Customs and traditions of medieval China. Clothes, food, houses, holidays

The basis of the economy of medieval China was agriculture, mainly – arable farming. At first the Chinese raised wheat and millet, but gradually they preferred rice. In the paddy rice fields, the Chinese bred fish, which was valued more meat. The development of rice growing and related laborious work in the fields formed the defining features of the Chinese character: patience, diligence, attention and critical attitude to any innovations. In China, hemp, tea bushes, and cotton were also cultivated. Developed gardening and gardening. The Chinese cultivated apples, apricots, plums, citrus fruits, pomegranates, bananas, cucumbers, onions, garlic, beans, etc. The cultivation of the silkworm, from whose cocoons silk threads were made, brought great fame to the country.

In addition to traditional rice and fish, the Chinese ate a lot of vegetables and meat of bulls, goats, sheep, pigs and poultry. Poor people ate meat of dogs and donkeys. The main meal of the Chinese was baked and boiled for a couple of cereals. They also liked noodles and famous Chinese dumplings, which numbered over two hundred varieties. Culinary masterpieces belonged to frogs and snake meat. They ate with bamboo and ivory sticks, and people with high incomes used chopsticks made of silver or horn of rhinoceros, which, according to popular beliefs, were to be saved from poison. The Chinese almost did not eat milk and cheese, emphasizing this their difference from the nomads. Among the drinks, tea was very popular, which was boiled like soup. Drank also a millet wine and strong rice vodka.

The Chinese clothing was simple and convenient. Men wore pants with a belted jacket that was buttoned only to the right, unlike the nomads who buttoned the jacket to the left. During the rain or to protect from the scorching sun, ordinary people wore woven bamboo or straw hats. More prosperous wore silk... hats. They wore linen shoes with a hem or soles. In case of cooling, they wore cloaks of simple cut.

The female outfit was not much different from the male. The essential difference was in the hairstyle. Men wore long hair, from them they built a hairstyle, the so-called “sausage”, on their heads, and wrapped it with a special bandage. Chinese monks shaved their heads. Girls collected hair in a bun, and women did a variety of hairstyles and usually walked with their heads uncovered.

The most beautiful in aristocratic families was considered to be women with small legs.

To achieve this, the girls have bandaged their feet from their childhood and they stopped growing. It is clear that on such legs it was difficult even to move, but without them there was nothing to hope for a good groom.

The aristocratic origin of Chinese women was also emphasized by long fingernails. This meant that a person does not perform rough work.

The houses of the Chinese were mostly wooden or clay without a ceiling, the rooms had little furniture. The Chinese ate and slept for the most part on mats – dense wicker rugs made of straw. During the Song Dynasty, Chinese households had tables and chairs.

The yard of the Chinese family looked like a small fortress. To go without permission was forbidden. The owner could drive away the uninvited guest, whoever he was.

The greatest Chinese holiday from time immemorial was the New Year. On New Year’s Eve, the Chinese brewed a special porridge, invigorated, arranged a “lantern festival,” begged for gifts, beat drums and gongs, arranged carnivals with disguise, songs and dances. Another holiday was the so-called spring days of “cold food and pure light”: people extinguished all lights, ate only cold food, and then lit up new lights. To the loved ones belonged the autumn harvest festival.


Customs and traditions of medieval China. Clothes, food, houses, holidays