Han people enjoy the largest population among China’s 56 nationalities and this population size also ranks first in the world. At present, the number of Han people has reached about 1.2 billion. Originally known as “Cathay”, Han people used to live in the central part of China; later, it assimilated and integrated with other nationalities and eventually boasts a 5 thousand years’ history of civilization. Since the beginning of Han Dynasty, the name “Han” was adopted to call this nationality. Han nationality has its own spoken and written language, which belong to Chinese-Tibetan language family. Its language falls into 8 categories of dialect, namely, dialect of northern China, dialect of south of the lower reaches of Yangtze River, Hunan dialect, Jiangxi dialect, Hakka dialect, dialect of southern Fujian, dialect of northern Fujian and Cantonese and the common language of these 8 dialects is Mandarin. Chinese letter is one of the most ancient letters in the world; it evolved from inscriptions on bones or tortoise shells of the Shang Dynasty and Nuchen letters and eventually became present-day Chinese characters. There are altogether over 80 thousand Chinese characters, among which about 7000 are commonly used. At present, Chinese has become one of the international languages. The staple food of Han people is grain crop and meat and vegetables are the non-staple foodstuffs. Over the long period of development, Han people have developed the habit of having three meals for each day and rice and flour serve as two major components of their staple food. In addition, other coarse crops, such as corn, sorghum, cereal and potato, are also part of the staple food in different regions of China. Due to various factors, there are varied types of cuisine in the food culture of Han people and when it comes to the Han and other nationalities’ preference of taste of food, people living in different parts of China are often termed as follows: the southern citizens are lovers of sweet food, the northern of salty food, the eastern of hot food and the western of sour food. At present, there are 8 typical cuisines with unique flavors in different parts of China, including Hunan cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, cuisine of northeastern China and Cantonese food. Wine and tea are two major beverages for Han people. Being the place of origin of tea and one of the first developers of brewing technology, China boasts long history of wine and tea culture. Except for wine and tea, some products made of fruits also serve as beverages for people in varied regions and seasons. There are myriads of festivals for Han people and China’s Lunar New Year is the most traditional one. Besides, the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month of lunar calendar, the Tomb-sweeping day on Apr.5th, the Dragon Boat Festival on the 5th day of the fifth lunar month and the Middle Autumn Day on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month are also important festivals. Continue reading Nationalities Whose Population Is above 5 Million
The third dynasty Zhou, was established in 1027 BC and it was destroyed by Qin in 256 BC, lasting approximately 770 years. It can be divided into two periods by the move of the capital West Zhou and East Zhou. The latter of which consists in two stages —— Spring and Autumn, Warring States.
West Zhou lasted from 1027 BC to 771 BC. The first king, Wu, moved the capital to Gao and demolished Shang. After the enthronement of Cheng, Zhougong suppressed the riots and more importantly, he carried out many measures to strengthen the newly-built dynasty. The system of conventions includes Jingtianzhi, Zongfazhi, Guoyezhi and Liyue, to name a few important ones. Continue reading Zhou Dynasty
In the Chinese academia, Xia is considered to be the earliest dynasty of ancient times, but most of our knowledge about Xia dynasty, depends upon the documents of the succeeding dynasties and has not been confirmed yet. Shang, of ancient times, is the first dynasty which can be verified by precise archaeological materials. Now let’s introduce it to you.
Shang was founded in 16 century BC, and became extinct in 11 century BC, lasting 600 years. Shang moved its capital to another place many times, and finally settled down at Yin (near Anyang of Henan). Archaeological studies verify that in its early days, Chinese civilization had been highly developed. Its main characteristic is the inscriptions on bones or tortoise shells and bronze culture. Continue reading Shang Dynasty
Xia is the first dynasty in the history of China, lasting nearly 500 years, from 21 century BC to 16 century BC, with 14 generations and 17 kings. It is situated mainly in the districts in the southern part of Shanxi and the western part of Henan.
It is said that Da Yu, the hero harnessing the river and rescuing the people, managed to get the support of his tribe due to his succeeding in controlling the Yellow River from overflowing throughout the year, thus setting up the Xia dynasty. Xia Dai’s setting up indicated that the long primitive society had been substituted by the private ownership society. From then on, China entered the slave society. Continue reading Xia Dynasty
Liu Bang, established the Han Empire and settled down in the capital Chang’an.
During the 7-year dominion of Hangaozu, the central regime was further reinforced and the policy “Recuperate and Multiply” was adopted. After Hui’s succession, the empress of Hangaozu gained power. who was one of the rare women rulers in the history of China. Wen succeeded to the throne in 183 BC. Wen, followed by his son, Jing, stuck to the policy of “Recuperate and Multiply”, decreased taxation and promoted the economy of the empire. (The Enlightenment of Wen/Jing) Continue reading Han Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty lasted from 1644-1911 A.D. By and large, 12 emperors reigned during a period of 268 years with Nuerhachi being the first and Puyi being the last.
At its most prosperous time, the domain of the dynasty once reached 12 million square kilometers. Later, in 1616 Nuerhachi established Jin and in 1636 Huang Taiji changed the dynasty’s name to Qing. Furthermore, in 1644 Li Zicheng led the rebellious peasant army and overthrew the Ming Dynasty. The Qing army had the advantage of the war and defeated the peasants by coming in through the Shanhai Pass. As a result of his defeat, Emperor Chongzhen committed suicide. Beijing was made the capital and the court eliminated other revolts of the peasants and remained southern Ming forces. Continue reading Qing Dynasty