18 Fun Facts about Chinese Culture for Kids
Did you know that Chinese dragons aren’t like the ones in fairy tales? They’re not scary. In fact, Chinese people think of them as lucky and friendly creatures!
For kids learning to speak Chinese, fun facts like that can be the key to unlocking a fascination with both the Chinese language and culture – a connection that no grammar exercise could achieve.
It’s that type of connection that reminds us of this quote by the journalist Flora Lewis: “Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things but learning another way to think about things.”
In this blog post, we will share 18 fun facts about China and Chinese cultures for kids that will help bring the language to life! We’ll also show you how to get a free online Chinese class for kids!
#1 The Great Wall of China isn’t just a wall.
Did you know the Great Wall of China isn’t just a wall? It’s more like a winding, serpentine pathway that seems to stretch into the realms of imagination.
It also isn’t a solitary structure. It’s a mosaic of walls ingeniously pieced together by ancient emperors. Their visionary goal? To safeguard their territory from potential threats.
Imagine the enormity of their endeavor as they piled massive stones and sturdy bricks, creating a line of defense that’s both awe-inspiring and enchanting!
#2 Chinese New Year lasts about two weeks.
Did you know that Chinese New Year isn’t just a one-day party? It’s an extended celebration that goes on for almost two whole weeks! That’s right. It’s not just about the countdown to midnight – it’s a festival packed with fun, traditions, and family time.
During Chinese New Year, streets light up with colorful lanterns. It feels like a carnival everywhere you go. Families gather to share special meals and fireworks that light up the night sky.
#3 The Chinese calendar is based on the moon and sun cycles.
When you’re marking special occasions like Chinese New Year, you’re not just following a date – you’re connecting with the rhythms of nature! That’s because the Chinese calendar isn’t just about counting days. It blends the moon’s cycles and the sun’s journey across the sky.
Exploring the Chinese calendar with your child can be a chance to show them how cultures weave together the movements of the moon and the sun to create something as important as a calendar.
As you share this fascinating fact with your child, you’re introducing them to a calendar that blends science, nature, and culture, adding a touch of wonder to how we track time.
#4 The number 4 is unlucky.
Did you know that the number 4 is considered unlucky in Chinese culture? It’s not just another number – it’s associated with bad luck because it sounds similar to the word for “death” in Chinese. So, you might notice that buildings might not have a fourth floor or rooms with the number 4 in some places. It’s a fascinating cultural belief that adds a layer of mystery to numbers!
Sharing the story of the unlucky number 4 with your child can be a fun way to explore how cultures have unique beliefs about different things. It’s like peeking into the intriguing world of superstitions and understanding how numbers can hold special meanings beyond just counting.
Learn more: Lucky and Unlucky Numbers in China
#5 The color red has many meanings in Chinese culture.
Did you know that red is not just a color in Chinese culture? It’s a symbol of happiness, luck, and celebration. When you see red lanterns, decorations, or even clothes, it’s a sign that something exciting is happening!
But there’s more – red isn’t only about good times. It’s believed to keep away bad luck and bring in positive energy.
So, when your child sees red in Chinese communities, they can learn that it’s a symbolic way to spread joy and positivity!
#6 Chinese red envelopes hold good wishes.
Has your child heard about Chinese red envelopes? They’re like special little packages filled with good wishes and surprises! Known as “hongbao,” these envelopes are part of celebrations like Chinese New Year. When you give or receive a red envelope, you share happiness and luck with the people you care about.
Opening a red envelope is like unwrapping a bundle of joy. And it’s not just about the money inside – it’s also about the warm wishes and positive vibes that come with it.
So, when your child sees these bright red envelopes, they should know the envelopes hold more than just money; they’re like tokens of happiness and good fortune!
#7 Fortune cookies don’t come from China.
Did you know that fortune cookies, those delightful treats with messages inside, aren’t originally from China? While they’re often linked to Chinese restaurants, they were actually created in the United States. These cookies have become a fun part of Chinese-American culture, serving up a sprinkle of mystery and good luck with every crunchy bite.
As you share this fascinating fact with your child, you can also encourage them to explore more about Chinese-American cultural traditions and the stories behind popular foods. This adds a dash of curiosity to their language and culture learning, turning everyday moments into chances for discovery and discussion.
Learn more: The Disputed Origin of the Fortune Cookie
#8 The number 8 is lucky.
Have you heard that the number 8 is considered incredibly lucky in Chinese culture? It’s not just a number – it’s like a symbol of good fortune! The pronunciation of “8” in Chinese sounds similar to the word for “wealth” or “prosper,” so people often associate it with success and positive energy.
Isn’t it fascinating how numbers can carry such special meanings in different cultures? Sharing the magic of the lucky number 8 with your child can be a captivating way to show them how language, sounds, and symbols can shape beliefs.
Learn more: Lucky and Unlucky Numbers in China
#9 Chinese zodiac animals tell stories.
Each animal of the Chinese zodiac has its own story and traits. For example, if you were born in the Year of the Rat, you’re considered clever and quick. If you were born in the Year of the Ox, you’re said to be strong and reliable.
Exploring these zodiac tales together can spark your child’s imagination and help them connect with qualities that make them who they are. It’s a journey of self-discovery that adds an extra layer of wonder to the world around them.
#10 Chinese characters also tell stories.
Did you know that Chinese characters are like tiny pieces of art that tell stories? Each character isn’t just a letter – it’s like a picture with meaning and a tale! So, when you look at a Chinese character, you’re not just seeing lines and curves – you’re discovering a whole world of stories hidden in those strokes.
For example, the character for “tree” kind of looks like a tree with roots, branches, and all! And when you put characters together, it’s like you’re creating sentences that are like mini-adventures, all told through those characters.
