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. diaryhttp://www.chinasage.info/diary.xml

Today Wed 23rd Aug

Measuring up

China had its own system of weights and measures that were scaled in units of ten long before the French adopted the metric system in the late eighteenth century. When the Republic of China was declared in 1912 the Chinese authorities aligned the traditional Chinese measures to the Metric system. The traditional measure of distance the 'li' is now defined as 500meters (which is 547 yards).
Read More

On this day

551BCE Confucius born 551BCE (2,569 years ago)

Proverb

识泰
Yǒu yǎn bù shí tài shān [you yan bu shi tai shan]
have eye not know great mountain
To fail to see the great Taishan mountain
To be too arrogant/ignorant to notice true talent

Current weather

mostlycloudyBeijing weather
Mostly Cloudy
79 ° F / 26 ° C
Aug 22nd 2017 at 8:30pm UCT
Wunderground data source

Festivals

23rd Aug End of Heat (Lichun calendar)
28th Aug 七夕节 Qīxìjié Chinese Valentine’s Day
5th Sep 盂兰盆 Yúlánpén Hungry Ghost
7th Sep White Dew (Lichun calendar)
10th Sep 教师节 Teachers day
13th Sep 诸葛武侯诞辰 zhū gě wǔ hóu dàn chén Birthday of Zhuge Liang
23rd Sep Autumnal Equinox (Lichun calendar)
See full calendar


Tue 22nd Aug

Goji Berries

Another noted Chinese export are the nutritious and healthy berries grown in northern China. Ningxia province is noted for the production of Wolfberries now better known as Goji berries. In traditional medicine they are used for the treatment of high blood pressure.
Read More

On this day

1904 Deng Xiaoping born at Guang'an Sichuan 1904 (113 years ago)

Proverb

Zuǒ yòu wéi nán [zuo you wei nan]
left right pride difficult
Both options are difficult
In a dilemma
Mon 21st Aug

Deng Xiaoping in France

One of the pivotal periods of Deng Xiaoping's life was the time he spent as a student, worker and communist revolutionary in France [1920-26]. The influence on his outlook and world view must have been crucial to his later actions as Paramount Leader [1978-92]. He retained his love of French food, particularly croissants. He was also a fan of soccer.
Read More

Proverb

Chí kāi de huā wèi bì bú xiāng [chi kai de hua wei bi bu xiang]
slow opening flower did not certainly not smell
A late-blooming flower is not necessarily lacking in fragrance
Success late in life is still success
Sun 20th Aug

Mental agility

Although the Chinese abacus has been abandoned in favor of the digital calculator there are still many Chinese children still learning how to use the abacus at night classes. This is because the mental skills required to use an abacus are important in developing mental arithmetic. A recent competition to find the fastest brain for computing a sum was won by people who had learned the abacus. Once the skill is gained it is fairly easy to compute complex sums by imagining carrying it out on an abacus. You could see this by noting how the winner's fingers twitch while they are computing.
Read More

On this day

2008 Hua Guofeng died 2008 (9 years ago)

Proverb

Hài qún zhī mǎ [hai qun zhi ma]
injure crowd this horse
Bring injury to the group
The bad person of the family
Bad apple; Black sheep
Sat 19th Aug

Pears as gifts

The Chinese have used symbolism for many centuries. Particular objects in a painting have a symbolic meaning, for example a pine tree symbolizes long life. When giving gifts it is important to avoid things with an unfortunate meaning. Pears are a case in point, as 'li' sounds the same as 'li' separate and divorce. Umbrellas, clocks and belts are similarly problematic.
Read More

Proverb

隔肚皮
Rén xīn gé dù pí [ren xin ge du pi]
person heart separate belly
A person's heart is not discernible from looking just at the body
People are inscrutable. Do not judge by appearance
Do not judge a book by its cover
Fri 18th Aug

Dunhuang caves

The Mogao caves near Dunhuang are a famous visitor attraction in Gansu province. Over hundreds of years a series of caves were dug and decorated with Buddhist emblems. There are 2,300 painted statues and murals. Dunhuang used to be the last place before entering China on the Silk Road from India. Western archaeologists plundered the site in the late 19th century including the oldest printed book in the world: The Diamond Sutra.
Read More

On this day

1227 Genghis Khan died 1227 (790 years ago)

Proverb

蛇吞
Rén xīn bù zú shé tūn xiàng [ren xin bu zu she tun xiang]
person heart no attain snake swallow elephant
A person's greed is like a snake that seeks to swallow an elephant
Greed is insatiable
Thu 17th Aug

Ming founder

Occasionally in Chinese history a man of humble origins has risen to overthrow a dynasty and found his own. The most dramatic example of this is Zhu Yuanzhang who overthrew the Yuan dynasty to become Emperor Hongwu 洪武帝 founder of the Ming dynasty. His family were poor peasants and after living as a novice in a Buddhist monastery he joined the Red Turban rebels. He quickly rose to be leader and gained wide support against the Mongol rulers.
Read More

On this day

1926 Jiang Zemin born at Yangzhou Jiangsu 1926 (91 years ago)

Proverb

Yǎn gāo shǒu dī [yan gao shou di]
eye high hand low
Eyes look up but the hands go down
To have high ambitions but possess limited skills
Qilin, Sacred Way, Ming tombs
"Ways of souls" tombs of the Emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644CE). 50km north west of Beijing, in Changping. December 2005. Image by ofol available under a Creative Commons License .
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 have any comments or suggestions to help improve this page. Our contact page is also available if you have a longer comment. Just type in a quick remark here:

 

Citation information: Chinasage, 'China Diary', , Web, http://www.chinasage.info/chinadiary.htm.

Copyright © Chinasage 2012 to 2017