Chinese Cultures

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The Chinese zodiac of twelve animal signs represents twelve different types of personality. The zodiac traditionally begins with the sign of the Rat, and there are many stories about the Origins of the Chinese Zodiac which explain why this is so.

Each of the 12 animals (Rat, Ox, Tigger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig) are governed by an element plus a Yin Yang Direction.

Papercutting is the art of cutting paper designs. The art has evolved uniquely all over the world to adopt to different cultural styles.

Jian zhi, is a traditional style of papercutting in China. Jian zhi has been practiced in China since at least the 6th century A.D. Jian zhi cut outs for have a number of distinct uses in Chinese culture, almost all of which are for health, prosperity or decorative purposes. Red is the most commonly used color. Jianzhi cuttings often have a heavy emphasis on Chinese characters symbolizing the Chinese Zodiac animals.

The Lantern Festival or Yuan Xiao Festival or Shang Yuan Festival in China is a festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunisolar year in the Chinese calendar, the last day of the lunisolar Chinese New Year celebration.  During the Lantern Festival, children go out at night to temples carrying paper lanterns and solve riddles on the lanterns. It officially ends the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Chinese New Year – often called Chinese Lunar New Year – is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is an all East and South-East-Asia celebration. In China it is known as "Spring Festival,". It marks the end of the winter season, analogous to the Western carnival. The festival begins on the first day of the first month in the traditional Chinese calendar and ends with Lantern Festival which is on the 15th day. Chinese New Year's Eve, a day where Chinese families gather for their annual reunion dinner, is known as "Eve of the Passing Year."

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festivity in the Chinese Lunisolar Calendar. The origin of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Ancient Chinese New Year is a reflection on how the people behaved and what they believed in the most.

Peking opera or Beijing opera (pinyin: Jīngjù) is a form of traditional Chinese theatre which combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance and acrobatics. The form was extremely popular in the Qing Dynasty court and has come to be regarded as one of the cultural treasures of China.

Peking-opera performers utilize four main skills. The first two are song and speech. The third is dance-acting. This includes pure dance, pantomime, and all other types of dance. The final skill is combat, which includes both acrobatics and fighting with all manner of weaponry. All of these skills are expected to be performed effortlessly, in keeping with the spirit of the art form.

Tai chi chuan plays an important role in many martial arts and fighting action movies, series, novels, especially in those ones which belong to the wuxia genre, as well as in video games, trading cards games, etc. Nowadays it is recognized as a valuable form of exercise in practically every country in the world. It is being promoted as an excellent way for the elderly and the weaker men to strengthen and reclaim their natural vigor end energy.