China is one of the world’s most intriguing nations, boasting a rich history and fast-developing economy. Here are some interesting facts about China that may surprise you:
Ancient China was divided between various dynasties until its first emperor united them in 221 BC. Since the number four is considered unlucky in Chinese culture, many buildings and apartments do not contain a fourth floor.
The Great Wall
The Great Wall of China is one of its most iconic landmarks and must-see sites, spanning thousands of miles over deserts, grasslands and mountains. As well as being an icon for Chinese strength and nationalism, its design also symbolizes national identity.
It was built to protect Chinese populations from raids by nomads from the north known as Xiongnu and were enemies of Qin Shi Huang’s newly united China. Over 32 years, approximately 500,000 people worked to construct this first Great Wall out of stone and wood and covered with sticky rice that helped withstand earthquakes.
Following the Qin Dynasty, many different emperors continued to build and improve the Great Wall; however, its construction could not stop all attacks from the Xiongnu tribes. When Ming Dynasty succeeded Qin Dynasty, its first Emperor Hongwu established manning on the Great Wall as well as building fortresses along its length to ensure China would never again fall prey to outside forces.
The Great Wall is legendary and full of stunning stories passed down through generations. One such legend involves Meng Jiangnu whose husband Fan Qiliang had been sent to build it; she found out his body in one of its sections after not hearing from him for some time, weeping bitterly while weeping and howling so loudly that her tears caused part of it to collapse.
The Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a global sporting event featuring athletes from around the globe competing for medals at an international sporting event held every four years, organized by the International Olympic Committee. Every four years a different country hosts these Games; hosting cities decide what sports will be featured and provide facilities for them as well as hosting both opening and closing ceremonies!
The modern Olympics began in 1896 after they were revived by Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin. Since then, these popular and widely attended Games have attracted over 200 countries, featuring athletes training hard for events that compete for gold, silver or bronze medals; but more importantly they celebrate cultural diversity!
Ancient Olympic Games were part of a religious festival dedicated to Zeus. Held every four years between August and September and known as Olympiads, the Games featured 192 events called stades that included foot races, jumps, throws and wrestling matches – plus pentathlon, boxing and chariot racing! In 648 B.C, pankration fighting was added for no-holds-barred competition between athletes at Mount Olympus sanctuary.
The XXXI Olympiad marked a first for Olympic history by featuring both summer and winter events simultaneously, and marked the inaugural participation of women competitors in these Games. North Korea and Indonesia boycotted them, however the games continued as scheduled.
The Giant Panda is one of the world’s most beloved creatures, famed for its black-and-white fur and cuddly appearance. But its endangered status and human interference threaten its future existence.
Though giant pandas are carnivorous animals, they primarily consume bamboo as their daily diet. Consuming 28 pounds per day to satisfy its nutritional requirements and feasting eagerly by pulling stalks off with their long wrist bones which act like thumbs is what sustains their diet – though occasionally rodents or birds will also make an appearance!
Pandas have long been revered as symbols of China’s strength and friendship, their black-and-white coloring representing the balance between yin and yang in Chinese philosophy. Some say these creatures resemble tigers but without their fierceness – peaceful creatures who do not attack others.
Panda diplomacy has long been employed as a means to soften China’s authoritarian image and divert attention away from its human rights record. For instance, during Nixon-Zhou era the Beijing Zoo gifted America its first two pandas Ling-Ling and Hsing Hsing from their exhibit at Beijing Zoo; these pandas were given to Smithsonian National Zoo after President Nixon visited in 1972 as a high-profile reconciliation gesture but soon backfired when international critics condemned this as violation of 1975 Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species convention on International Trade of Endangered Species convention; instead in 1980s China switched over to loan programs instead of gifting pandas abroad
Be sure to visit China when traveling and witness its various types of kites – these flying devices have long been part of Chinese culture and history, delivering messages as well as being fun toys! Kites can be found all across China for entertainment or for spreading messages.
Kites were first manufactured in the shape of birds. Over time, however, their shape began to diversify into fish, dragons, and written characters. Kites have also been utilized by military forces for measuring wind direction or sending messages directly onto battlefields; for instance, Han Xin, a general from Han Dynasty ordered his troops to fly kites during Chu-Han War in order to communicate and keep morale high among his soldiers.
Kites have also long been used to predict the weather. If a straight kite flew overhead, this was considered to be a positive sign and meant that conditions would soon improve; on the contrary, any sideways flying kite was seen as bad news and indicated bad weather ahead.
Modern Chinese people still rely heavily on kites as entertainment and communication devices, and as part of their culture and identity. Kites have even become symbolic of national events like Qingming Festival when people pay respects to their ancestors by cleaning up tombs.
Skyscrapers are towering buildings that rise high above their surrounding land. Most modern skyscrapers are composed of concrete and steel construction with floor-to-floor windows for optimal lighting conditions. Many contemporary skyscrapers feature organic shapes designed to look more organic than their boxy predecessors; many feature soaring facades adorned with sculptural features to further add visual interest.
China leads the world in skyscraper construction. Home to two of the 10 tallest skyscrapers – including Shanghai Tower and Shenzhen Ping An Finance Center – China also currently boasts six of these skyscrapers under construction, such as Tianjin’s Goldin Finance 117 tower and Wuhan Greenland Centre.
Skyscrapers have revolutionized our way of living and working. Their tall height has transformed cities’ urban landscape, while altering how people interact. People’s appearance changes depending on where they stand within or near a skyscraper; when seen from above they appear like tiny dots, while from below it becomes difficult to identify them as individuals.
China has achieved remarkable success in building skyscrapers due to three main factors. First, land availability is limited, prompting developers to build upwards. Second, population is growing quickly so more homes must be constructed; and finally China boasts some of the world’s finest engineers who make anything possible.
Fanjingshan Mountain, situated on China’s Wuling Mountain Range and rich in Buddhist history, was recently added to Unesco’s World Heritage Site list as its latest natural marvel. Also dubbed as “Gene Database of China,” Fanjingshan boasts over 2000 species of plants – 19 endangered ones and Guizhou Snub-Nosed Monkeys have made Fanjingshan their home!
Fanjingshan Mountain lies at an elevation of more than 8,200 feet in Tongren City in Guizhou Province and boasts breathtaking panoramic views from its peak, Red Cloud Golden Summit. Additionally, Fanjingshan is home to two temples on top resembling Buddha and Maitreya bodhimanda connected by bridge. Buddhists believe it to be sacred site where spiritual enlightenment may be achieved.
Fanjingshan stands out among China’s many stunning mountains as one of the most picturesque and popular tourist spots. If you plan on visiting, visit during spring or summer when azalea flowers bloom and the weather is ideal for hiking. Alternatively, for those wanting a less strenuous experience cable cars provide access to this mountain allowing easy viewing without taking on its daunting 8,000 step trail hike – or alternatively take advantage of a helicopter ride for aerial views!