Chinese Culture and Traditions

dragon, graphic

This section has pages covering all sorts of Chinese customs and traditions. We are continuing to add more pages to this section.

Good fortune

Good fortune

Language

You will often see the character for good fortune on decorations and gifts. 'Fu' is also associated with bats and oranges and this needs a little explanation...
Foot binding

Foot binding

History

After the Han dynasty the custom of foot binding of girls from a very early age kept them house bound. The tradition lasted from the Sui to the Qing dynasty and was at times inflicted on half of all girls. It was seen as a badge of wealth of a household because it implied that the family was rich enough to not need women to carry out physical work. In poor areas the feet of women were not bound so they had to share the work of husbands in manual labor. Slightly richer families would have girls' feet bound and live out their lives indoors, bringing up the family.
Kites

Kites

Culture

Along with many other things the Chinese lay claim to the invention of the kite. Kite flying remains very popular in China and many can be seen flying in public parks. In the past they have been used for military purposes but fishing is probably the most ancient use.

Opium

The import of opium from India had a devastating effect on China. Although opium had been grown and used in China for centuries the import of huge quantities of the British controlled trade into Guangdong proved far more addiciive. It was the government officials who were most affected and even Dowager Empress Cixi used opium. Attempts to stop the trade led to two wars with Britain which China lost.
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Chinese Silk

Chinese Silk

Culture

Along with porcelain and tea, silk is one of China's important innovations. Just like other great inventions the secret was closely guarded for centuries. Fabulous fine cloth was an important export as far back as the early Roman Empire.
Traditional Chinese calendar

Traditional Chinese calendar

Culture

The traditional Chinese calendar is still used to determine the date of some festivals, and in particular the most important one - Chinese New Year. Our calendar shows each month with both Chinese and Western calendar information together with all the important anniversaries occurring on each day and the whole year.
Chinese Chess

Chinese Chess

Culture

Like most other things the Chinese invented their own version of the chess board game. There are strong reasons to suppose that the Chinese game Xiangqi or 'elephant game' is closer to the original form. The absence of a 'queen' piece and the strange rules for 'cannons' make this just as challenging a game as the version played in the West.
Great Inventions

Great Inventions

Culture

The four great Chinese inventions are considered to be: paper; printing; compass and gunpowder. Other key inventions include the abacus, iron casting, pasta, silk etc.. However the production of paper and then printing must be considered the most important of these.

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