Culture and traditions are the important keys to opening the door to China's charm. Significantly, China is an extremely vast country with a population of 1.4 billion and 56 different ethnic groups. You can find numerous topics about Chinese culture; however, here are the five important facts you should know if you're planning a trip to China.
1. Chinese Language and Dialects
Do you think the Chinese language is the only barrier you will face? No, of course it’s not. In fact, Chinese is divided into the standard language and different dialects. You'll find that local dialects vary between different cities, even villages.
There are seven major groups of dialects, including Mandarin, Wu, Gan, Xiang, Min, Hakka, and Yue. Have a useful translation app ready to use on your trip as it will help you communicate with the local people.
2. Chinese Religion
Most Chinese people are atheist even though freedom of religion is allowed in China. China hasn’t been a religious country since ancient times and there has never been any religion that’s been considered more important than the state.
However, it’s never been denied that religion has had a great influence over Chinese culture, history, and lifestyle. Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, Catholicism, Christianity (Protestant), and Confucianism have become the six main religions in China since the founding of new China.
3. Chinese Food
Being such a vast country with 1.4 billion people to feed, China has a wealth of different types of food and is a food paradise for your fastidious taste buds. Due to geographical and cultural variations, China has a multitude of dishes and snacks you should try.
Enjoy some Peking duck in Beijing before climbing the Great Wall, melt over a spicy hot pot in Chengdu before seeing some cute pandas, eat some juicy xiaolongbao before having a nighttime stroll along the Bund, and grab a seasoned roujiamo before exploring the site of the great Terracotta Army. Forget the Chinese food you have tried before visiting China as you will realize just how delicious authentic Chinese food actually is.
4. China's Festivals
China's traditional festivals are diverse in form and rich in content, and they are an integral part of the long history and culture of China. Chinese festivals include Chinese New Year, the Spring Festival, the Lantern Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival, and many more.
Most of these festivals originated in ancient China and were associated with primitive beliefs, celestial phenomena, calendars, mathematics, and solar terms. These festivals are a record of the rich and colorful social lifestyle and culture of the Chinese nation.
5. Symbols of China
Every country has its own symbols. What about China? Before visiting China, you may already be familiar with many of its famous symbols:
- The Great Wall: The Great Wall is an amazing architectural structure created by laborers in ancient times. It has witnessed China's long history since the Qin Dynasty.
- The Forbidden City: The Forbidden City and Tian'anmen Square are symbols that form part of China's national emblem. That means they have a profound connotation with Chinese history.
- The Terracotta Army: Hundreds of thousands of terracotta warriors and horses came to light when they were accidentally discovered. Both Chinese people and the rest of the world were shocked to find such a large-scale of sculptures hidden underground.
- Chinese kung fu: Taijiquan, or tai chi, in particular is a representative form of Chinese martial arts that is popular throughout the world.
- Pandas: These cute and cuddly animals are not only rare but are also a symbol of peace, friendship, and harmony.
- The Silk Road: The Silk Road greatly influenced exchanges carried out between worldwide civilizations, whether on land or by sea.
- Immerse Yourself in Chinese Culture: Based on Chinese civilization, Chinese culture was formed by fully integrating various regional and ethnic cultural elements in the country. Travel to China and really experience the atmosphere of the local cultures and traditions.
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