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In both China and Western Europe, the novel gradually became more autobiographical and serious in exploration of social, moral, and philosophical problems. Chinese fiction of the late Ming dynasty and early Qing dynasty was varied, self-conscious, and experimental. In China, however, there was no counterpart to the 19th-century European explosion of novels. The novels of the Ming and early Qing dynasties represented a pinnacle of classic Chinese fiction.

Plaks argues that Romance of the Three Kingdoms , Water Margin , Journey to the West , and The Golden Lotus collectively constituted a technical breakthrough reflecting new cultural values and intellectual concerns. Their educated editors, authors, and commentators used the narrative conventions developed from earlier story-tellers , such as the episodic structure, interspersed songs and folk sayings, or speaking directly to the reader, but they fashioned self-consciously ironic narratives whose seeming familiarity camouflaged a Neo-Confucian moral critique of late Ming decadence.

Plaks explores the textual history of the novels all published after their author's deaths, usually anonymously and how the ironic and satiric devices of these novels paved the way for the great novels of the 18th century. China's fashion history covers hundreds of years with some of the most colorful and diverse arrangements. Different social classes in different eras boast different fashion trends, the color yellow was usually reserved for the emperor during China's Imperial era.

From the beginning of its history, Han clothing especially in elite circles was inseparable from silk , supposedly discovered by the Yellow Emperor's consort, Leizu. The dynasty to follow the Shang, the Western Zhou Dynasty , established a strict hierarchical society that used clothing as a status meridian, and inevitably, the height of one's rank influenced the ornateness of a costume. Such markers included the length of a skirt, the wideness of a sleeve and the degree of ornamentation.

In addition to these class-oriented developments, Han Chinese clothing became looser, with the introduction of wide sleeves and jade decorations hung from the sash which served to keep the yi closed. The yi was essentially wrapped over, in a style known as jiaoling youren , or wrapping the right side over before the left, because of the initially greater challenge to the right-handed wearer people of Zhongyuan discouraged left-handedness like many other historical cultures, considering it unnatural, barbarian, uncivilized, and unfortunate.

The Shang Dynasty c. Vivid primary colors and green were used, due to the degree of technology at the time. Some research claim that historical records in Tang , Song and Ming dynasties also used this term "Hanfu" to refer the traditional dress of Han people, [54] [55] [56] [57] yet scholarly research indicates that the modern definition of "Hanfu" was created on Baidu Baike and other Chinese websites by internet users, and the various styles of clothing during the Tang, Song, and Ming dynasties were referred to by their own names during their respective time periods.

These advocates are mostly students, who created a non-academic, non-official standard of Hanfu that refers to the historical dress of the Han Chinese before the Qing dynasty and published it on Baidu Baike. During the Qing Dynasty , China's last imperial dynasty, a dramatic shift of clothing occurred, examples of which include the cheongsam or qipao in Mandarin. The clothing of the era before the Qing Dynasty is referred to as Hanfu or traditional Han Chinese clothing.

Many symbols such as phoenix have been used for decorative as well as economic purposes. The qipao fitted loosely and hung straight down the body, or flared slightly in an A-line. Under the dynastic laws after , all Han Chinese in the banner system were forced to adopt the Manchu male hairstyle of wearing a queue as did all Manchu men and dress in Manchu qipao. However, the order for ordinary non-Banner Han civilians to wear Manchu clothing was lifted and only Han who served as officials were required to wear Manchu clothing, with the rest of the civilian Han population dressing however they wanted.

Qipao covered most of the woman's body, revealing only the head, hands, and the tips of the toes. The baggy nature of the clothing also served to conceal the figure of the wearer regardless of age.

With time, though, the qipao were tailored to become more form fitting and revealing. The modern version, which is now recognized popularly in China as the "standard" qipao , was first developed in Shanghai in the s, partly under the influence of Beijing styles. People eagerly sought a more modernized style of dress and transformed the old qipao to suit their tastes.

Slender and form fitting with a high cut, it had great differences from the traditional qipao. It was high-class courtesans and celebrities in the city that would make these redesigned tight fitting qipao popular at that time. Most Han civilian men eventually voluntarily adopted Manchu clothing while Han women continued wearing Han clothing.

