China is famous for its deep ancient history, cultural festivals, economic influence, and diverse yet delicious cuisine across provinces
China is the most populated country in the world, as well as the largest in East Asia. As a result, it is land bordered by 11 countries, as well as several more maritime borders. In addition, it is located in the Yellow, East China, and South China Seas.
What Is China Famous For?
China is famous for its ancient architecture, for example, the illustrious Great Wall of China which was constructed in the 7th century BC. Similarly, China has ancient traditions such as martial arts which originated during the Xia dynasty. Furthermore, China is known for its diversity of wildlife, which they have managed to preserve in abundance.
History, Culture, And Traditions China Is Known For
Chinese New Year
China is famous for its cultural festivals, in particular the Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year is a joyous and rather exaggerated celebration that occurs on a new moon, lasting 15 days until the full moon. It occurs between the months of January and February on the Gregorian calendar.
Each year has a different zodiac sign consisting of an animal, of which there are 12 in total. This sign represents the theme for the following year. For example, the Dragon signifies good luck, confidence, and health.
During this festival, plenty of foods representing prosperity and luk like dumplings, noodles, and fish are traditionally eaten.
The Winter Solstice is a popular festival that many countries in Asia celebrate. In China, it is also known as the Dongzhi Festival.
The aim of the holiday is to celebrate the beginning of a long winter and wish prosperity upon it. Families and friends gather to cook a delicious feast, clean the house for a fresh new season, and decorate. Additionally, it is a time for worshipping ancestors.
Popular foods for the Winter Solstice include dumplings and sticky rice. These are served warmly and ideal for the longest night of the year!
Ancient Chinese medicine is believed to date back to the Shang Dynasty, making it at least 3,000 years old. It is an alternative to traditional western medicine, as it holds a varying concept.
Generally, it aims to heal the body by balancing its vital energy, known as Qi. This can be done through a series of treatments. A popular treatment that China is famous for is acupuncture. Thin needles are used to stick into the skin, relieving pressure as well as stimulating the nervous system.
Similarly, herbal products that are commonly derived from plants are prescribed. A prevalent herb is ginseng, which is believed to remedy diabetes and insomnia.
Taoism is a religion that is predominantly practiced in China. It originates from 5th century China.
The holy book of the religion is called the Tao Te Ching and is written by a philosopher called Laozi. It is concerned with nature and our connection to the universe, especially what happens after death.
One of the main teachings is patience and learning to live in harmony with other beings. Similarly, a chief belief is the idea of immortality.
Taoism is one of the five official religions, which include catholic and protestant Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism.
Dragon Boat Festival
Another popular festival that China is known for is the Dragon Boat Festival. This occurs every year on the fifth month of the year, on the fifth day. As we mentioned earlier, the dragon zodiac is an inherent symbol of health. As a result, this event is believed to gain protection from evil, and promote well-being.
Lengthy wooden boats decorated with dragons and other mythological creatures or figures that they believe will help them win. They are then raced down the lower Yangtze River in a passionate competition, yet cultural celebration.
China is famous for its ping pong, which has been the national sport since 1949. The Chinese leader Mao Zedong is responsible for this because he believed it encouraged his country to establish international connections. Likewise, it teaches discipline.
Chinese athletes have continuously dominated this sport for decades, cumulatively earning over 30 gold medals in the Olympics. Ironically, many other countries import talents from China to be in their table tennis national team because they have bred so many talents in the sport. So don’t be surprised to see China-born athletes representing other countries.
The most famous people from China involved in table tennis currently include Ma Long. Deceased legends and athletes of sport such as Zhuang Zedong reflects the longevity of the sport and how it is a deep part of the culture.
Cities And Travel Destinations China Is Known For
Shanghai is a contemporary city known for its modern art deco style and unique architecture. The business hub is home to many famous things in China.
One of the most distinct landmarks in Shanghai is the Lujiazui skyline. It consists of the Jinmao Tower, a multi-purpose structure planned by the same architect who designed the Burj Khalifa!
Additionally, the skyline has the Shanghai World Financial Center and Shanghai Tower, the latter of which is 3rd tallest building in the world standing at 632 meters!
Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China that is known for its banking and economic infrastructure. Beyond that, it also has an energetic retail scene. Hong Kong is the perfect city to shop and eat the day away.
One of the main bustling districts here is Causeway Bay, a dynamic commercial area filled with innovative malls, trendy boutiques, and vast food options. The city is especially fun to explore with friends, as there is a buzzing nightlife such as nightclubs and restaurants open until late.
Also in Causeway Bay is the illustrious Victoria Park, a perfect escape from the chaos of the shopping streets. It is a peaceful green which is the largest in the city. The park is famous for its bronze statue of Queen Victoria, the esteemed royal it was named after.
While Shanghai may be the modern commercial hub, Beijing is the culture-rich capital that China is famous for. Despite having modern amenities and a contemporary mindset, it is best known for housing several ancient landmarks of China.
The most significant attraction to visit from Beijing is the Great Wall of China, an expansive fortification built during the Ming Dynasty. It crosses over ten provinces, and can therefore be visited in many spots.
