毛笔(Chinese brush)是一种源于中国的传统书写工具，与墨、纸、砚(ink stone)并称为“文房四宝”。毛笔有着悠久的历史，相传为秦始皇的大将蒙恬所创。毛笔笔尖最初用兔毛，后来也用羊、狼、鸡、鼠等动物毛，笔管用竹或其他材料制成。在古代，毛笔不仅是一种基本的书写工具，还被广泛用于书法(calligraphy)和绘画创作。几千年来，它为创造中华民族光辉灿烂的文化做出了卓越的贡献。
Chinese brush is a traditional writing instrument originating from China. Ink stick, paper, ink stone and Chinese brush are known as “Four Treasures of the Study”.Chinese brush has a long history. Legend has it that the brush was invented by Meng Tian, a general under the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty. Originally, the head of the brush was made from rabbit hairs, and later also from the hairs of goats, wolves, chickens, mice and other animals. The shaft is made of bamboo or other materials. In ancient times, Chinese brush was not only an essential writing tool, it was also widely used in calligraphy and painting. For thousands of years, it has made outstanding contributions to the creation of the effulgent Chinese culture.
Embroidery, one of traditional Chinese folk handicrafts, has a long history. The history of embroidery can trace back to the Shang Dynasty. The Han Dynasty witnessed a leap in the styles and techniques of embroidery. A lot of things can become the content of embroidery, such as the sun, the moon, the stars, flowers, birds, fish and insects. In ancient times, embroidery could be enjoyed only by the privileged class and symbolized their high social status. With the development of society, it enters the life of ordinary people. Nowadays it has stepped out of China and become a bridge of friendly exchanges between the Chinese and foreigners.
Chinese cooking has a long history. There are over 8 000 well-known Chinese dishes and 48 basic ways of cooking including roasting, frying and boiling, etc. Chinese cooking can be roughly divided into eight regional schools of cuisine. The most popular one is Sichuan cuisine, which is spicy and hot. Kung-pao chicken and mapo tofu are very popular with people. Sichuan hotpot is the most famous hotpot in the world. Additionally, there are many other famous local schools of cuisine, such as Beijing cuisine and Shanghai cuisine. Beijing food is greasy and a little salty. The most typical one is Beijing roast duck. Nearly every foreigner who comes to Beijing will taste Beijing roast duck in Quanjude Restaurant. Shanghai food is oily and sweet. It's the best choice for people who have a sweet tooth.
In the long history of Chinese feudal society, the emperors, as the holders of supreme power, built palaces and other structures for themselves which the populace might aspire to but could never attain. The architecture represents the essence of the architectural techniques at that time. Ancient records describe the now vanished Epang Palace of the Qin Dynasty, Weiyang Palace of the Han Dynasty and Daming Palace of the Tang Dynasty as huge constructions with broad courtyards and magnificent halls. The only imperial palaces extant nowadays are the Forbidden City in Beijing and the Imperial Palace in Shenyang, which were built during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. They represent the best technical and artistic achievements of ancient palace architecture.
在中国，动物被赋予了独特的象征意义。例如:在中国传统文化中，金鱼象征着财富。中国人过春节时，最受欢迎的年画(New Year Picture)就是一个大胖小子怀抱一条大金鱼，取意“富裕和谐”。在中国的传说中，蝴蝶象征着恋人之间至死不渝的爱情。虎在中国文化中是尊贵、力量和勇气的象征。在某些少数民族(ethnic minority)文化中，人们认为燕子成对出现昭示着美满的婚姻与幸福的生活。
In China, animals are endowed with special symbolic meanings. For example, the goldfish means abundance of gold in traditional Chinese culture. In the Spring Festival, one of the most popular New Year Pictures depicts a plump baby holding a large goldfish which represents “wealth and harmony”. Chinese legend has it that the butterfly symbolizes an undying bond between lovers. The tiger is seen as an emblem of dignity, power and courage. In the culture of some ethnic minorities, the presence of swallows in pairs is considered a blessing, which signifies a perfect marriage and happy life.