Until , the changpao was required clothing for Chinese men of a certain class, but Han Chinese women continued to wear loose jacket and trousers, with an overskirt for formal occasions.

The qipao was a new fashion item for Han Chinese women when they started wearing it around The original qipao was wide and loose. As hosiery in turn declined in later decades, cheongsams nowadays have come to be most commonly worn with bare legs. Chinese art is visual art that, whether ancient or modern, originated in or is practiced in China or by Chinese artists.

The Chinese art in the Republic of China Taiwan and that of overseas Chinese can also be considered part of Chinese art where it is based in or draws on Chinese heritage and Chinese culture. Early " stone age art" dates back to 10, BC, mostly consisting of simple pottery and sculptures. After this early period Chinese art, like Chinese history, is typically classified by the succession of ruling dynasties of Chinese emperors , most of which lasted several hundred years.

Chinese art has arguably the oldest continuous tradition in the world, and is marked by an unusual degree of continuity within, and consciousness of, that tradition, lacking an equivalent to the Western collapse and gradual recovery of classical styles. The media that have usually been classified in the West since the Renaissance as the decorative arts are extremely important in Chinese art, and much of the finest work was produced in large workshops or factories by essentially unknown artists, especially in Chinese ceramics.

Different forms of art have swayed under the influence of great philosophers, teachers, religious figures and even political figures. Chinese art encompasses all facets of fine art , folk art and performance art.

Porcelain pottery was one of the first forms of art in the Palaeolithic period. Chinese painting became a highly appreciated art in court circles encompassing a wide variety of Shan shui with specialized styles such as Ming Dynasty painting. Early Chinese music was based on percussion instruments, which later gave away to stringed and reed instruments.

By the Han dynasty papercutting became a new art form after the invention of paper. Chinese opera would also be introduced and branched regionally in addition to other performance formats such as variety arts.

In their simplest form, they are simply a paper bag with a candle placed inside, although more complicated lanterns consist of a collapsible bamboo or metal frame of hoops covered with tough paper. Sometimes, other lanterns can be made out of colored silk usually red or vinyl. The vinyl lanterns are more durable; they can resist rain, sunlight, and wind. Paper lanterns do not last very long, they soon break, and silk lanterns last longer. The gold paper on them will soon fade away to a pale white, and the red silk will become a mix between pink and red.

Often associated with festivals , paper lanterns are common in China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam , Thailand , Myanmar , Sri Lanka , Cambodia , Singapore and Malaysia and, similarly, in Chinatowns , where they are often hung outside of businesses to attract attention. Airborne paper lanterns are called sky lanterns , and are often released into the night sky for aesthetic effect at lantern festivals.

In Asia and elsewhere around the world, sky lanterns have been traditionally made for centuries, to be launched for play or as part of long-established festivities. The name "sky lantern" is a translation of the Chinese name but they have also been referred to as sky candles or fire balloons. The general design is a thin paper shell, which may be from about 30 cm to a couple of metres across, with an opening at the bottom. When lit, the flame heats the air inside the lantern, thus lowering its density and causing the lantern to rise into the air.

The sky lantern is only airborne for as long as the flame stays alight, after which the lantern sinks back to the ground. While lacquer has been used in China for at least 3, years, [63] the technique of carving into very thick coatings of it appears to have been developed in the 12th century CE. It is extremely time-consuming to produce, and has always been a luxury product, essentially restricted to China, [64] though imitated in Japanese lacquer in somewhat different styles.

Though most surviving examples are from the Ming and Qing dynasties, the main types of subject matter for the carvings were all begun under the Song dynasty , and the development of both these and the technique of carving were essentially over by the early Ming. These types were the abstract guri or Sword-Pommel pattern, figures in a landscape, and birds and plants. To these some designs with religious symbols, animals, auspicious characters right and imperial dragons can be added.

Some screens and pieces of Chinese furniture were made. Carved lacquer is only rarely combined with painting in lacquer and other lacquer techniques. These are red and black lacquer on camel hide, but the lacquer is very thin, "less than one millimeter in thickness", and the effect very different, with simple abstract shapes on a plain field and almost no impression of relief. This style continued to be used up to the Ming dynasty , especially on small boxes and jars with covers, though after the Song only red was often used, and the motifs were often carved with wider flat spaces at the bottom level to be exposed.

