Test Your Knowledge of Chinese Culture with Our Quiz!



9 Questions

What is the name of the hierarchic system of socio-economic classes in traditional Chinese society?

Which dynasty is regarded as a touchstone in Chinese literature?

What type of lyric poetry was popular during the Song dynasty?

What is the name of the one-piece dress worn by Manchu women during the Qing dynasty?

What is the name of the small hot air balloon made of paper that is traditionally made for play or as part of long-established festivities in China?

What is the name of the mythical bird that reigns over all other birds and is paired with the Chinese dragon, symbolizing the union of male and female energies?

What is the most important feature of Chinese architecture?

What is the name of the traditional style of Chinese architectural arch or gateway structure that is related to the Indian Torana from which it is derived?

Which dynasty is associated with the creation of the earliest recorded Chinese gardens?


Overview of Chinese Culture

  • Chinese culture is one of the world's oldest cultures.

  • The culture is diverse, with customs and traditions varying greatly between provinces, cities, and towns.

  • China's majority ethnic group, the Han Chinese, constitute approximately 92% of the population of China.

  • In modern China, there are 56 officially labelled ethnic groups.

  • Traditional Chinese society was organized into a hierarchic system of socio-economic classes known as the four occupations.

  • Chinese spiritual practices are derived from Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism.

  • Confucianism was the official philosophy throughout most of Imperial China's history.

  • The Hundred Schools of Thought were philosophies and schools that flourished from the 6th century to 221 BC.

  • The ancient written standard was Classical Chinese, used mostly by scholars and intellectuals in the upper-class society.

  • Chinese literature has a long past; the earliest classic work in Chinese, the I Ching or "Book of Changes", dates to around 1000 BC.

  • Calligraphy later became commercialized, and works by famous artists became prized possessions.

  • Chinese philosophers and writers, such as Confucius, Laozi, and Sunzi, have profoundly influenced lifestyles and social consciousness up to the present day in China and across East Asia.Chinese Culture: Literature, Calligraphy, Poetry, and Fashion

  • Chinese culture has a rich history of literature, calligraphy, poetry, and fashion.

  • The Chinese language has many varieties of dialects and writing systems, making communication a challenge until the establishment of a national language, Mandarin.

  • Calligraphy is a highly respected and influential art form in China, and it has led to the development of other art forms, such as seal carving and inkstones.

  • Literature has played an important role in Chinese cultural development, with the Zhou dynasty regarded as a touchstone.

  • Poetry was an important part of social life during the Tang dynasty, with many famous poets, such as Li Bai and Du Fu, contributing to the Golden Age of Chinese poetry.

  • Ci is a type of lyric poetry that was popular during the Song dynasty, and it was written to fit a specific melody and tone pattern.

  • Qu is another type of classical Chinese poetry that evolved from Chinese opera during the Yuan dynasty, and it was written with a fixed pattern of rhyme and tone.

  • The Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature are considered the greatest and most influential pre-modern Chinese fiction, dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties.

  • Han clothing in ancient China was inseparable from silk, and the ornateness of a costume was influenced by one's rank in society.

  • The Ming and Qing dynasties represented a pinnacle of classic Chinese fiction, and their novels paved the way for great novels of the 18th century.

  • Chinese fashion trends have varied over the centuries, with different social classes boasting different fashion trends.

  • The color yellow was usually reserved for the emperor during China's imperial era.Chinese Art, Clothing, and Decorative Items

  • Chinese clothing has developed over time, with the yi and chang being the rudiments of Chinese clothing during the Shang dynasty.

  • The qipao, or cheongsam, was a one-piece dress worn by Manchu women during the Qing dynasty and was later adopted by Han Chinese women in the 1920s.

  • Chinese art has a continuous tradition and includes fine art, folk art, and performance art, with early forms including pottery and sculptures.

  • Chinese painting and music became highly appreciated art in court circles with a wide variety of styles.

  • The Chinese paper lantern is a lantern made of thin, brightly colored paper, commonly used in festivals in China and other places like Japan and Korea.

  • The Chinese sky lantern is a small hot air balloon made of paper, with an opening at the bottom, and is traditionally made for play or as part of long-established festivities.

  • The Chinese hand fan has a long history and was originally a row of feathers mounted at the end of a handle, with Chinese poems and idioms used to decorate them.

  • Carved lacquer or Qīdiāo is a distinctive Chinese form of decorated lacquerware, with the producing process called Diāoqī.

  • Folding screens are a type of free-standing furniture that originated from ancient China and were initially one-panel screens, with folding screens invented during the Han dynasty.

  • Folding screens have many practical and decorative uses, with wooden panels and painted lacquered surfaces being the original materials used.

  • During the Tang dynasty, folding screens were considered ideal ornaments for painters to display their paintings and calligraphy on, and landscape paintings on folding screens reached their height during the Song dynasty.

  • The Coromandel screens are lacquered folding screens that originated from China and were exported to Europe in the 17th century.Chinese Culture: A Summary

  • Kuǎncǎi was an art form that emerged during the late Ming dynasty and was applied to folding screens to create dark screens incised, painted, and inlaid with art of mother-of-pearl, ivory, or other materials.

  • Chinese jade is a primary hardstone of Chinese sculpture that has come in a variety of colors and was prized for its hardness, durability, musical qualities, and beauty.

  • Loongs, or Chinese dragons, symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, typhoons, and floods, and were used by the Emperor of China as a symbol of his imperial power and strength.

  • Fenghuang, or Chinese phoenix, is a mythological bird that reigns over all other birds and is paired with the Chinese dragon, symbolizing the union of male and female energies.

  • Qilin is a mythical hooved chimerical creature in Chinese culture, said to appear with the imminent arrival or passing of a sage or illustrious ruler.

  • Xuanwu is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations, represented by a turtle entwined with a snake, and it represents the north and the winter season.

  • Music and dance were closely associated in the early periods of China, with the earliest music dating back to the Zhou dynasty and the qin playing a major role before the Han Dynasty.

  • Chinese architecture has remained largely unchanged in its structural principles, with symmetry being the most important feature, and feng shui playing a crucial role in structural development.

  • The Chinese palace is an imperial complex where the royal court and the civil government resided, with its structures being considerable and elaborate, containing large halls, temples, towers, residences, galleries, courtyards, gardens, and outbuildings.

  • 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.

  • The Chinese garden is a landscape garden style that has evolved over the years, creating an idealized miniature landscape, which is meant to express the harmony that should exist between man and nature.

  • The earliest recorded Chinese gardens were created in the valley of the Yellow River during the Shang dynasty, and the Wine Pool and Meat Forest was one of the most famous features of this garden.

  • Chinese dance is a highly varied art form, consisting of many modern and traditional dance genres, including the Dragon dance and the Lion Dance, and each ethnic minority group in China also has its own folk dances.


How much do you know about Chinese culture? Test your knowledge with our quiz on the diverse customs, traditions, and art forms that make up this ancient and rich culture. From literature and calligraphy to clothing and decorative items, learn about the different aspects of Chinese culture that have influenced lifestyles and social consciousness up to the present day. Take the quiz now and see how much you know about this fascinating culture!

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