La Chinese culture is one of the oldest in the world and also one of the most extensive and complex. It is impossible to cover all that this implies in so few words, but we are going to simply get started with some of the most popular Chinese traditions that have undoubtedly aroused the curiosity of visitors around the world. Some are traditions that have been celebrated for hundreds of years and this culture always surprises us for being so old and so different from ours.
We will know some of the traditions of China that are part of their culture and that we have probably heard of. Before visiting any country it is always important to inquire about its customs and culture in order to arrive with some idea of what we are going to find.
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Chinese New Year
Everyone has heard of the Chinese New Year because they celebrate it on different dates than the rest of the world. It is a tradition that draws a lot of attention, since around the world the focus is on December 31 as the end of the year to start counting another year, while in China it is not. On China is governed by the lunar calendar, with the beginning of the year on the first day of the lunar month which may vary from year to year. It is within 45 days after the winter solstice and 45 days before the arrival of spring. Apparently when the year begins, the Chinese must open their doors and windows to let the previous year come out and make way for everything new that is yet to come.
After 15 days of the new year the famous e amazing lantern festival in different parts of China. In this festival, everything is dressed with the typical Chinese lanterns that we have seen hundreds of times and that are illuminated to fill everything with light and color. To end the New Year festivities, parades are held with symbols such as the dragon and exhibitions are held that sometimes feature the animal that governs the zodiac sign that year.
El Chinese dragon is a traditional mythological animal of China. It is also part of other Asian cultures and has various parts of other animals such as the horns of a deer, the snout of a dog, the scales of a fish or the tail of a snake. Already during the Han Dynasty the dragon appears as part of the culture, hundreds of years ago. Over time it has been acquiring various powers and it is related to the control of the weather like rain. It also became a symbol of imperial authority. Be that as it may, we all associate the dragon with Chinese culture today.
Chinese tea ceremony
When we talk about the tea ceremony we usually think of Japan, but in China this drink also has great importance in their traditions. Considered in principle a medicinal drinkIt later went on to be adopted by the upper classes to finally become a ceremony. Three teapots are used in this ceremony. In the first the water is boiled, in the second the leaves are left to infuse and in the third the tea is drunk.
Traditional chinese dress
Clothing can be another of the most popular Chinese traditions. There are many pieces of clothing that are clearly identified with Chinese culture. The qipao is a great example, it is a one piece suit that used to have long sleeves and was less tight. It is used on many occasions with the color red, which brings good luck. As a curiosity to know that there were some forbidden colors for these garments such as yellow and gold that were related to the emperor, purple that was for the imperial family, white that was the tone of mourning or black that was considered a color that owe mistrust.
In addition to the aforementioned Chinese New Year or the fun Lantern Festival, there are other important festivals in China to watch out for. The Qinming Festival or All Souls Day it is another important date for them. It is celebrated in early April to honor ancestors by bringing offerings and incense to cemeteries and temples. The Moon Festival or Mid-Autumn Festival is also celebrated on the date of the eighth full moon, when it is at its brightest. They are celebrated in the cities and the theme is centered on the moon, with lanterns, lights, decorations and parades. It is also a holiday in which Moon Cakes are eaten, filled pastries that are specially prepared for this occasion.