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Despite the large number of international tourists who visit China every year for leisure or to combine business with a chance to move around the country see some of its major attractions, there is a lot we still do not know or understand about China’s ancient culture, its deeply traditional society and customs.
We did a bit of scouting around to come up with our own top 5 cool facts and trivia about Chinese culture so that you are better prepared on what to expect when you visit the Land of the Dragon. Knowing these facts is not only fun and fascinating, they can help you to understand China’s culture better and conduct yourself in a socially acceptable manner when you are there.
Dumplings, the most famous Chinese food export to the world along with noodles and fried rice is actually a traditional food that is most widely eaten in the northern parts of China. Culturally eating dumplings is a must on Chinese New Year’s Eve.
In fact in China dumplings are eaten pretty much any time of the day – for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And these delicious little stuffed dough parcels are quite versatile both in preparation and filling. You will find baked, boiled, fried, simmered and steamed versions. And they can be both savoury and sweet depending on the filling.
We know that tea is the national drink of China and tea drinking ceremony in Chinese society is an elaborate ritual. But did you know that tea can actually indicate what one’s status in society is? Yes that is right. The variety of tea you drink, the way in which you drink it, can indicate a person’s social standing in China.
Chinese New Year that falls sometime around end of January or early February is the biggest annual festival and holiday in China. But unlike the western concept of New Year being a single day’s celebration, Chinese New Year celebrations are spread out over more than two weeks. This is because it only ends on the day of the first full moon which falls 15 days later. Also because the Chinese follow a lunar calendar the actual date of Chinese New Year changes every year.
When you visit China you will discover that Chinese culture assigns special significance to certain numbers. They believe that a number can be responsible for bringing you good or bad luck. The number eight for example is considered lucky in Chinese culture. And the number four is considered unlucky. This cultural belief is so strong in China that many elevators in China do not have a level 4 marking at all!
The dragon is a powerful symbol of China. As ferocious and fiery as it appears, with many western world stories of dangerous fire-breathing dragons, in Chinese culture the dragon is seen as an auspicious and benevolent creature. It has for long been a symbol of imperial power and represents wealth, power, wisdom and success in Chinese culture.
Spring is a good season to visit China when nature is at its best with a variety of spring blossoms in full bloom all around. The weather during April and May tends to be mild and cool with temperatures ranging between 10 to 23 degrees centigrade. The Northern provinces of China experience dry weather in spring.
Being well informed about your destination is the best preparation that you can do as a first time visitor. Check out our China travel guide to find out more about the country, its major festivals, best things to see and do and more such travel tips so that you can plan your trip accordingly.
To be fully relaxed and enjoy experiencing Chinese culture, make sure you get travel insurance for China. Travel insurance is an important safeguard to cover you financially just in case you find yourself in an emergency situation, such as an accident, you fall ill or if your luggage or passport gets lost or misplaced. Buying travel insurance is absolutely essential to secure your international trip so make sure you don’t leave home without it.
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