Chinese Family Concept

The traditional Chinese way of life, in theory, advocates the harmony and order among the individual, the family and society. The best way to accomplish this ideal is to cultivate ones mind, manage a family well and efficiently govern a country?

In traditional Chinese culture, the family is the basic unit of society, while individuals are only one part of the family. The blood relationship between the father and son is the most important element of society. The extended families of old had "four generations living under one roof". The so-called "four generations under one roof" meant the cohabitation of the father and mother, son and daughter-in-law (or daughter and son-in-law), grandson and granddaughter-in-law, the great-grandson and the great-granddaughter. While modern families increasingly include only two generations living together, the tradition and the ideal of four generations living together still remains.

The idea of tracing back ancestry is still the most powerful centripetal force of the Chinese nation. A distinguished ancestor will bring pride to his descendants for thousands of years. The many descendants of eminent leaders will not sully the name of their ancestors no matter what the consequences. Thus the harmony and stability of families and clans are the assurance of peace and the advancement of society.

Lifestyle and Culture

The culture of the Chinese people, as shown in the conduct of their daily lives, closely adheres to the precepts of Taoism. Taoism is inclined to simplicity in all things. People thoughts and feelings conform to each season as they become one with nature, acting in harmony with everything on earth, and valuing human relationships. Since one's life must respect and conform to the seasons, the jieqi (seasonal division points in the calendar) must be acknowledged. Festivals and jieqi are particularly important to the Chinese.

Not only in festivals and other special occasions, examples of Chinese culture may be seen in everyday activities of the Chinese. In playing the lute or chess, reading or painting, the important thing is not technique, but rather one's frame of mind when conducting these activities. The tea ceremony originated in China. It focuses the attention of participants on clarity of thinking and refinement. Zen Buddhism has had an extensive following in Chinese history; its practice influenced the daily habits of a great number of people. Zen Buddhism may be the best way to exemplify the mysterious quality of oriental culture.

This is a way of life that pursues harmony with nature and with others, simplicity, and a feeling of warmth and oneness with all.

Twenty-Four Seasonal Division Points

Season

Division points

Solar calendar

Lunar calendar

Ecliptic (degree)

Significance

Spring Beginning of Spring 4-5 Feb. Early first lunar month 315 Spring begins
Rain Water
19-20 Feb. Middle firest lunar month 330 The amount of rain increases
Waking of Insects 5-6 Mar. Early second lunar month 345 The hibernated animals are awoken by the spring thunder
Vernal Equinox 20-21 Mar. Middle second lunar month 0 The sun shines above the Equator and the day and night go halves
Pure Brightness 5-6 Apr. Early third lunar month 15 Pure and bright; trees and grass thriving
Grain Rain 20-21 Apr. Middle thrid lunar month 30 The rainfall begins to increase and grains grow well
Summer Beginning of Summer 5-6 May. Early fourth lunar month 45 Summer begins
Grain Budding 21-22 May. Middle fourth lunar month 60 Grains begin to be in the milk
Grain in Ear 6-7 Jun. Early fifth lunar month 75 Awny crops like wheat begin to ripe
Summer Solstice 21-22 Jun. Middle fifth lunar month 90 The sun shines above the Tropic of Cancer and the day reaches its longest time
Slight Heat 7-8 Jul. Early sixth lunar month 105 Hot
Great Heat 23-24 Jul. Middle sixth lunar month 120 The hottest time
Autumn Beginning of Autumn 7-8 Aug. Early seventh lunar month 135 Autumn begins
Linit of Heat 23-24 Aug. Middle seventh lunar month 150 The summer-heat begin to die down
White Dew 7-8 Sep. Early eighth lunar month 165 Getting cold and dews beginto show up in the moring
Autumnal Equinox 23-24 Sep. Middle eighth lunar month 180 The sun shines above the Equator and the day and night go halves
Cold Dew 8-9 Oct. Early ninth lunar month 195 Getting colder and the moring dew is very cool
Frosts Descent 23-24 Oct. Middle ninth lunar month 210 Getting colder and frost begin to show up
Beginning of Winter 7-8 Nov. Early tenth lunar month 225 Winter begins
Winter
Slight Snow 22-23 Nov. Middle tenth lunar month 240 Slight snowfalls
Great Snow 7-8 Dec. Early eleveth lunar month 255 Great snowfalls
Winter Solstice

