10 amazing things you didn’t know about China

With a rich history, a complex culture and dynamic mega-cities, it’s no surprise loads of TEFL teachers are drawn here. There are so many amazing things about China, but we’ve picked our top 10 things that might shock you!

1. Football (soccer) was invented here

2,200 years ago, the Chinese were playing a game called “Tsu’ Chu”, which literally means “kicking ball”. Although the rules we play with now may differ, we can’t deny they invented the initial concept – we’re as shocked as you are!

2. Chinese railway lines could take you around the world, twice!

China’s railway lines are so extensive that, if we put them all together, they could take you around the world, not once, but TWICE! That’s a lot of railway line! But, being the 4th largest country by area in the world, that’s not really surprising, is it?

Train station, Shandong, China

3. They have an elderly rights law

In 2013, the Chinese Government implemented a law that states “Grown children in China must visit their parents”. If they don’t, they could face a fine or even jail time. The law was created to avoid there being any lonely elderly people – how cute!

4. The Chinese New Year lasts for 15 whole days!

Unlike most other countries, China doesn’t celebrate its new year on 1st January – weird, right? The celebrations for Chinese New Year start on the first day of the New Moon, between 21st January and 20th February and end 15 days later on the Full Moon. Each day represents a tradition, from visiting the most senior member of your family to a lantern decorating day!

Chinese lanterns for Chinese New Year

5. They dedicate an entire day to dogs – we’re on board!

The second day of Chinese New Year is named “Birthday of the Dog”. On this day, all dogs, including strays will be treated to lavish food, often prepared at home by Chinese families.

Woman feeding dog

6. Ice cream was invented here

Although Italy still hold the flag for inventing the ice cream we know and love now. China actually invented the first ice cream-like food over 4000 years ago! Did you know, King Tang of Shang had 94 “ice men”, who’s only job was to make ice cream for the king! What a dream

7. A new skyscraper is built every 5 days – wow!

Somewhere in the country, a new skyscraper is built every 5 days. That’s 73 new skyscrapers a year!

Shanghai at sunset

8. More than 30 million Chinese people still live in caves

Even with all those new skyscrapers, over 30 million Chinese people still live in caves. Some Chinese caves have been around for generations and they often have modern amenities like plumbing, electricity and even a phone service!

9. The Great Wall of China is held together with sticky rice

The secret to the strength of the Great Wall of China is in the sticky rice they used as the mortar to hold it all together. Tasty and useful – winner!

Great wall of China

10. Chinese brides wear red instead of white

In most countries, it’s traditional for brides to wear white on their wedding day, but China aren’t part of this tradition. In Chinese culture, red symbolises happiness, prosperity and good luck. Because of this, it’s traditional for Chinese brides to wear red on their wedding day.


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