Discovering the customs and traditions in China is an experience not to be missed. It is one of the largest countries in the world and, as such, it has a huge cultural diversity. Each region of China has its own customs and traditions.
During your trip to China, you will discover many things and be introduced to many different customs and traditions. In this article, we will introduce you to the main customs and traditions of China to help you adapt to Chinese society.
Customs and traditions of the Chinese people
Food and nutrition
One of the important characteristics of the Chinese people and their culture is food. It is considered a cultural heritage that is passed on from generation to generation. The Chinese, when they eat, pass dishes around a table to be shared among the participants.
Chinese people are known to eat with chopsticks. Many foreigners find it difficult to use chopsticks to eat. But Chinese people prefer to use chopsticks, because they allow eating slowly, and therefore more healthily.
It is normal for Chinese people to make sounds when chewing and eating and it does not cause any discomfort. Chinese food varies from region to region and each has its own characteristics. Rice is one of the most famous ingredients in Chinese cuisine, and in fact, a major element that has to be present on every Chinese table.
The Chinese consume a lot of green tea. It is known as the most popular drink in all seasons.
In addition, a common question asked in Chinese restaurants is: “Hot water? “which may seem unusual to non-Chinese people. In fact, drinking hot water is part of the customs and traditions in China. Many people even prefer to have hot, scalding water, as they believe that hot water is effective in curing ailments and preventing diseases.
The style of dress in China is different according to social classes and times. Each region has its own way of dressing.
The Chinese tunic is now one of the most popular traditional clothes in the world and is worn by people all over the world.
Chinese Family Festivals and Traditions
Chinese people celebrate many occasions and have their rituals during each holiday, including:
- New Year’s Day, as is the case in most countries in the world.
- The Lunar New Year (Spring Festival) and its rites are accompanied by a three-day vacation in China.
- The Chinese Youth Festival is held on May 4 every year.
- The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Day is held at the beginning of is held in early August every year.
- The Cheng Feng Festival is also called “the festival of serenity and purity”.
There are many different holidays celebrated at certain times and they have their own rituals and traditions.
Culture and values in China
There are seven official dialects in China. However, the majority of the Chinese population speaks Mandarin, followed by other dialects.
There are five official religions in China: Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, and Taoism.
Other religions remain illegal. Although China is a country that claims freedom of speech and life, the issue of religion remains a problem.
China is a unified multinational country, composed of 56 ethnic groups. The proportion of Chinese Indians makes up the largest portion of the total Chinese population, and the other fifty-five groups make up the rest.
While these various ethnic groups share a vast territory in China, many live in their own individual societies. Relations between the different ethnic groups have developed over the years.
Etiquettes and other unique customs and traditions in China
A handshake or head bow is a common way to greet others in China. Despite the vastness of the population, there are many different people in China who share common characteristics.
In general, Chinese society is known for its values of respect and appreciation of others. Time is precious and always used for important matters.
Use both hands to provide and receive business cards
When giving gifts
Here is another common tradition in China: giving gifts. When visiting a Chinese friend, you have to be careful not to give an odd number of gifts, as it is considered bad luck. Also, you should avoid giving gifts with the number 4, black and white gifts. They are considered symbols of death in China. The same goes for clocks, which also represent death and funerals.