It consists of several frames or panels, which are often connected by hinges or by other means. It can be made in a variety of designs and with different kinds of materials. Folding screens have many practical and decorative uses. It originated from ancient China , eventually spreading to the rest of East Asia, Europe, and other regions of the world.

One of it was known as the huaping simplified Chinese: It is the primary hardstone of Chinese sculpture. Although deep and bright green jadeite is better known in Europe, for most of China's history, jade has come in a variety of colors and white "mutton-fat" nephrite was the most highly praised and prized. Native sources in Henan and along the Yangtze were exploited since prehistoric times and have largely been exhausted; most Chinese jade today is extracted from the northwestern province of Xinjiang.

Jade was prized for its hardness , durability , musical qualities , and beauty. By the Han dynasty , the royal family and prominent lords were buried entirely ensheathed in jade burial suits sewn in gold thread, on the idea that it would preserve the body and the souls attached to it.

Jade was also thought to combat fatigue in the living. Nonetheless, jade remained part of traditional Chinese medicine and an important artistic medium. Although its use never became widespread in Japan , jade became important to the art of Korea and Southeast Asia. Music and dance were closely associated in the very early periods of China. The music of China dates back to the dawn of Chinese civilization with documents and artifacts providing evidence of a well-developed musical culture as early as the Zhou Dynasty BCE — BCE.

The earliest music of the Zhou Dynasty recorded in ancient Chinese texts includes the ritual music called yayue and each piece may be associated with a dance. Some of the oldest written music dates back to Confucius 's time. The first major well-documented flowering of Chinese music was exemplified through the popularization of the qin plucked instrument with seven strings during the Tang Dynasty , although the instrument is known to have played a major role before the Han Dynasty.

There are many musical instruments that are integral to Chinese culture, such as the Xun Ocarina -type instrument that is also integral in Native American cultures , Guzheng zither with movable bridges , guqin bridgeless zither , sheng and xiao vertical flute , the erhu alto fiddle or bowed lute , pipa pear-shaped plucked lute , and many others. Dance in China is a highly varied art form, consisting of many modern and traditional dance genres.

The dances cover a wide range, from folk dances to performances in opera and ballet, and may be used in public celebrations, rituals and ceremonies. There are also 56 officially recognized ethnic groups in China , and each ethnic minority group in China also has its own folk dances. The best known Chinese dances today are the Dragon dance and the Lion Dance. Chinese architecture is a style of architecture that has taken shape in East Asia over many centuries.

The structural principles of Chinese architecture have remained largely unchanged, the main changes being only the decorative details. Since the Tang dynasty, Chinese architecture has had a major influence on the architectural styles of Korea , Vietnam , and Japan. Chinese architecture, examples for which can be found from more than 2, years ago, is almost as old as Chinese civilization and has long been an important hallmark of Chinese culture. There are certain features common to Chinese architecture, regardless of specific regions, different provinces or use.

The most important is its emphasis on width, such as the wide halls of the Forbidden City serve as an example. In contrast, Western architecture tends to emphasize height though exceptions such as pagodas in Eastern architecture also focus on height. Another important feature is symmetry , which connotes a sense of grandeur as it applies to everything from palaces to farmhouses. One notable exception is in the design of gardens, which tends to be as asymmetrical as possible. Like Chinese scroll paintings, the principle underlying the garden's composition is to create enduring flow, to let the patron wander and enjoy the garden without prescription, as in nature herself.

Feng shui has played a very important part in structural development. Chinese architecture also have a huge influence on the architecture of East Asia, and to a lesser extent, Southeast Asia as well. The Chinese garden is a landscape garden style which has evolved over three thousand years. It includes both the vast gardens of the Chinese emperors and members of the imperial family, built for pleasure and to impress, and the more intimate gardens created by scholars, poets, former government officials, soldiers and merchants, made for reflection and escape from the outside world.

