9 Facts to Help You Understand Chinese Culture

Chinese culture is truly remarkable. It’s different from anything you may have seen in Europe or the US. It’s one of the world’s oldest and most interesting cultures. This is because China is one of the oldest ancient civilizations, and their history is rich. That’s why we strongly suggest you explore the interesting facts about China that will help you understand their culture.

Whether you’re trying to learn Chinese or you plan on visiting the country, knowing the facts we’ve listed below will come in handy when it comes to getting informed and understanding their culture. Here’s our list of the 9 most important facts that everyone needs to learn about Chinese culture.

  1. China is officially atheistic.

When it comes to religion, China is officially an atheistic country. That means that the government declared state atheism.

But, in reality, most people practice some form of religion or Chinese folk belief system. Most commonly, they practice:

  • Confucianism
  • Taoism
  • Buddhism

So, the official religious status is different from reality.

  1. Chinese calligraphy is the writing of Chinese characters as an art form.

Chinese calligraphy is a form of art. It combines an artistic representation with the literary meaning of the sign.

There are different types and styles in Chinese calligraphy, and it’s widely regarded as the supreme form of art, alongside poetry, painting, and sculpting.

  1. The Chinese zodiac is a huge part of their culture.

There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, each representing a year in the 12-years cycle, based on the orbital period of Jupiter. For example, the year 2021 is the Year of the Ox. It’s the second out of twelve signs: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

  1. Chinese New Year is celebrated in February.

Unlike the rest of the world, the Chinese celebrate New Year in February. It is based on the lunar calendar. That means that it typically begins with the new moon that occurs between the end of January and the end of February. It begins on a different date each year. The celebration lasts for about 15 days.

  1. Mandarin is the most natively spoken language in the world.

Mandarin is the world’s number one native language when measured in the number of native speakers. It’s estimated that there are around 873 million people who speak Mandarin as their first language. There are another 178 million people who speak it as a second language. 

Together, it accounts for more than 1 billion speakers worldwide.

But, learning to speak Mandarin can be quite tricky if you’re not taking the task seriously. To improve your studying, you could use https://subjecto.com/ to create flashcards and use them to study better.

  1. Red is an important color for Chinese culture.

The color red means a great deal to the Chinese. It’s dominant in all their biggest celebrations, including New Year.  It symbolizes luck, joy, and happiness. It’s believed that it can protect you from evil and is the traditional color worn by Chinese brides. 

  1. Tea culture in China is important and unique.

The tea culture in China is different from the one in Europe or even other Asian countries like Japan or Korea. Here’s what makes it special:

  • they prepare it differently based on the occasion, formality, and type of tea
  • offering a cup of tea is a sign of respect
  • tea may be offered as a sign of apology
  • they use finger tapping to thank the person that made and served the tea

So, drinking tea is one of the forms of socialization in China that is still a part of their modern culture.

  1. Chinese food culture is unparalleled to anything else.

Chinese food culture is important to understand. There are some basic rules we could single out:

  • They eat with chopsticks, which were developed 5.000 years ago.
  • Their meals normally always contain rice, noodles, or steamed buns.
  • On the other side of the dish, there’s meat or vegetables.
  • They use ceramic spoons for soups.
  • Desserts are not served after the main course. They are considered a snack, served between two meals.
  1. The Great Wall of China is one of the 7 wonders of the world.

The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications that were built throughout history, starting from the 7th century  BC. When translated from Chinese, the literal meaning of its Chinese name would be ‘The Long Wall of 10,000 Miles’.

The total length of the wall is 13,170.70 miles (21,196.18 km), which is half the length of the Equator. The average height of the walls is 20 to 23 feet (6 to 7 meters). It spans across 15 regions in North China.

Considering these amazing facts, it’s no wonder that the Great Wall of China is one of the Seven New Wonders of the World, along with the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Colosseum, and the Taj Mahal.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, Chinese culture is truly remarkable and unique. The facts shared above will hopefully help you understand their basic customs, habits, and cultural identity points.

Still, to truly experience the Chinese culture, try visiting the country when you get the chance. Only then will you be able to see for yourself what we’ve covered in the 9 Chinese culture facts above. 

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