Cool China Facts

cool china facts

China is an amazing land to explore with its vast landscape, long history, and vibrant traditions – there’s so much to take in that it may be hard to keep up! But China provides plenty of wonders for anyone willing to venture forth! With so much on the horizon it can be hard to keep up!

As a way of helping, we’ve put together 10 interesting China facts, from its zodiac to how its people invented table tennis (commonly referred to as ping pong) and football (known as soccer). Please read on!

1. Fortune Cookies Didn’t Originate in China

One of the best parts about visiting an American Chinese restaurant is cracking open that golden, crunchy cookie at the end of your meal and reading its fortune inside. Not only can it teach you Mandarin, find some lucky numbers, and offer insight into your future – but most people don’t realize that these delectable desserts didn’t actually originate in China!

Fortune cookies were first developed in Japan. Folklore and history graduate student Yasuko Nakamachi spent six years researching this fact by consulting thousands of documents and drawings from long ago, consulting her grandfather Gary Ono who still owns antique hand skillets used by his father to form the initial fortune cookies.

Fortune cookies first became associated with Chinese restaurants in America during World War II when Japanese bakeries closed and sent their workers into internment camps, leading Chinese-American businesses to step in and produce fortune cookies as treats served with Chinese dishes.

Fortune cookies quickly gained widespread acceptance following World War II, quickly spreading across America in short order. By the 1980s, an automated fortune cookie machine enabled mass production at lower costs; making fortune cookies an accessible courtesy treat at dinner tables everywhere.

Jennifer Lee, a food historian from the University of California at Davis, notes the continued association of fortune cookies and all things Chinese today. According to Lee, cultural stereotypes can influence attitudes negatively; when seen as Chinese for example they may be assumed to have features such as squinty eyes or heavy accents which is why fortune cookies have become such an easy shorthand to represent all things Chinese and this can become problematic.

Today, most fortune cookies are not even produced in China anymore – instead they’re produced across multiple states like California and New Jersey, highlighting how cultures collide and interact through interaction with one another.

2. The Chinese Calendar isn’t Just About Counting Days

Though most Chinese use the Gregorian calendar (like most people worldwide), many still rely on traditional Chinese calendars to mark significant events, like weddings and funerals, or choose auspicious days when moving into new homes or starting businesses.

The Chinese calendar is a lunisolar system based on lunar and solar movements. This calendar features both Year and Month cycles with individual months given specific names and lengths of lunar months; additionally it also incorporates leap years, although these don’t always take place simultaneously like they would with the Gregorian calendar.

Chinese calendar is an ancient solar system which does not correspond with Western astronomy in terms of days, rather it follows a 19-year cycle, which corresponds with apparent sun movement between northern and southern tropics. Although less precise than modern calendars like Gregorian, its accuracy still makes the Chinese calendar useful in timekeeping purposes.

Even though it’s an ancient and complex system, Chinese astrological calendar is fairly straightforward to comprehend. It demonstrates how Chinese culture marries technical (mathematics and astronomy) with philosophical considerations and astrological lore to create something quite fascinating and aesthetically pleasing.

Sun Yat-sen attempted to create an alternative republican regime before the 1911 revolution by basing his calendar year 2000 off of the first historical record of an emperor’s rule, meaning 2000 actually represented year 4698.

Chinese culture also holds that people are born with one of four elements based on their date of birth: fire, wood, water or earth – and this information can help determine their career choices, potential pitfalls and whether or not there are compatible partners available to them.

Chinese culture has long had a lasting effect on other parts of the world; no wonder its calendar has such an influence. Take some time to delve deeper into this fascinating aspect of China’s rich history!

3. Pandas Aren’t Just a Symbol of China’s Rich Wildlife

One of the more notable China facts is its outstanding record in saving endangered animal populations, but that’s only part of it. Pandas, for instance, don’t just act as adorable companions – they also play an integral part in maintaining environmental balance in mountainous and valley environments throughout China.

pandas provide food sources to other animals such as wild boars and leopards, while helping aerate soil – essential for plant growth – to the National Zoo enclosures where they reside. In fact, studies by researchers at this institution indicate that living pandas help regenerate forest areas around them.

As such, China has endeavored to increase their panda population and support conservation efforts. Recently, they announced they will establish a giant panda park in Sichuan province that will cover over 8,000 square miles – offering protection not only to pandas but also other endangered wildlife like snub-nosed monkeys and takins.

The move is expected to cost about $3 billion and include reforestation, habitat protection and improvement, infrastructure enhancement and tourist attraction development. But critics of the plan exist; according to an article by Wall Street Journal environmentalists fear a park of this scale might pose risks such as habitat fragmentation and human development concerns that threaten its sustainability.

China has used pandas as diplomatic gifts since the 1950s, most famously when President Richard Nixon visited “Red” China and gave Hsing Hsing and Ling Ling to the National Zoo as part of his 1972 trip. More recently, however, Panda Nation author Elena Songster notes how this practice has taken more of a scientific approach: panda diplomacy has proven its worth in places like D.C. where pandas have become integral parts of local identity (Metro cards used to feature panda designs for years) while at times politicizing these adorable bears has also subverted their true purpose in favor of political gain or power play.

4. The Number 8 is Lucky

Chinese culture places great significance and significance on numbers, especially the number 8. Chinese people revere it because its sound resembles “fa,” which in Mandarin stands for wealth and prosperity, and because its symbolism of infinity provides positive energy flowing endlessly forwards and backwards.

Chinese people frequently choose the number 8 when selecting house numbers, phone numbers, license plates and wedding dates – even restaurants and businesses with names featuring it! Tourists visiting China should understand this phenomenon of lucky and unlucky numbers to avoid cultural miscommunication as well as respect local customs and traditions.

Alongside 8, other popular numbers among Chinese are 2, 6, and 9. These numbers are believed to hold special meaning because their sounds resemble words with lucky connotations; for instance, 2 may be seen as auspicious because its sounds resemble words for prosperity or wealth; 6 similarly rhymes with these terms while 9 often symbolizes longevity and good luck.

One reason that 8 is considered lucky is its correlation to the eight trigrams of I Ching, an ancient Chinese divination text. Additionally, 8 symbolizes stability and new beginnings – it’s often used during decorations for Chinese New Year. Also according to traditional beliefs in China, girls generally get their first milk teeth at age eight before losing them by 18 and reaching puberty by their eighth birthdays.

No wonder Chinese culture places such an immense value on the number 8. Not surprisingly, property prices often skyrocket when including an address with “8” as its address – one man even paid an unprecedented AUD 25 Million!

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