Similarly, the Forbidden City is another ancient structure built during the Ming Dynasty. It is a series of opulent palaces, which altogether have 9,999 rooms. This is explained by the fact designers believed only God can have 10,000 rooms!
Hangzhou is a prosperous city that China is known for, due to its successful trading capabilities. As a result, it is colloquially known as the ‘House of Silk’, after the luxurious fabric it produces so vastly.
Other Chinese things that are sold globally include Longjing tea, a healthy and high-quality green tea produced in Hangzhou.
The city boasts several natural landmarks, as it is located on the South-East coast proximal to the Pacific Ocean. For example, the Grand Canal is the longest artificial river in the world.
Just like Beijing, Xi’an is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals that China is famous for. It is the oldest city in the country, established in 202 BC.
The most significant attraction in Xi’an is the Terracotta Army. This is the clay army ordered by the first emperor of China, which is said to protect him in the afterlife.
Another important landmark in Xi’an is the City Wall. Despite its age, it is one of the most well-preserved walls China is known for. It encloses the city, originally built to protect it against invaders.
If you are searching for scenic landscapes and stunning natural attractions, Guilin has you covered. It is best known for its abundance in osmanthus, a fragrant yellow flower that grows in the fall.
One of the best places to visit is the Sun and Moon Pagodas. The towering bronze structures overlook Shan Lake, a remnant of the moat which once protected the city.
Another charming geographic landmark is Elephant Trunk Hill, found at the junction of the Taohua and Li Rivers. The rock famously bears a resemblance to an elephant drinking up the river water, hence its name.
Landmarks And Architecture China Is Known For
Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum (Terracotta Army)
The Terracotta Army, as its name suggests, is a collection of terracotta sculptures located in Xi’an.
The sculptures were first constructed in 248 BC, making them one of the oldest landmarks that China is famous for. Shortly after Qin Shi Huang passed away, the first emperor of China, the army figures were made. They consisted of soldiers, strongmen, musicians, and more!
This was done solely to protect the respected leader in the afterlife, by guarding the site. His aim to live forever was therefore fulfilled.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is an expansive area of greenery in the Hunan province of China. It is by far the most interesting forest that China is famous for, as well as being the first in the country.
Within the park, you can find several entrancing geographical features. This includes the Yellow Dragon Cave and Suoxiyu Nature Reserve. In the caves, you can find the elusive Chinese Giant Salamander, which is in danger of extinction. Similarly, there are many rare species such as the macaque monkey and the five-step snake.
A fun fact about China is that this is where the award-winning movie Avatar was filmed!
Great Wall of China
Undoubtedly the most well-known landmark that China is famous for is The Great Wall, a colossal 13,170-mile fortification made of earth and stone. It is an official part of the Seven Wonders of the World.
The spectacular wall was built over a period of 2,500 years and eventually finished construction in 220 BC. It was made along the northern border of ancient Chinese states, to protect the city as ordered by Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Unfortunately, almost 400,000 laborers died in the process due to dangerous working conditions.
Whilst it may be impossible to walk the entire wall, there are several interesting attractions located along it. This includes hiking routes, annual marathons, late-night walks, and picnic spots.
Grand Buddha of Leshan
The Giant Buddha is a monumental 71-meter statue found on a cliff in Leshan, facing the river.
It is one of the best religious landmarks that China is famous for and is recognized globally because it is the largest Buddha statue in the world! Additionally, it was built during the Tang Dynasty, yet the red sandstone sculpture is remarkably well-preserved.
Although everyone can visit the statue, it is of great significance to practicing Buddhists. This is because the statue represents Maitreya, which is believed to be the Buddha of the future.
Dujiangyan Panda Valley
If you are an animal lover, you will know that China is home to the highest panda population worldwide. They live within nature reserves, helping to improve their vulnerable status and keep numbers up,
The Dujiangyan Panda Valley is a relatively new reserve built in 2010, simulating a natural habitat. Inside, there are many Giant Pandas, as well as the rarer Red Pandas. Visitors can observe the pandas in a safe environment, as well as partake in volunteer work.
This is especially ideal for children especially adore these facilities, as they can get up close to the fascinating animals as well as learn about their history.
The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City is a majestic 14th-century complex of imperial palaces located in Beijing. Originally, the structures were constructed as the regal residence for the emperor at the time, Emperor Yongle.
This impressive complex demonstrated his power, hence why it was considered ‘forbidden’. Over 24 emperors have resided in the palaces since then.
One of the main reasons that China is famous for The Forbidden City is its ancient Chinese architecture. Each palace had similar symmetrical features, drastically larger width than length, and floating rooves. Additionally, red and yellow hues dominate, signifying opulence and the colors of the emperor.
Food China Is Known For
Peking duck is regarded to be the national dish that China is famous for. It originated in the 13th century and since then has been a staple in households, restaurants, and markets.
A whole Pekin duck is taken and massaged with a distinct red sauce. This is called Peking sauce, otherwise known as hoisin sauce, and consists of soy sauce, garlic, chili, and ginger. Lathering this on the meat makes the skin crackly and thin, characteristic of the dish.
