Living In China

China Facts You Didn’t Know You Needed to Know!

Before you embark on your new TEFL career in China, it’s a good idea to learn a little bit about the country you will now call home. We have already given you some of the most important information you are going to need – the Chinese festivals – so now we are going to give you some China facts that you didn’t know you need! From food to trees, the color red to the Chinese zodiac, with out list of China facts you are covered!

What Is The National Dish of China?

Peking Duck, the national dish of China

The national dish of China is none other than the mouthwatering Peking Duck. This iconic delicacy has a history dating back over 600 years and is known for its crispy skin and tender meat. Traditionally, Peking Duck is carved tableside and served with thin pancakes, hoisin sauce, and sliced scallions, making it a delectable culinary experience.

What is China’s National Flower?

China's national flower, the peony

The national flower of China is the Peony. Known as the “King of Flowers,” the peony symbolizes prosperity, honor, and wealth in Chinese culture. It has been cherished for over a thousand years and is often used in traditional Chinese art, poetry, and even herbal medicine.

What Are The Most Popular Sports In China?

Table tennis, possibly the most popular sport in China

China has a diverse sporting culture, but a few sports truly stand out. Table tennis, or ping pong, is one of the most beloved sports in the country, with a rich history of success in international competitions. Badminton is another widely played sport in China, with the country consistently dominating the global scene.

In recent years, basketball has gained immense popularity, partly thanks to the influence of NBA superstar Yao Ming. Additionally, traditional Chinese martial arts, such as Tai Chi and Kung Fu, continue to be practiced and celebrated across the nation.

Why Is China Called China?

A man fishing in the traditional Chinese way. Perhaps he knows why china is called china?

The name “China” has a fascinating origin. It is believed to come from the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), which was the first dynasty to unify China under a single ruler, Emperor Qin Shi Huang. The word “China” is derived from the anglicized version of “Qin,” and it has been used to refer to the country ever since.

What is the National Tree of China?

The trunk and bright yellow leaves of the Ginkgo tree. The ginkgo is not the national tree of China, but remains very popular across the country

China’s national tree is the Gingko Biloba, often simply referred to as the Ginkgo tree. Known for its distinctive fan-shaped leaves, the Ginkgo tree is one of the oldest tree species on Earth, with a history spanning over 270 million years. It symbolizes endurance, hope, and peace in Chinese culture.

What is the National Bird of China?

Four red crowned cranes in the Snow. These are the national bird of China

The national bird of China is none other than the majestic and colorful red-crowned crane. This bird, which is also known as the Manchurian crane, is considered a symbol of longevity, prosperity, and good fortune in Chinese culture. Let’s take a closer look at this fascinating bird and learn more about its significance in China.

What is the Chinese Zodiac?

Dragon Zodiac

China uses the Chinese Zodiac, a 12-year cycle, to assign an animal sign to each year. The animals are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Each animal sign is associated with specific personality traits and characteristics, and the year of one’s birth sign is believed to influence their life.

What is the Terracotta Army?

Terracotta Army in China

The Terracotta Army is an extraordinary archaeological find located near Xi’an, China. Discovered in 1974, this vast army of life-sized clay statues comprising over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots, and 670 horses. Qin Shi Huang, who ruled from 221 BC to 210 BC, united China and initiated the construction of the Great Wall. The Terracotta Army was built to protect him in the spirit world.

What Are Some Famous Landmarks in China Besides the Great Wall?

OK, so this isn’t one of our China facts, but it is a question that a lot of teachers ask – especially around holiday time! China is much, much more than The Great Wall. In fact, I would argue that most of these landmarks are just as worthy of a trip (and they may not be as crowded either!).

  • The Terracotta Army: As mentioned earlier, the Terracotta Army in Xi’an is a must-visit. Thousands of life-sized clay soldiers, horses, and chariots were created to protect the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang.
  • The Forbidden City: Located in Beijing, the Forbidden City is a massive imperial palace complex that served as the Chinese imperial palace for almost 500 years. Its stunning architecture and historical significance make it a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • The Potala Palace: Situated in Lhasa, Tibet, the Potala Palace is a remarkable symbol of Tibetan Buddhism and culture. It was once the winter residence of the Dalai Lama and stands atop a hill, offering panoramic views of the city.
  • The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park: Known as the inspiration for the floating mountains in the movie “Avatar,” this national park in Hunan province features towering sandstone pillars, lush forests, and picturesque ravines.
  • The Yellow Mountains (Huangshan): These mountains in Anhui province are renowned for their dramatic granite peaks, hot springs, ancient pine trees, and ethereal mist. They have inspired countless Chinese paintings and poems.
  • The Li River: Flowing through Guilin and Yangshuo, the Li River is famous for its stunning karst landscape. Taking a river cruise here offers unforgettable views of limestone peaks, bamboo groves, and rural villages.
  • The Three Gorges Dam: This engineering marvel on the Yangtze River is one of the world’s largest hydroelectric power stations. It’s a testament to China’s modern infrastructure capabilities.

These landmarks provide a glimpse into China’s rich history, culture, and natural beauty, making them essential stops for travelers and history enthusiasts alike.

What Is the Significance of the Color Red in Chinese Culture?

One of our China facts is that the color red is on great cultural importance

We complete our list of China facts with the color red. Red holds immense significance in Chinese culture and is associated with various positive meanings:

  • Good Luck: Red is considered the color of good luck and happiness in Chinese traditions. It is often used in celebrations, especially during the Chinese New Year, weddings, and other joyous occasions.
  • Prosperity: Red symbolizes wealth and prosperity. Red envelopes (hongbao) containing money are given as gifts during special occasions to bring good fortune.
  • Warding Off Evil: Red is believed to ward off evil spirits and bad luck. It is commonly used in door decorations, clothing, and other items to protect against negative influences.
  • Celebration: Red is the color of celebration and festivity. It is prominently featured in traditional Chinese decorations, such as lanterns and banners.
  • Honoring Ancestors: Red is used in ceremonies and offerings to honor ancestors and seek their blessings.

The cultural significance of red in China is deeply ingrained and is a vibrant expression of the country’s traditions and beliefs.


Tom Bogues

Tom is the Director of ESL Job Center. He has been working in the TEFL industry in one form or another since 2016 and is now using that experience to match quality teachers with quality schools across China.

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