They create an idealized miniature landscape, which is meant to express the harmony that should exist between man and nature. By moving from structure to structure, visitors can view a series of carefully composed scenes, unrolling like a scroll of landscape paintings.

The Chinese palace is an imperial complex where the royal court and the civil government resided. Its structures are considerable and elaborate.

Originally the character applied to any residence or mansion, but it was used in reference to solely the imperial residence since the Qin Dynasty 3rd century BC. A Chinese palace is composed of many buildings. It has large areas surrounded by walls and moats. Apart from the main imperial palace, Chinese dynasties also had several other imperial palaces in the capital city where the empress, crown prince, or other members of the imperial family dwelled.

Paifang , also known as a Pailou , is a traditional style of Chinese architectural arch or gateway structure that is related to the Indian Torana from which it is derived. Each fang was enclosed by walls or fences, and the gates of these enclosures were shut and guarded every night. Each pai, in turn, contained an area including several hutongs alleyways. This system of urban administrative division and subdivision reached an elaborate level during the Tang dynasty , and continued in the following dynasties.

For example, during the Ming dynasty , Beijing was divided into a total of 36 fangs. Originally, the word paifang referred to the gate of a fang and the marker for an entrance of a building complex or a town; but by the Song dynasty , a paifang had evolved into a purely decorative monument. The Chinese garden is a landscape garden cantonese style which has evolved over the years. These gardens were large enclosed parks where the kings and nobles hunted game, or where fruit and vegetables were grown.

Early inscriptions from this period, carved on tortoise shells, have three Chinese characters for garden, you , pu and yuan. You was a royal garden where birds and animals were kept, while pu was a garden for plants. During the Qin Dynasty — BC , yuan became the character for all gardens. A large pool, big enough for several small boats, was constructed on the palace grounds, with inner linings of polished oval shaped stones from the sea shores. The pool was then filled with wine.

A small island was constructed in the middle of the pool, where trees were planted, which had skewers of roasted meat hanging from their branches. King Zhou and his friends and concubines drifted in their boats, drinking the wine with their hands and eating the roasted meat from the trees. Later Chinese philosophers and historians cited this garden as an example of decadence and bad taste.

In BC, an even more elaborate garden, the Terrace of Gusu , was begun. It was located on the side of a mountain, and included a series of terraces connected by galleries, along with a lake where boats in the form of blue dragons navigated. From the highest terrace, a view extended as far as Lake Tai , the Great Lake.

China is one of the main birth places of Eastern martial arts. Chinese martial arts, often named under the umbrella terms kung fu and wushu , are the several hundred fighting styles that have developed over the centuries in China. Chinese martial arts are collectively given the name Kung Fu gong "achievement" or "merit", and fu "man", thus "human achievement" or previously and in some modern contexts Wushu "martial arts" or "military arts".

China also includes the home to the well-respected Shaolin Monastery and Wudang Mountains. The first generation of art started more for the purpose of survival and warfare than art. Over time, some art forms have branched off, while others have retained a distinct Chinese flavor. Regardless, China has produced some of the most renowned martial artists including Wong Fei Hung and many others.

The arts have also co-existed with a variety of weapons including the more standard 18 arms. Legendary and controversial moves like Dim Mak are also praised and talked about within the culture.

Martial arts schools also teach the art of lion dance , which has evolved from a pugilistic display of Kung Fu to an entertaining dance performance. A number of games and pastimes are popular within Chinese culture. The most common game is Mah Jong. The same pieces are used for other styled games such as Shanghai Solitaire. Others include pai gow , pai gow poker and other bone domino games. Weiqi and xiangqi are also popular. Ethnic games like Chinese yo-yo are also part of the culture where it is performed during social events.

Qigong pronounced Chi Kung is the practice of spiritual, physical, and medical techniques. It is as a form of exercise and although it is commonly used among the elderly, any one of any age can practice it during their free time. With its combination of physical flexibility and movement, breathing technique, and constant state of focus and mediation, it has also been a way to cleanse and heal the body and helps get in touch with your inner-self.

Qigong has continuous rhythmic movements that help reduce stress and build stamina as well as to improve certain functions of the body such as cardiovascular and digestive. Chinese cuisine is a very important part of Chinese culture , which includes cuisine originating from the diverse regions of China, as well as from Chinese people in other parts of the world. Because of the Chinese diaspora and historical power of the country, Chinese cuisine has influenced many other cuisines in Asia , with modifications made to cater to local palates.

