Chinese cultural traditions. While they are held during festivals, you can hear the percussions from a lion dance reverberating through the air all year round. They are held when opening a new company, or commencing an activity. These dances are believed to bring good luck and prosperity and drive away evil. Chinese dragons are a symbol of China, and the purpose is the same, they are believed to bring good luck to people which is reflected in their qualities that include great power, dignity, fertility, wisdom and auspiciousness. Therefore the longer the dragon in the dance, the more luck it will bring to the community. It is often performed during Chinese New Year.
Important and famous people
The most famous Chinese people are leaders and philosophers like Confucius, known to the Chinese people as Master Kong, religious leaders like the Dalai Lama and actors like Jackie Chan.
Music, art and literature
The chinese music has its own unique systems of musical notation, as well as musical tuning and pitch, musical instruments and styles or musical genres. Typical Chinese musical instruments are for instance the erhu (Chinese violin), the xiao (Chinese flute) and the guqin (Chinese zither). Chinese art is an important part of Chinese heritage and culture. It goes back many centuries. Early themes were developed from religious and supernatural beliefs or from the natural environment and landscape. One of the oldest and most basic forms of Chinese art is calligraphy, the painting of the Chinese characters with a brush. Building on the tradition of calligraphy, Chinese painting developed a distinctive style that differs greatly from Western painting.
Traditional cuisine and eating habits
Food has a special meaning to the Chinese people. The “waste not, want not” ethos means that a surprising range and variety of plants and animals are eaten, and every part of a plant or animal is used. This has given rise to a remarkable diversity in regional cuisine, but to Westerners it can be overwhelming – surprising, fantastic, delicious, horrifying or disgusting – but above all, different. China can be divided into many geographical areas, and each area has a distinct style of cooking. The ingredients used in the food are based on the natural agricultural products of the region. Famous chinese foods are Sweet and Sour Pork, Gong Bao Chicken, Fried dumplings (wontons) and Spring-rolls.
The most well-known traditional Chinese sport is Kung Fu. Kung Fu is a Chinese Buddhist martial art that originated about 1500 years ago in China. In modern times, it develops well and becomes not just martial skills or physical movement. It is also a way for keeping fit, entertainment, and performance. Nowadays, China government tends to attach more importance to traditional Chinese Kung Fu which has been compiled as content of courses. Every year many performances and contests are held to encourage civilians to learn and inherit the skills.