Helping your child learn some of the stories behind Chinese characters can help them to memorize the characters’ meaning and build a deeper connection with the Chinese language.
#11 Chinese calligraphy isn’t just about writing.
Chinese calligraphy is about making words look elegant, almost as if dancing on paper. It’s about understanding the flow and balance of each stroke. Calligraphy masters practice for years to make their words look like pieces of art.
Practicing Chinese calligraphy with your child can be a fun way to practice writing Chinese characters while also embracing the beauty of this traditional art form. This hands-on experience allows them to understand the flow and balance of characters, fostering a deeper connection to the language and culture they’re exploring.
#12 Chinese paper fans are works of art.
Did you know Chinese paper fans are more than just tools to beat the heat? They’re like windows into a world of stunning artistry and culture. From delicate paintings to intricate designs, each fan holds a piece of Chinese history and creativity.
Introducing your child to the realm of Chinese paper fans can be an exciting journey into the heart of creativity and cultural appreciation. As they craft and decorate their own paper fans, they’re not just making something useful but also stepping into the shoes of artists who’ve woven their passion into each fold.
This immersive experience offers a special insight into the vibrant tapestry of Chinese heritage, allowing your child’s imagination to flourish with every fan they design. Whether they flutter their fan to stay cool or display it proudly, they’re embracing a unique blend of artistic expression and cultural connection that’s as captivating as the designs they create.
Learn more: Easy DIY Chinese Hand Fan Craft for Kids
#13 Chinese knots bring luck and beauty.
Chinese knots are crafted by weaving threads into elaborate patterns with special meanings. They’re often used as decorations and gifts to wish others good luck and happiness.
Exploring the world of Chinese knots with your child can be an incredible journey of discovery and creativity. As children learn to create these knots, they craft visually appealing designs and connect with a tradition steeped in positive energy.
This hands-on experience provides another window into the intricate beauty of Chinese culture, allowing your child to infuse their own creative spirit into each knot they make. So, whether they’re decorating their space with these symbolic knots or sharing them with friends, they’re spreading luck and beauty while embracing the artistry of a Chinese tradition.
#14 Kung Fu is more than what you see in movies.
You and your child may have seen Kung Fu in action movies, but there’s much more to it than what meets the eye! Kung Fu is like an ancient art that goes beyond the cool moves – it’s also about values like respect, discipline, and mental power!
Sure, movie stunts are fantastic, but authentic Kung Fu teaches you about yourself, your body, and your mind. It’s a way to find balance and strength inside and outside.
So, when your child watches those action scenes, you can share that there’s a world of wisdom and tradition behind those kicks and punches. They may even want to take some lessons to learn this martial art themselves!
Learn more: Reasons Why Children Should Train Kung Fu
#15 Mooncakes are delicious lunar treats.
Did you know that mooncakes are special treats that taste even better during the moon’s big moments? These round, sweet pastries are bites of tradition and togetherness. They’re usually enjoyed during the Mid-Autumn Festival when the moon is at its brightest and roundest.
Imagine biting into a mooncake and tasting all sorts of delicious fillings like sweet bean paste or egg yolks. And the best part? Sharing these treats with family and friends while gazing at the moonlit sky. It’s like a tasty way to celebrate the moon’s magic!
Learn more: Easy Mooncake Recipe for the Mid-Autumn Festival
#16 Feng Shui is about creating harmony between people and their surroundings.
Have you heard about Feng Shui? It’s not just a fun phrase – it’s a philosophy about balance and harmony! Feng Shui comes from ancient China, and it’s about arranging spaces to create a positive energy flow. Everything is thoughtfully considered to promote a sense of well-being, from the placement of furniture to the colors you choose.
Introducing your child to Feng Shui can be like opening the door to a world where your surroundings and feelings are connected. As you explain this concept, you’re not just talking about interior design – you’re sharing the idea that how we arrange our spaces can impact how we feel and live.
#17 China is home to one of the rarest and most adorable animals in the world.
Did you know that tucked away in the heart of China lives one of the rarest and most adorable animals on the planet? It’s the giant panda! These cuddly creatures are like real-life teddy bears that roam the bamboo forests of China.
Pandas aren’t just a symbol of China’s rich wildlife but also a symbol of conservation efforts to protect these precious animals. Helping your child learn more about pandas can be a fun way to foster a connection to China and the importance of preserving our planet’s biodiversity.
Learn more: Giant Panda Facts and Pictures for Kids
#18 China has more big cities than the USA.
Ever wondered how many big cities China has? Prepare to be amazed. China has more than 100 cities with populations exceeding one million residents! From the iconic Beijing to the bustling Shanghai and beyond, these cities are dynamic epicenters where cultures, history, and contemporary living effortlessly intermingle.
In comparison, the United States has around ten cities with a population exceeding one million. This intriguing contrast can captivate the curiosity of children learning Chinese by highlighting cities’ varying sizes and dynamics in different parts of the world. It can also help them imagine how many people they can speak to and understand by learning Mandarin Chinese!
Learn more: China Country Profile Facts for Kids
How to get a free online Chinese class for kids
While learning Chinese may be challenging, the incredible rewards of bilingualism and cultural discovery make it a journey worth embarking on. As a parent eager to introduce your child to the wonders of China, we’re here to guide you through the process.
At LingoCircle, we offer dynamic and engaging online Chinese classes for kids, carefully designed to make language learning a joyful and interactive experience. Our team of certified, native-speaking educators employs innovative teaching methods to keep young learners motivated and excited about mastering Mandarin Chinese.
Why not consider enrolling your child in one of our virtual classes? Watch as their Chinese language skills flourish and their connection to Chinese culture deepens. To kickstart this incredible journey, we’re delighted to offer you the first lesson for free!
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