The preference for seasoning and cooking techniques of Chinese provinces depend on differences in historical background and ethnic groups. Geographic features including mountains, rivers, forests and deserts also have a strong effect on the local available ingredients, considering climate of China varies from tropical in the south to subarctic in the northeast.

Imperial, royal and noble preference also plays a role in the change of Chinese cuisines. Because of imperial expansion and trading, ingredients and cooking techniques from other cultures are integrated into Chinese cuisines over time. Cooking should be appraised from ingredients used, cuttings, cooking time and seasoning.

It is considered inappropriate to use knives on the dining table. Chopsticks are the main eating utensils for Chinese food, which can be used to cut and pick up food.

The practice of drinking tea has a long history in China, having originated there. The history of tea in China is long and complex, for the Chinese have enjoyed tea for millennia.

Scholars hailed the brew as a cure for a variety of ailments; the nobility considered the consumption of good tea as a mark of their status, and the common people simply enjoyed its flavour. In , the discovery of the earliest known physical evidence of tea from the mausoleum of Emperor Jing of Han in Xi'an was announced, indicating that tea from the genus Camellia was drunk by Han dynasty emperors as early as 2nd century BC.

Although tea originated in China, during the Tang dynasty, Chinese tea generally represents tea leaves which have been processed using methods inherited from ancient China. According to popular legend, tea was discovered by Chinese Emperor Shen Nong in BCE when a leaf from a nearby shrub fell into water the emperor was boiling.

The beverage is considered one of the seven necessities of Chinese life, along with firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce and vinegar. This period also known as the "Spring and Autumn Period", it is where Chinese people first enjoyed the juice extracted from the tea leaves that they chewed.

Tea culture in China differs from that in European countries like Britain and other Asian countries like Japan in preparation, taste, and occasion wherein it is consumed.

Even today, tea is consumed regularly, both at casual and formal occasions. In addition to being a popular beverage, tea is used in traditional Chinese medicine, as well as in Chinese cuisine. Green tea is one of the main worldwide teas originating in China.

The overwhelmingly large variety of Chinese cuisine comes mainly from the practice of dynastic period, when emperors would host banquets with over dishes per meal.

Over time, many dishes became part of the everyday-citizen culture. Some of the highest quality restaurants with recipes close to the dynastic periods include Fangshan restaurant in Beihai Park Beijing and the Oriole Pavilion. It consisted of at least unique dishes from the Manchu and Han Chinese culture during the Qing dynasty , and it is only reserved and intended for the Emperors.

The meal was held for three whole days, across six banquets. The culinary skills consisted of cooking methods from all over Imperial China. The Kangxi Emperor wanted to resolve the disputes so he held a banquet during his 66th birthday celebrations. The banquet consisted of Manchu and Han dishes, with officials from both ethnic groups attending the banquet together.

After the Wuchang Uprising , common people learned about the imperial banquet. The original meal was served in the Forbidden City in Beijing. Chinese culture consists of many subcultures. In China, the cultural difference between adjacent provinces and, in some cases, adjacent counties within the same province can often be as big as than that between adjacent European nations.

These subgroups are, as a general rule, classified based on linguistic differences. A traditional red Chinese door with Imperial guardian lion knocker.

Top left to right: Tang Sanzang and Sun Wukong , bottom left: Chinese stone-carved que pillar gates of Chongqing that once belonged to a temple dedicated to the Warring States era general Ba Manzi. A koi pond is a signature Chinese scenery depicted in countless works of art. The right to wear such dress was seen as a special honour that emperors bestowed on officials who had done great deeds for the empire.

Chinese meal in Suzhou with rice , shrimp , eggplant , fermented tofu , vegetable stir-fry , vegetarian duck with meat and bamboo. Oolong tea leaves steeping in a gaiwan. Stress incontinence Taking the next step. Rotator cuff injury Steps for shoulder pain. Restless legs syndrome Unwanted urge to move. COPD When it's hard to breathe.

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