22-23 Dec. Middle eleveth lunar month 270 Sun shines above the Tropic of Capricorn and the day reaches its shortest time
Slight Cold 5-6 Jan. Early twelfth lunar month 285 Cold
Great Cold 20-21 Jan. Middle twelfth lunar month 300 Extremely cold

Chinese Festivals

Traditional Festivals

Statutory Festivals

Festivals of the Minorities

Laba Festival

The eighth day of the twelfth lunar month

Preliminary Year (Xiao Nian)

The 23rd day of the last lunar month

Spring Festival(Chun Jie in Chinese pronunciation)

The first day of the first lunar month

Yuanxiao Festival(Lantern Festival)

The 15th day of the first lunar month

Spring Dragon Festival

The second day of the second lunar month

Pure Brightness Festival(Tomb-Sweeping Day)

The seasonal division point Pure Brightness (Apr. 5th or 6th ) sweep the tombs/go for a walk in the countryside/plant willows

Dragon Boat Festival

The fifth day of the fifth lunar month

Double Seventh Festival(the Praying-for-Cleverness Ceremony)

The seventh day of the seventh lunar month

Ullam-bana Festival(Ghosts?Festival or Zhongyuan Festival)

The 15th day of the seventh lunar month

Mid-Autumn Festival

The 15th day of the eighth lunar month

Double Ninth Festival

The ninth day of the ninth lunar month

New Years Day(Yuan Dan in Chinese pronunciation)

January 1st

March 8th Womens Day

March 8th

Tree-Planting Day

March 12th

Pure Brightness Festival(Tomb-Sweeping Day)

The seasonal division point Pure BrightnessApr. 5th or 6th?

May 1st International Labor Day

May 1st

May 4th Youth Day

May 4th

June 1st International Childrens Day

June 1st

Dragon Boat Festival

The fifth day of the fifth lunar month

August 1st Armys Day

August 1st

Teachers?Day

September 10th

Mid-Autumn Festival

The 15th day of the eighth lunar month

National Day

October 1st

Nadam Fair(Nadam Fair of the Mongol)

Between July and August Wrestling/Archery/Horse racing

Tibetan New Year

The first day of the Tibetan calendar auspicious dinner

Fast-Breaking Festival

The first day of Shawwal, the tenth month of the Islamic calendar take baths/going to the mosque for preyers

Pan Wang Festival (King Pan Festival for the Yao people)

The 16th of the tenth lunar month sing love songs

Flowery Mountains Festival (Miao people)

Between the second and seventh day of the first lunar month paly lusheng/climbing of the flowery pole

Water-Splashing Festival (Dai people)

Between the sixth day of the sixth Dai month and the seventh day of the seventh Dai month (around mid-April) ascending high?dragon boat races/water splashing

Double Third Singing Carnival (Zhuang people)

The third day of the third lunar month sing songs at the Singing Carnival/singing competition

Knife-Pole Festival (Lisu people)

The eighth day of the second lunar month Climbing Knife Pole?Diving into Fire Sea?br />

 

Food and Health Care

As thousands of years of development, Chinese cuisine has reached a state of perfection. People regard food as their prime want.

For Chinese people, dining is one of the most pleasurable activities, best exemplifying harmony and order. The convention followed at the Chinese table is the use of round table. The round table permits seating by hierarchy. When being seated for a dinner, elders, and senior and important guests are the first to be seated. After them are the children, who enjoy special attention, and sit shoulder-to-shoulder with the elderly. Established rules of etiquette include the matching of various dishes and utensils, and the sequence of serving the dishes. Also, there are less formal activities - playing a drinkers' wager game, guessing riddles, the "finger guessing" game and singing songs. All of these have connections with Chinese culture and art.

A very important part of the Chinese way of life is preserving one's health. So, many health-giving "medicines" are on the daily menu. They include not only woodland flowers, grasses and edible wild herbs, but also the flesh of animals, including fat, bones, blood and internal organs.

There are also the Chinese martial arts - Kung Fu. The aim of Chinese martial arts is to strengthen both the body and mind and to extend friendship. Martial arts are not intended to do harm to others, nor does the practitioner use his skills to boast, or to betray his friends or his country. These are the paramount principles that every person who practices martial arts should uphold.