worship culture has a long history and it has strong national
characters. It has four categories: worship of animals, worship
of plants, worship of objects and worship of immortals.
Worship of animals includes
dragon, phoenix, turtle, unicorn, mandarin duck, koi fish, tiger,
lion, rooster, monkey, crane, butterfly, etc.
Worship of plants includes
pine, cypress, cassia, bamboo, peach, orange, gourd, red bean,
and so on.
Worship of objects includes
bottle, mirror, three-legged ancient cooking vessel, ancient
coin, longevity stone, shoe and so on.
Worship of immortals
includes Buddha, the Jade Emperor, the Bodhisattva, the Eight
Immortals, the God of Wealth, the Stove God, the Gate God, the
God of marriage, the Land God, Confucius, and so on and so forth.
Among all these categories,
dragon, phoenix, turtle, and unicorn have the biggest influence
on Chinese culture.
is the totem that Chinese most worship. Chinese called themselves "the
descendants of dragon", the emperors called themselves "the
real dragon emperor". In China, the dragon image penetrated
people's lives in many ways. It appears mostly in two forms:
engraving and cast, drawing and painting. You can see engraved
dragon images in the imperial palaces. A dragon pattern is also
shown in folk arts such as paper cut. Dragon boat is the art
which combined engraving and painting.
Phoenix is the king
of birds, it can regenerate in the fire. The male is called Feng,
the female is called Huang. Phoenix is the symbol of empresses.
Unicorn is also a imaginary
creature. It's the symbol of benevolence. The fable said the
unicorn delivers the child.
The longevity of the
turtle made it worshipped by ancient Chinese. It was believed
that the spirit turtle can foretell the future. Thus the turtle
Ding (three-legged ancient cooking vessel) was cast to symbolize
the imperial throne. The turtle is also the symbol of glory,
authority and longevity.
Back to top
than 30,000 years ago, Chinese ancestors invented the 10 Tian
Gan (or heavenly stems) and 12 Di Zhi (or 12 earthly branches)
for chronological purposes. Twelve animals are used to symbolize
the 12 earthly branches, in order they are: the rat, ox, tiger,
rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and
pig. There are a lot of legends about the origin of the Chinese
One legend said that
the twelve animals quarreled one day about who was to head the
cycle of years. The God decided that they hold a contest: whoever
reached the opposite bank of the river would be the first, and
the rest of the animals would receive their years according to
their finish. All the twelve animals gathered at the river bank
and jumped in the river. The rat jumped on the back of ox stealthily,
the ox was in the first position, when the ox was about to reach
the final line, the rat jumped off the ox's back, and won the
Most Chinese believe
that the signs of Chinese Zodiac reveal the hidden secrets of
a person's character.
Back to top
is the most popular beverage for Chinese. The culture of Chinese
tea originates two thousand years ago. Legend said Shen Nong
(the founder of Chinese medicine) tested hundreds of herbs daily
by tasting them and caught 72 kinds of poison, found tea accidentally
and was cured. The culture of Chinese tea includes tea planting,
tea drinking, tea pot art, and tea house. There are five major
types of tea: black tea, jasmine tea, Oolong tea, green tea,
and brick tea.
are 48 kinds of Opera in China, among them Peking opera (Beijing
opera) is the most famous. It's a national treasure with
a history of more than 200 years. It's a performing art combined
action, singing, dialogue and mime, acrobatic fighting and dancing.
There are four main
types of roles: Sheng, Dan, Jing, Chou. "Sheng" is
the positive male role, "Dan" is the positive female
role, "Jing" is a supporting male role with striking
character and painted face, and "Chou" is the clown.
The performance is accompanied by a tune played on wind instruments,
percussion instruments and stringed instruments.
The costumes in Peking
opera are brilliant with traditional patterns, mostly made
in handicraft embroidery. Facial make-up is rich and various,
depicting different characters and remarkable images. Yellow
and white mean sly, red represents uprightness and loyalty, black
stands for valor and wisdom, blue and green indicate rebellious
heroes, and gold and silver represent mystic or super power.
has a very old and rich tradition in literature. It has poetry,
novels, and dramas.
Poetry is the earliest
form of Chinese literature that originated from folk songs before
the written Chinese language. Shi Jing (Book of Poetry) is the
earliest Chinese literature, it dates back to between the 11th
and 6th century BC. Early writings generally were philosophical,
religious, and historical writings. Such as Writings of Confucius
(551-479 BC), which is about how people should act and how the
society and political system should be organized and operated.
The heyday of poetry
was in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Li Bai and Du Fu were the
two greatest poets.
The dramas of the Yuan
Dynasty (1271-1368) are poetic dramas set to music and have
been popular with the common people. A variety of popular and
standard themes are presented in Peking Opera.
the main form of Chinese classic novels. It appeared at the end
of Yuan (1271-1368) and the beginning of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
Each chapter of this form has a different title, and the paragraphs
are generally the same in length with complete beginnings and
endings. It originated from the storytellers' scripts. At the
end of the Ming (1368-1644) and the beginning of the Qing Dynasty
(1644-1911), Chinese saga novels and novelettes generally took
the form of Zhanghuiti-Style. Famous novels such as " Romance
of the Three Kingdoms", "Pilgrim to the West" (Monkey
King), " Tale of Water Margin", "The Golden
Lotus" and "Dream of the Red Chamber".
China's literary tradition
continues to the present, the most famous 20th-century writer
is Lu Xun(1881-1936), a poet, essayist, and novelist, the founder
of modern literature in China, whose work focused on the need
to modernize through revolution. The literary style of modern
Chinese fiction was formed based on foreign fiction and the reformed
traditional Chinese storytelling scripts.
has a long history and is famous in the world. The history
of acrobatics can be traced back more than 1600 years. Wuqiao
County in Hebei province is internationally recognized as the
birthplace of Chinese acrobatics. People in Wuqiao today, young
or old, often possess astonishing acrobatic ability.