Dragon totem worship in China has been around for the last 8,000 years. The ancients in China considered the dragon (or loong) a fetish that combines animals including the fish, snake, horse and ox with cloud, thunder, lightning and other natural celestial phenomena. The Chinese dragon was formed in accordance with the multicultural fusion process of the Chinese nation. To the Chinese, the dragon signifies innovation and cohesion.
对龙图腾他的崇拜在中国大约已绵延了八千多年。 中国龙是古人将鱼、蛇、马、牛等动物与云雾、雷电等自然天象集合而成的一种神物。 中国龙的形成与中华民族的多元融合过程同步。在中国人的心目中，龙具有振奋腾飞、开拓变化的寓意和团结凝聚的精神。
Paper cut is one of the most popular Chinese decorative folk arts.Traditional paper cut is also called “Window blossoms” because they were first put on windows for decoration.Window blossoms are put on windows in all parts of China during Spring Festival.This custom has a long history which not only brings festivity to the holiday, but is also a symbol for people to express their wishes for welcoming the new year, blessings, and fortunes.Generally speaking, farming women from North China pay special attention to concept, so the design flows with their thoughts.Paper cut in South China is well known for its exquisite, elegant, realistic style.Therefore, northern and southern paper cut can be distinguished as free and rugged, or elegant and exquisite, respectively.This reflects the difference in disposition and personality between the northern and southern parts of China.
The Chinese way of eating with chopsticks is unique in the world. The recorded history of chopsticks started more than three thousand years ago. Chopsticks were named zhu in ancient Chinese. They look deceptively simple to use, but possess multi-various functions, such as clamping, turning over, lifting up, raking, stirring, scooping, poking, tearing, and so on. Chopsticks were taken as an auspicious mascot by ordinary people in ancient China. For example, the partial tone of chopsticks is often used by people as a metaphor at weddings to indicate a blessing or benediction for the couple to have a baby soon. Unlike using a knife and fork or one’s own hands, a pair of chopsticks also implies the meaning of “Harmony is what matters”. Chopsticks are highly praised by Westerners as a hallmark of ancient oriental civilization.
Taoism first originated in China. The founder of Taoism is Laozi, a philosopher and thinker who lived in the late Spring and Autumn Period (770BC-476BC). Tao Te Ching whose authorship has been attributed to Laozi, is considered to be the main Taoist classic. Taoism advocates the value of a human being’s life, recommends the discarding of all desires and worries from one’s mind, and encourages the cultivation of moral character and the nourishment of human nature. The following is an example of Laozi’s golden saying:
The way that can be told of is not an unvarying way;The names that can be named are not unvarying names.It was from the nameless that Heaven and Earth sprang;The named is but the mother that rears the ten thousand creatures, each after its kind.Truly, only he that rids himself forever of desire can see the secret essences;He that has never rid himself of desire can see only the outcomes.
The Four Treasures of the Study
The writing brush, ink stick, ink stone, and paper were requisite treasures in the study of the scholars of ancient China, and they are often referred to as the “Four Treasures of the Study.” The writing brush and ink stick have been used by the Chinese to write and paint since 5,000 years ago. In the Qin Dynasty (221BC—206BC), people already used feathers of different hardness and bamboo trunks to make brushes. During the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD), man-made ink was used instead of natural ink. After paper was invented by the Chinese, bamboo slips, wooden tablets, brocade and silk, which originally functioned as writing surfaces, gradually faded out. The ink stone was first developed with the use of writing brushes and ink. After the Song Dynasty (960AD—1279AD), the “Four Treasure of the Study” particularly referred to hubi, the writing brush produced in Huzhou, Zhejiang province; huimo, the ink stick produced in Huizhou, Anhui province; xuan paper, a kind of paper produced in Xuanzhou, Anhui province; and duanyan, the ink stone made in Zhaoqing, Guangdong province (Zhaoqing was earlier called Duanzhou). Indeed, the Four Treasures of the Study” have writtin the whole Chinese civilization, as it is.
China is a country with a time-honored civilization and also a land of ceremony and decorum. Whenever guests visit, it is necessary to make and serve tea to them. Before serving tea, you may ask them for their preferences as to what kind of tea they fancy, and serve them the tea in the most appropriate teacups. In the course of serving tea, the host should take careful note of how much water remains in the guests’ cups. Usually, if the tea is made in a teacup, boiling water should be added into the cup when half of the tea in it has been consumed; and thus the cup is kept filled and the tea retains the same bouquet.
中国是一个文化历史悠久的(time-honored)国度，也是一个礼仪(ceremony and decorum)之邦。每当客人来访，都需要泡茶给客人喝。在给客人奉茶之前，你应该问问他们都喜欢喝什么类型的茶，并采用最合适的茶具奉上。奉茶期间，主人需要仔细留意客人的茶杯里的茶量。通常，若是用茶杯泡的茶，在茶喝完一半之后就应该加开水，这样，茶杯就一直都是满的，茶的芳香(bouquet)也得以保留。
The Tang Dynasty was the peak of Chinese classical poetry and many distinguished poets and poetry appeared during this period of less than 300 years. Up till now, over 50,000 poems and 2,000 poets of the Tang Dynasty have been well-known among people. The best-known poets during the Tang Dynasty are Li Bai and Du Fu. Being independent and full of talent, Li Bai created a great many poems to praise the wonderful mountains and brilliant rivers. Du Fu’s rough experiences when he was young made him know better about the darkness society and the people’s sufferings. The most popular Tang poems collection might be the 300 Tang Poems compiled by the scholar Sun Zhu of the Qing Dynasty. Tang poetry has had an ongoing influence on world literature and modern poetry.
唐代是中国古典诗歌的鼎盛时期，在不到300年的时间里，产生了许多著名的诗人和诗作。时至今日，有超过5万首唐诗和2000多位唐代诗人为人们所熟知。其中，唐代最著名的诗人是李白和杜甫。李白生性无拘无束，才华横溢，他创作了大量赞美祖国大好河山的诗篇。杜甫年轻时坎坷的生活经历，使他更好地了解了社会的黑暗和人民的困苦。最流行的唐诗作品集或许是由清朝的学者孙洙编著的《唐诗三百首》(300 Tang Poems)。唐诗一直在影响着世界文学和现代诗歌。