“生、旦、净、丑”是京剧中的角色分类。“生”是男性正面角色，“旦”是女性正面角色，“净”是性格鲜明的男性配角(supporting role)，“丑”是幽默滑稽的人物或反面角色。每种角色都有表明身份的脸谱(facial make-up)和扮相(costume)，只要演员一上场，你一看便知。在人的脸上涂上某种颜色以象征这个人的性格和品质、角色和命运，是京剧的一大特点，也是理解剧情的关键。简单地讲，红脸含有褒义，代表忠勇(valor)；黑脸为中性，代表猛(vigor)智；黄脸和白脸含贬义，代表凶诈。
Sheng, dan, jing, chou refer to different types of roles in Peking Opera. Sheng is the positive male role, and dan is the positive female role, while jing is a supporting male role with a distinctive character and chou is the clown or a negative character. Each type of role has its own facial make-up and costume that expose its identity as soon as he/she appears on the stage. One major characteristic of Peking Opera is the color painted on the face of a character that shows the personality, quality, role and fate, which is also the key to understanding the plot. To put it simply, red is positive, standing for loyalty and valor; black represents a neutral role, representing vigor and wisdom; yellow and white both suggest cunning and negative characters.
Chopsticks, the traditional eating utensils in China, are a pair of equal length sticks. Chopsticks appeared more than three thousand years ago. The appearance of chopsticks is not only a revolution of Chinese cuisine culture, but also a symbol of human civilization. Besides, chopsticks have promoted the development of cooking techniques. Today, chopsticks are not only a kind of tableware, but also have become a unique culture form, coming in front of us as a work of art for appreciation, research and collection. Chopsticks are small, but they are adored by many people in the world. An interesting experiment shows that many joints and muscles can be exercised when you use chopsticks.
A hutong is an ancient city alleyway or lane unique to Beijing. You can't find it elsewhere in the world. The history of the Beijing hutong can be traced back to more than 800 years ago, when interconnecting hutongs surrounded the Forbidden City. Hutongs are not only traffic lanes of the city but also places where people live in. Hutongs have been an arena for Beijing's historical and cultural development, witnessing vicissitudes and features of the history, leaving many traces of social life, and preserving authentic folk customs of ancient Beijing. The best way to truly understand and experience hutongs is to take a walk in them and have a look personally. The old hutongs are like delicious delicacies which should be chewed and tasted slowly and carefully.
孟子是中国古代一位著名的哲学家，其影响仅次于孔子。他小时候家住在墓地附近，耳濡目染的都是些有关丧葬礼仪(funeral ceremony)的事情。孟母担心这里的环境对他的影响不好，于是就搬家了。新家靠近集市，孟子又学着商人做买卖，孟母不愿自己的孩子长大成为一个商人，于是又搬家了。第三次的新居在学校附近，孟子就跟着学生学习诗书礼仪(classic and etiquette)。孟母认为找到了理想的地方，于是决定在这里长住下去。由此可见，孟母意识到了环境对孩子成长的影响。
Mencius, whose influence was second only to Confucius, was an eminent philosopher in ancient China. When he was young, his family lived near a cemetery, so he was fully exposed to funeral ceremonies. Mencius' mother was worried that the surroundings would have a negative influence on him, so she decided to move. They moved to a place next to a fair, and Mencius began to learn the ways of business people. His mother didn't want her son to become a businessman so she moved again. This time they moved into a house near a school, and Mencius began to learn the classics and etiquette along with the students. His mother thought this was the right place for him and decided to stay there for good. This shows that Mencius' mother realized the importance of the environment for children's growing up.
Sending and receiving gift money on Spring Festival is a traditional Chinese custom, symbolizing good wishes and reunion. Nowadays, motivated by new technologies, the old gift money culture is brought forth something new. Although out of commercial purposes, in effect, it meets the social needs in the network era. The gift money culture was designed for activating a festival atmosphere. Today, the traditional custom has revived on the network. The core experience does not lie in the exact amount of the gift money. Rather, it lies in the fact that everyone is immersed in creating a festival atmosphere, experiences the happiness of sending and competing for gift money and brings the traditional custom back to its nature.