We keep track of news reports from China but steer clear of the headlines that are well reported elsewhere. Here are some news stories, visit our news page for more stories and also follow us on Facebook ➚.
China is famous for producing world-beating bronze technology at a very early date.
Large bronze vessel dating from the Shang dynasty (1600-1100BCE) have long been admired.
A recent study has been looking into the recipe for bronze used and it seems it is a complex system based on alloys rather than just a rough mixture of tin and copper. Only if a carefully followed process was followed would the Shang bronzesmiths been able to create such large and finely detailed objects.
For many years the Kaogong ji was the source reference to follow but this uses the terms ‘Jin’ and ‘Xi’ as ingredients with no description of what they were. It is now thought these were specially produced alloys of precise proportion of elements.
Chinese Valentine’s Day this year falls on Thursday 4th August.
In China the festival is a moveable festival as it falls on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month [Qīxìjié 七夕节 means seventh night festival]. It commemorates the love between 织女 Zhī nǔ the weaver and 牛郎 Niú láng the cowherd . Because after marriage they spent too much time canoodling rather than carrying out their work, the gods separated them and they were only allowed to meet on one night each year. The husband and wife are represented by the bright stars Vega (Lyra constellation) and Altair (Aquila constellation) and a bridge of magpies is made over the Milky Way which runs between them in the sky to allow them to meet. The magpies will only come if it is a dry day.
It has now become a day for lovers to have a romantic evening, exchange gifts and maybe pop the question.
China produced fine ‘magic mirrors’ that mystified everyone until quite recent years. The smooth mirror surface creates a hidden image in its reflection when bright light is shone on it. This new discovered magic mirror was made in the 16th century and creates an image of the Buddha surrounded by light beams, the characters on the reverse spell the name of the Amitabha Buddha.
These mirrors were made of bronze from the Han dynasty onwards. The way they work is not obvious, only careful microscopic analysis revealed that the mirror surface is not quite smooth but has very fine ridges and dimples that create the effect. The design is made by first making the smooth mirror surface and very carefully hammering in the design on the reverse.
These mirrors rarely survive and Shanghai museum has a couple this one is at the Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio.
The housing market in China has entered a challenging phase - too many houses and too few buyers.
Some sellers are turning to desperate measures, some are offering a free pig to purchasers (Jiangsu province), while others are accepting payment in wheat or garlic (in Henan province). Clear signs that the housing market was in big trouble came when EverGrande defaulted on debt repayment last year. Buyers can elect to have the pig slaughtered without actually having to take delivery.
Southern China is often subject to heavy rain but this year the rains have come early and in greater quantity than normal. In some parts of Guangxi, Guangdong and Fujian rainfall records have been broken and hundreds of thousands have been evacuated from flooded homes. Yingde, Guangdong on the Bei River is one of the worst affected areas. This is worrying because the bulk of the rainy season (June-September) is yet to come.
Northern China is suffering not from rain but the heat, the increased drain on the electricity supply for air conditioning is causing concern. All in all, with the excessive heat in Europe and US, the predictions of climate change do seem to be confirmed this year.
The Jumbo Kingdom Floating restaurant that for many years has graced the harbor of Hong Kong has shut up shop. Severely hit by the pandemic it has continued to lose money and has now closed permanently. Eight dedicated boats used to ferry diners to the traditional styled mammoth restaurant.
It's the time of the grueling university entrance examinations 高考 gāo kǎo that are vital for future careers. There has been a tradition of mothers wearing a traditional silk dress 旗袍 qí páo to bring luck. Now some fathers and brothers have taken to wear the dress to bring luck and also lighten the serious mood. The origin is partly from the similar sounding proverb/idiom 旗开得胜 qí kāi dé shèng which means 'Success at first attempt' that has for centuries been associated with good wishes for examination success.
We use a consistent style for links within Chinasage. An internal link taking you to another page within our site is shown like this while a link to a page on any other web site is shown like this ➚.
We use Chinese characters wherever appropriate. Most browsers should display both the characters and the pinyin correctly. We highlight any use of the older Wade Giles system. Except where stated all characters are the modern simplified form used in the People's Republic rather than the traditional ones (pre-1970s). To help you learn Chinese characters many of the very common characters are highlighted thus: 中 hovering the mouse over the character will pop up a box showing further information about it.
Dates are given using the BCE/CE ➚ (Before Common Era and in Common Era) year convention rather than BC/AD. If a date is not followed by BCE or CE it should be taken as CE.
All the text on the Chinasage web site is our own, we do not copy and paste from other web sites. We research each topic from a number of authoritative sources (mainly books). The only exception to this are quotations and image credits. All text is our copyright and can not be used/copied without our permission. We are independent of any other company or government, the opinions expressed are our own. We do not receive funding or backing from any other agency or organization .
Teacup Media (China History Podcast)
We are delighted to be able to promote links to Laszlo Montgomery's excellent Teacup Media ➚ series created over the last twelve years. Laszlo Montgomery ➚ has in depth knowledge of building commercial contacts with China over 30 years. The set of 290 podcasts totals 150 hours of audio commentary which covers every conceivable topic in Chinese history. Highly recommended.
Feel free to contact Chinasage to point out any errors, omissions or suggestions on how to improve this web site.
If you would like to support our work and keep us independent become a Patreon or make a Donation via Paypal.
Please wait... Downloading information about character