Finally, it is oven cooked to crispy perfection. The skin is the best part. Traditionally, Peking duck is garnished with spring onions and served with thin pancakes. You apply a hinge of sauce to the pancake, then wrap the duck skin, and sides like spring onions and carrot strips for a mouthful of delicious goodness.
Chow mein is a popular dish that is recognized worldwide. It is hearty, affordable, and delicious, making it a prevalent takeaway option.
Traditional chow mein is made up of diced chicken, mixed vegetables, and noodles. Vegetable choices are usually broccoli, cabbage, carrots, and bean sprout, which can be used to replace meat in vegetarian alternatives.
All of the ingredients are fried together in a wok with sesame oil and served piping hot. Unlike lo mein, a similar dish coated with sauce, chow mein is usually eaten dry. Overall, Chow Mein is a term used to refer to fried noodles of some sort as well.
Hot pot is one of the most interesting dishes that China is famous for. Not only it is delicious, but it is a social meal that is usually enjoyed with friends and family.
Essentially, a hot pot is a customized meal. The main portion of the dish is a hot broth, which is a concentrated soup base. Popular choices include a spicy broth, mild chicken base, or medicinal soup.
After deciding on a base, you can pick your ingredients. The advantage of hot pot is each individual can pick their toppings, instead of sharing a huge dish they may not prefer. Raw sliced beef, lamb, and pork are then cooked in the steaming broth, along with vegetables like boy choy, mushrooms, napa cabbage, and more.
It’s a fun get-together meal that is meant to be enjoyed while socializing and catching up with friends and family.
Wonton soup is a warming dinner that originates from northern China. It is the perfect winter meal because it is quick to make and served hot.
The main part of this dish is a wonton, a savory dumpling stuffed with pork, beef, or shrimp. Alternatively, vegetarians can opt for mushrooms or chestnuts. This wonton is then cooked with chicken broth and topped with vegetables of choice.
Additionally, you can add wonton noodles, which are made of the same dough but rolled in a thin noodle form.
A famous and cultural sweet snack that China is known for is mooncakes.
Mooncakes are a sweet baked delicacy made predominantly from flour, mixed with golden syrup and lye water for a sugary taste. Salted egg yolk is then wrapped with lotus paste, and covered with the flour mixture ready to bake.
The best part of a mooncake is the decoration. Before baking, the dough is rolled into a circular shape and carved with distinct, creative patterns. On the other hand, the mixture can be inserted into a pre-carved mold.
Mooncakes are traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival (also known as the mooncake festival). During this time, you can purchase all kinds of mooncakes from traditional to innovative flavors. They are also sent as gifts to friends and even business partners during the festive period.
Famous People From China
Jackie Chan is undoubtedly the most famous person from China, known for his remarkable acting and action sequences. The thing which set Chan apart from other actors in his demographic is his ability to perform his stunts, due to the extensive martial arts maneuvers he was capable of mastering.
Although Chan’s filmography starts in the 1960s, his most famous films were created decades later. A Hollywood favorite he is known for is ‘Karate Kid’, where he famously acted with his younger co-star Jaden Smith.
Chan is also known for his philanthropy. His two most successful foundations are the Jackie Chan Charitable Foundation, and Dragon’s Heart Foundation. They were established to help the vulnerable.
China is famous for having many successful athletes on the sports field. The main category where they usually dominate is ping pong, as demonstrated by Ma Long. He is widely regarded as the best player in the world, due to his consistent Number 1 rankings.
Long has famously won the Olympic Games, Asian Games, and World Championships in single tournaments. He is just as capable in doubles and teams.
Gu Ailing is a relatively new athlete representing China who was already broke multiple records. The most impressive of these is becoming the youngest person to win gold in the Olympics for freestyle skiing. She claimed this remarkable title in the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Ailing has represented China since 2019 in halfpipe, big air, and slopestyle events. Initially, she represented the United States at the beginning of her career, as she is a citizen of both.
China is the largest manufacturer in the world, evidenced by its booming industrial sector that contributes to almost half of its GDP.
Jack Ma is one of the most influential and famous people in China, who co-founded Alibaba in 1999. This is an e-commerce company and marketplace, owning almost 60% of the online commerce shares in the country.
Ma has had a huge impact on aspiring businesses because of his humble beginnings. Once an English teacher struggling in an economic crisis, Ma inspired fellow colleagues and students to create a company with him. Now, Alibaba is a successful business that makes a huge influence to the Chinese economy.
Discovering More Things China Is Known For
China is a country with so much to offer. From delicious food and deep cultural heritage to ancient historical sites, the above has only scratched the surface of what China is known for!
Despite being a modern commercial center successful in trade and having remarkable nightlife, it is a culture-rich country with many significant landmarks. This includes age-old attractions such as The Great Wall and The Terracotta Army.
That said, there are many Chinese things that center around festivals and traditional beliefs. It is a crossroad of the historic past and modern advancement.