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Chinese Culture (Advanced Level)

At eChineseLearning we know that the Chinese learning experience requires not only a focus on the Chinese language, but also on Chinese culture and history. Our resources will introduce you to key points of Chinese culture, important historical events, fun festivals, taboos, and more! Best of all, these materials are FREE for you to explore! They are also a great companion to our Chinese Immersion Program, for those planning to study, work or live in China. If you are interested in learning more about Chinese culture, you're in the right place!

Many may wonder that, while Cantonese and the Teochew dialect are extensively spoken by the overseas Chinese community, why is Mandarin the official language of China?

What is the history of Mandarin?
The predecessor of Mandarin (普通话 Pǔ tōng huà) is the Beijing dialect (北京話 Běi jīng huà), which dates back to the Ming Dynasty in China and ...

Hi dear friends, long time no see! Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner! Have you prepared roast turkeys yet? Thanksgiving is a traditional festival in the Western world, but do you know there are also some festivals about expressing gratitude in China?

Gǎn ēn jié
Thanksgiving Day

Gǎn ēn jié kuài lè!
Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Gǎn ...

Food is the magic weapon of life, as it allows us stay away from famine. Food is the hope of life, because it keeps us be away from hunger. It’s fundamental to the people’s livelihood and ensures us to have enough to eat. On the eve of the World Food Day, which falls on each ...

Chinese tea culture refers to both making tea and drinking the tea in China. It is thought that Chinese people discovered tea in the Shennong era (~2400 B.C.), meaning that they’ve been drinking it for nearly 4500 years! This has allowed for many different traditions, expectations, and ideas about tea to evolve over time.
Since tea ...

Recently we went over the significance of “本命年 (Ben Ming Nian)” the 12 year curse in Chinese culture and what it means for the zodiac of the particular reigning year. Well let’s dive a little deeper to understand how time was divided by the ancient Chinese and how zodiac relations are formed.
From the unearthed inscriptions ...

“Poverty Limits My Imagination”
Whenever people see others flaunting their wealth on social media, or interact briefly with the rich and famous, a common refrain is often heard: “贫穷限制了我的想象! (pín qióng xiàn zhì le wǒ de xiǎng xiàng) Poverty limits my imagination!”

This self-effacing sentence is saying that those with money can live lifestyles that ...

“本命年 (Ben Ming Nian) The Twelve-Year Curse”
2021, Is it going to be your best year ever?
Well, if you were born under the ox sign, that may not be the case. You might have initially thought that the Year of the Ox is the best time to achieve your dreams and goals but, sadly, it’s actually ...

Xia Yuan Festival is a traditional festival on October 15th in the lunar calendar and November 29th in the solar calendar this year. Its origin is derived from Taoism and this is the birthday of the celestial emperor also known as the Official/God of Water.
As one of the oldest gods in Taoism, the Water God ...

Great Snow, also know as Major Snow 大雪 (dàxuě), is the 21st solar term of the 24 solar terms and 3rd term of the winter season. It begins on December 7th, 2020, and ends on December 20th which is when the Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 255° and ends when it reaches ...

Halloween is almost here, and you know what that means — it’s prank time! Whether you’re the one jumping out with a, “Boo!” or jumping back with an, “Aah!” things are gonna get scary. Good news is, after you read this article today, Chinese won’t be nearly as scary as you might think it is!
Words ...

The date of “重阳节 (chóng yáng jié)” is September 9th of the Lunar Calendar, and in English which it is called the Double Ninth Festival. As shown in previous articles, Tomb-sweeping day, New Year’s Eve, Zhongyuan Festival (July 15th in Lunar), and Double Ninth Festival are all traditional festivals for worshiping ancestors.
In The Book of ...

As in English, in Chinese there are different ways to talk about understanding something. In English you might say, “I get it,” or, “Can you comprehend this?” or, “She understands that,” etc.
In Chinese, “理解(lǐjiě)” and “了解(liǎojiě)” are two verbs, both of which mean, “to know and understand”. However, there’s a difference: “了解” has a broader ...

The establishment of “教师节(jiào shī jié) Teacher’s Day”, aims to recognize the effort made by teachers in the field of education and falls on September 10th every year.
At the beginning of the new school year (usually September 1st), students would start preparing the activities to show their teacher’s respect.

教师 (jiào shī): n teacher.

wǒ ...

The Ghost Festival “鬼节 (guǐ jié)”, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival, Mid Year Festival “中元节 (zhōng yuán jié)”, or Yulan Festival is a traditional Buddhist and Taoist festival held in certain East Asian countries.
This festival is known as a traditional Chinese festival that occurs on “July and a half”. The emergence of “July ...

The “夏至 (xiàzhì) summer solstice”  is one of the 24 solar terms, which is held on June 24 of the gregorian calendar this year. Solar terms are a Chinese conception of the seasons and are relevant to astronomy.
During the summer solstice, the sun is directed at the tropic of cancer when daylight is the longest ...

In ancient China, people called the first day of the calendar "元旦 (Yuándàn)." "元 (Yuán)" means "beginning" or "start" and "旦 (dàn)" means "day." The character "旦 (Dàn)" is composed of "日 (rì)" and "一 (yī)". "日 (Rì)" is the Chinese character for the sun and "一 (yī)" represents the horizon. It means the sun ...

The wellness movement is alive and thriving as people across the world are beginning to focus more on health more than ever before. One aspect of well-being is traditional Chinese medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine (or TCM for short) has developed over thousands of years. It uses mind and body treatments, such as acupuncture and Tai ...

There are words that we use in Chinese mostly on dramas or TV shows because their meaning is pretty negative for daily life. This Chinese idiom phrase is one of those that I have never actually used when talking to a person, but I hear it on TV all the time. The phrase is: “狼心狗肺(lángxīngǒufèi) ...

Chinese idioms are important culturally and persevere through time because of their prevalence in everyday life. Recently, you may have read about Chinese idioms such as “一溜烟 (yí liù yān) quick as lightning” or “掩耳盗铃 (Yăn’ĕr dàolíng) to cover one’s ears when he steals.” Well, “三寸不烂之舌 (Sān cùn bú làn zhī shé) three inch tongue”, ...

The movie 变脸(biànliǎn) Face Off was directed by Chinese director 吴宇森(Wúyŭsēn) John Woo, and was released in 1997. While the movie was a hit, in fact, 变脸(biànliǎn) is a form of art in Sichuan Province, China.
变脸(biànliǎn) face-off and 川剧(chuānjù) Sichuan Opera

川剧(chuānjù) Sichuan Opera is a form of folk art just like Peking Opera ...

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