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.
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Today Thu 24th May

Roman ban

The popularity of Chinese silk in Rome became such a drain on Roman Imperial finances that Emperor Tiberius issued an edict to ban men wearing silk. In one year over 22,000 pounds of gold was spent on its import.
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Proverb

,
Jiàn zài xián shàng, bù dé bù fā [jian zai xian shang, bu de bu fa]
arrow exist string on, not get no deliver
When the arrow is on the string, it must be shot
Things have reached a point when something must be done

Current weather

clearBeijing weather
Clear
59 ° F / 15 ° C
May 23rd 2018 at 6:00pm UCT
Wunderground data source

Festivals

1st Jun 六一儿童节 Childrens day
6th Jun Corn in Ear (Lichun calendar)
18th Jun 端午节 Dragon Boat Festival
21st Jun Summer Solstice (Lichun calendar)
26th Jun 雨节 Rain Festival
See full calendar


Wed 23rd May

The Romans and China

Trading contacts between Han China and the Roman world were extensive. At this time much of the trade took the overland Silk Route through Central Asia. In the Han dynasty the Romans were known as the Great Qin (Da Qin 大秦 named after the western Qin people who had unified China in the Qin dynasty. Silk was one of the main exports from China.
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Proverb

贼喊捉贼
Zéi hǎn zhuō zéi [zei han zhuo zei]
thief shout 'stop thief'
A thief cries 'Stop thief!'
Diverting attention to cover misdoing
Crying 'wolf'
Tue 22nd May

Good fortune

One of the most common Chinese characters you will see in China and on Chinese gifts is the one for good fortune This is pronounced in Mandarin. Symbolizing good fortune also are images of the bat because in mandarin 'bat' sounds exactly the same but written as .
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Proverb

Haǒ rén haǒ shì [hao ren hao shi]
good person; good deeds
Good personality good deeds
Pleasant person who behaves well
A good man is hard to find
Mon 21st May

Southern oasis

When northern China was overrun by Khitans and then Mongols 800 years ago the Imperial Song family moved to Hangzhou. It proved to be a peaceful and prosperous time for 150 years. Some scenes of Hangzhou are to be found in the long corridors of the Summer Palace, Beijing.
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On this day

1086 Wang Anshi died 1086 (932 years ago)

Proverb

ěr xīn [er mu yi xin]
ear eye one new
New sights and sounds
A change of place, everything fresh and new
Sun 20th May

Hutongs

Beijing and other old cities have a few areas remaining of traditional courtyard houses. It is the narrow lanes between the buildings that are called 'hutongs'. Although towns were laid out to a formal geometric plan the districts were developed informally and as individual families prospered or declined their houses extended or contracted. Over the centuries the ad hoc development led to many narrow and winding hutongs.
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On this day

1062 Bao Zheng died 1062 (956 years ago)
1948 Chiang Kaishek became President Republic of China 1948 (70 years ago)

Proverb

西
Qíng ren yǎn lǐ chū xī shī [qing ren yan li chu xi shi]
lover eye inside produce Xi Shi
The lover's eye sees the legendary beauty of Xi Shi in his plain mistress
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Love is blind
Sat 19th May

Yu the Great

A legendary figure of early Chinese history, Da Yu 大禹 is credited with founding the Xia dynasty in 2070BCE. He is mainly associated with the construction of early flood defenses along the Yellow River but there are no reliable historical documents for so early a date.
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Proverb

狐悲
Tù sǐ hú bēi [tu si hu bei]
hare die fox sorrow
A fox mourns the death of a rabbit
Feigning concern to conceal true feeling
To weep crocodile tears
Fri 18th May

Wang Xizhi

The master calligrapher Wang Xizhi 303 - 361 is considered the “Sage of calligraphy”. The art of writing Chinese characters continues to be a well respected tradition. Fine examples of writing by famous calligraphers can achieve very high prices.
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Proverb

悬崖勒
Xuán yá lè mǎ [xuan ya le ma]
precipice rein in horse
Rein in the horse at the cliff edge
Realize danger at the last moment
Gobi desert, Inner Mongolia
Gobi Desert stretches into Inner Mongolia. August 2008
Image by Fir0002 available under a Creative Commons license
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