Cultural Differences Between China and the US

Cultural Differences

Cultural Differences Between China and the US

China is a country with an ancient culture reflected in its traditions that are still perceived by the population and renewed year after year. Many of these traditions are expressed in holidays established in the third century after Christ when the Han dynasty reigned in China. Would you like to spend a season in the United States? To do this, in addition to putting your use of English into practice, you must know part of its culture since it often changes. Let’s discover the cultural differences between china and the US.

Cultural differences between china and the us

Chinese culture

For the Chinese, repeating the same rituals every year is a way to venerate their ancestors, remember the old legends on which national identity is based, and celebrate the Buddha, whose religious figure is the most respected in China.

Chinese New Year (Guo Nian): The most important holiday is the Chinese New Year which marks the beginning of a New Year which, however, as we have explained, does not coincide with our New Year. Usually, the Chinese one falls in our month of February and the celebrations last for about two weeks. In China, this holiday is known as Guo Nian, meaning Spring Festival, and marks the beginning of a new cycle of rebirth.

Therefore, it can be considered an agricultural festival as it coincides with the first new moon of the year. Its celebrations include an abundant use of red and the creation of many spectacular fireworks. This is linked to an ancient legend that speaks of the dragon Nian, who comes out of his lair with the intent of plundering the earthlings and terrorizing them.

Lantern Festival: It is said that Emperor Han Mingdi, one of the first of the Han dynasty, established this festival. Learning that some monks used to light lanterns to venerate the Buddha, he decided that the entire population would adopt this custom.

Today the lantern festival is a real feast for the eyes. Paper lanterns of all shapes and sizes are built. Some are true masterpieces. On the occasion of the Lantern Festival, the ritual lion dance takes place, with two figures wearing a costume depicting a lion.

Qingming Festival: This anniversary falls between 4 and 5 April and roughly coincides with our commemoration of the dead.  On the day of Qingmin, the Chinese remember those who have passed by, and they do so by adorning the doors with willow branches, which according to tradition can protect the home from evil spirits and set the table on the graves of their loved ones. It is also considered a good omen to fly a kite.

Dragon Boat Festival: The dragon boat festival could be defined as a sporting event, but even in this case, its origins lie in the rich Chinese folklore. In the third century BC, one of the most popular Chinese poets, Qu Yuan, decided to take his own life and drowned in the river.

But all those who loved him ran to try to save him, setting sail in numerous boats to track down his body. Today all this translates into colorful wooden boats that are adorned with dragons’ features, which compete along the rivers.

Qixi Festival

The Qixi festival is also called the Double Seven Festival since it falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month (roughly between July and August). It is considered the equivalent of our Valentine’s Day as it is the day when unmarried girls leave their vows at the temples to find a soul mate.

The holiday is celebrated on this day because it is the one where the two stars Vega and Altair, are close together. Legend has it that Vega, the daughter of a goddess, went down to earth and fell in love with Altair, who was only a human.

US cultures

Here are some of the peculiarities that make American culture unique:

Burger lovers: Americans are fascinated by hamburgers because of their passion for barbecues or fast food, but it is a food that is practically not lacking in any American diet.

Tips always: It is enormous rudeness not to tip in restaurants, although it is not a legal question, it is fatal not to leave at least 15-20% of the price of the bill if the service has been adequate or at least a penny to denote that the service has been a disaster.

Fear of 13: Researchers estimate that at least 10% of the US population is afraid of number 13, and even more if it is Friday the 13th. It is estimated that companies lose millions of dollars at the workplace level due to canceled meetings or work absenteeism. Many buildings do not have a 13th floor and many hotels avoid room 13, often called 12th. This is because superstitious clients don’t want to stay in rooms 13 or floors 13.

Hollywood: The United States film industry is the most powerful in the world. It is the country that produces the most movies, television series, cartoons, and the most in the world.

Metric system: The system for measuring lengths in the United States is based on the inch, foot, yard, and mile. And if we refer to units of mass, we have to talk about ounces.

TV: Americans also love television. According to a Nielsen study, the average American watches more than five hours of television every day.

College life: The most common thing in the US is that when students start college, they also move home to a residence hall, a student flat, or one of their famous fraternities.

Plugs: If you decide to go on a trip to the United States, remember to take an adapter with you to charge your mobile. The plugs are the three-pin ones.

Pharmacy: If you have a headache or catch a cold, you can go to the supermarket or your neighborhood store searching for generic drugs as if they were any other product.

There are very, very curious laws in some of their states, for example, according to the state of Kentucky’s laws: “Each person must bathe at least once a year.”

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