Chinasage Diary

Your daily snippet of information about China. Our diary has a daily fact, proverb and a reminder of upcoming festivals and holidays in China.
Click on the link to add the daily news feed to your browser, so you can receive notifications each day automatically. diary

Today Tue 20th Mar

Land of fish and rice

The low lying province of Jiangsu is crisscrossed by canals and water channels. Here the mighty Yangzi river meets the sea. The rich soil has made it an important bread basket for China over the centuries. Recent industrialization has however pushed agriculture away from some of the best land. It remains a densely populated and prosperous area - the 6th richest by GDP.
Read More


Bái shǒu qǐ jiā [bai shou qi jia]
clear hand make house
Empty hand make house
To build up something from nothing

Current weather

clearBeijing weather
43 ° F / 6 ° C
Mar 19th 2018 at 7:30pm UCT
Wunderground data source


21st Mar Vernal Equinox (Lichun calendar)
28th Mar 花朝节 huā zhāo jié Flower Festival
4th Apr 观音诞 guàn yīn dàn Birthday of Guanyin
5th Apr Bright and Clear Festival (Lichun calendar)
18th Apr 上巳节 Shàngsìjié Shangsi Festival
20th Apr Corn Rain (Lichun calendar)
See full calendar

Mon 19th Mar


Kiwi fruits originate from Southern China when they were known as Chinese Gooseberries (猕猴桃 mí hóu táo). New Zealanders finding they grew well in their country marketed them as 'kiwis' and now they are associated more with New Zealand rather than China.
Read More

On this day

1279 Song dynasty ended 1279 (739 years ago)
1279 Battle of Yamen 1279 (739 years ago)


Hán dān xué bù [han dan xue bu]
Handan study gait
Learning how the residents of Handan walk . A story of a man who took on the gait of a cityfolk trying to impress but could no longer walk properly
Pompous and pretentious. Trying too hard to impress
Sun 18th Mar

General Zheng Chenggong

Guoxingye (Koxinga) also known as General Zheng Chenggong was a Ming dynasty loyalist who attempted to hold back the conquest of the Manchu people (1646-1662) from southern China. He was born in Fujian and became involved in the resistance to Qing rule. He invaded Taiwan and used it as a power base but died of malaria in 1662.
Read More

On this day

1839 First Opium War 1839 (179 years ago)


Tiāo féi jiǎn shòu [tiao fei jian shou]
carry fat select thin
To separate out the fat and pick only the lean meat
A very picky person. Over zealous attention to detail
Sat 17th Mar


The Chinese prize the mineral jade above gold. It is associated with many ancient traditions and customs. Originally the precious mineral was mined in the Kunlun mountains of southern Xinjiang.
Read More

On this day

1998 Li Peng no longer Premier PRC 1998 (20 years ago)
1998 Zhu Rongji became Premier PRC 1998 (20 years ago)


Niàn niàn bù wàng [nian nian bu wang]
study study not neglect
Do not neglect your studies. Ponder on problems
Study hard. Keep thinking about a problem
Where there's a will there's a way
Fri 16th Mar

World upside down

When the Chinese invented the compass they chose south rather than north as the primary direction. In China it is called 指南针 'point south needle'. Compasses pointed south and for this reason maps showed south at the top rather than north. South was more important than north as it is the direction of the sun and hence all warmth and light. This convention has the advantage that the compass direction can be confirmed by the position of the sun at midday.
Read More

On this day

2003 Zhu Rongji no longer Premier PRC 2003 (15 years ago)
2003 Wen Jiabao became Premier PRC 2003 (15 years ago)


Zǒu mǎ kàn huā [zou ma kan hua]
walk horse look flower
Looking at the flowers while riding a horse
To take a cursory look at something. Smug
Thu 15th Mar

Elephant Game

Chinese chess is called 象棋 literally 'elephant game'. One of the pieces in the game is an elephant which is a defensive piece that can only move two places at a time and only on the home side of the board. As well as meaning 'elephant', 'xiang' can also mean shape or image and it may be that the game is to do with the 'shapes' or constellations in the sky. Another 'Xiang' means 'think' which is appropriate for such a cerebral game.
Read More

On this day

220 Cao Cao died 220 (1,798 years ago)
1998 Qiao Shi no longer Chairman NPC 1998 (20 years ago)
1998 Li Peng became Chairman NPC 1998 (20 years ago)
2003 Hu Jintao became President PRC 2003 (15 years ago)
2003 Wu Bangguo became Chairman NPC 2003 (15 years ago)


Shí nián shù mù, bǎi nián shù rén [shi nian shu mu, bai nian shu ren]
ten year establish timber, hundred year establish person
It takes ten years for a tree to grow but it takes a hundred years for talents to be nurtured
Studying may be slow and arduous but will be worth it
Wed 14th Mar

China's population

China for centuries has been the most populous nation on Earth, but China will soon to be overtaken by India. The Chinese used to represent about 1 in 4 of all people, but this has dropped to 1 in 5 (just under 20%). Due to the severe controls on family planning in the PRC, it is likely that China's population will stabilize at the current level of 1,300 million for the next 30 years.
Read More

On this day

2013 Wu Bangguo no longer Chairman NPC 2013 (5 years ago)
2013 Xi Jinping became President PRC 2013 (5 years ago)
2013 Zhang Dejiang became Chairman NPC 2013 (5 years ago)


Jiàn yì yǒng wéi [jian yi yong wei]
see justice brave act
See the just cause and act on it
To see what is right and act with courage
Buddhism , prayer wheel
Buddhist prayer wheels at Wudang temple, Inner Mongolia
Share this page Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest

Chinasage is a new web resource, started in 2012, pages will be added, enhanced and re-formatted regularly. Please check back soon for updated information about China.

We would be most grateful if you can help improve this page. Please visit our (secure) contact page to leave any comment. Thanks.

Citation information: Chinasage, 'China Diary', , Web,

Copyright © Chinasage 2012 to 2018