Chinese Etiquette – Traditional etiquette


China is known as the “state of etiquette”, which is the so-called summer of etiquette. In Chinese etiquette, the week is the most important. In ancient China, Zhou etiquette was generally promoted. There are five rituals in ancient China. Sacrifices are auspicious rituals, wedding ceremonies are wedding ceremonies, guests are ceremonies, military ceremonies are military rituals, and funerals are fierce rituals. Folklore believes that etiquette includes four life etiquette: birth, crown, marriage, and funeral. In fact, etiquette can be divided into two major categories: politics and life. The political category includes sacrifices to heaven, land, and ancestral temples, sacrifices to ancestors, kings, and sages; rural drinking, meeting rituals, and military rituals. The life category includes the five sacrifices, the sacrifice of the Gaoqi, the Nuo ceremony, the birth ceremony, the crown ceremony, the diet etiquette, and the gift etiquette.

chinese traditional etiquette


Basic information

There are five gifts of ancient Han said, worship things as Jili, Crown things to the joy marriage ceremony, guests of things to Bin Li, the military things as a military salute, the funeral of things for Xiong Li.  Folklore believes that etiquette includes four life etiquette: birth, crown, marriage, and funeral. In fact, etiquette can be divided into two major categories: politics and life. The political category includes sacrifices to heaven, land, and ancestral temples, sacrifices to the ancestors and sages, drinking rituals in the township of respecting the teachers, meeting rituals, and military rituals. The life category includes the five sacrifices, the sacrifice of the Gaoqi, the Nuo ceremony, the birth ceremony, the crown ceremony, the diet etiquette, and the gift etiquette. Chinese etiquette plays a “quasi-law-jin” role in Chinese culture. Chinese etiquette permeates every bit of people’s daily life. The etiquette at the table, the way of hospitality, visits, and gifts, etc. Now promote the “Eight Ceremonies and Four Ceremonies”



According to Xunzi, there are “three books”, namely, “the foundation of those born in heaven and earth”, “the foundation of the ancestors and the kind”, and the “the foundation of the ruler and the master”. In etiquette, funerals are the earliest. Funeral for the dead is to soothe their ghosts, while for the living, it becomes the etiquette for filial piety and integrity. The establishment and implementation of etiquette gave birth to the Chinese patriarchal system (see Chinese patriarchal system). The essence of etiquette is the way of governing people, and it is a derivative of the belief in ghosts and gods. People believe that everything is controlled by invisible ghosts and gods. Performing etiquette is to please the ghosts and gods. Therefore, etiquette stems from the belief in ghosts and gods, and it is also a special form of belief in ghosts and gods. The emergence of the ” Three Ceremonies” (“Rituals”, “Book of Rites”, “Zhou Li”) marks the mature stage of the development of etiquette. In the Song Dynasty, etiquette and feudal ethics and morality were integrated, that is, etiquette and etiquette were mixed, which became one of the effective tools to implement etiquette. Salutes serve to persuade virtue, and red tape does its best. Until modern times, etiquette has been truly reformed. Both the national political life etiquette and the people’s life etiquette have been changed into the new content of the theory of ghostless gods, thus becoming modern civilized etiquette.

Etiquette of meeting and bowing hands


Development history

China is a country of etiquette that has been passed down for thousands of years, and voice teaching is broadcast overseas. According to legend, during the Yin and Zhou Dynasties more than 3,000 years ago, Zhou Gong system rituals and music put forward the program of ritual governance. Later, after Confucius and the Seventy Scholars, as well as the promotion and improvement of Mencius, Xunzi, and others, the ritual and music civilization became the core of Confucian culture. After the Western Han Dynasty, as the theoretical form of ritual music culture and the origin of the ancient ritual system, “Rituals”, “Zhou Li”, and “Book of Rites” were successively listed as academies. They not only became the must-read classics for ancient literati but also became dynasties It goes without saying that the foundation of making rituals has a profound impact on Chinese culture and history. With the formation of the East Asian Confucian cultural circle, the ritual and music culture has naturally become an important feature of Eastern civilization. There is no doubt that to understand Chinese traditional culture, one must understand Chinese etiquette culture.


The development of etiquette culture has its historical origin. Can be traced back to the long past. It should be said that when the first page of the history of the Chinese nation was opened, etiquette came into being with human activities and primitive religion. The etiquette system was formulated to deal with the three relationships between man and god, man and ghost, and man and man. After human beings have turned their fear and awe of gods and natural forces to humans themselves, with the development of human social life, people’s activities of expressing awe and offering sacrifices have become more and more numerous, gradually forming various fixed patterns… and finally becoming the norms of etiquette. Obviously, from the perspective of the emergence and development of etiquette, etiquette is the need for the development of human social life and an inevitable requirement and inevitable reflection of human social relations. This can also be further proved by the formation and changes of etiquette norms in the development of Chinese history. In ancient documents, there is a saying that “since the sacrifice, the five rituals have been manifested; during the time of Yao and Shun, the five rituals were prepared.” In fact, the evolution and development of the etiquette system have gone through a long and tortuous course, and what is truly complete and systematic is the etiquette system of the Western Zhou Dynasty. The etiquette system before the week was difficult to examine in detail due to a lack of materials and insufficient literature. The “Three Rituals”-“Zhou Rituals”, “Rituals”, and “Book of Rituals” compiled by Confucian scholars recorded and preserved many etiquettes of the Zhou Dynasty. For more than two thousand years after the Han Dynasty, they have been the classic works of the country to formulate etiquette systems, so they are called “ritual classics”. Now, to study and explore the ancient ritual system that was mainly applicable to the nobles, the “three rituals” are still the most important book. Although they have different evaluations of their ideological tendencies, and many of their discourses are based on the ideals of later Confucianists, they still have a certain reference value and influence in cultural history.


The so-called etiquette in ancient times included a very wide range of content and forms, such as political system, court codes, sacrifices to heaven and earth ghosts, prayers for floods and droughts, school imperial examinations, military campaigns, administrative divisions, building mausoleums, and even clothing, food, housing, weddings, and funerals. Marriage, speech, and behavior are all related to etiquette. It is almost a huge concept that encompasses all national political, economic, military, and cultural laws and regulations, as well as personal ethics and moral training, and codes of conduct. It wasn’t until modern times that the scope of etiquette gradually shrank, and now it only means etiquette and ceremony.

Etiquette of drinking tea

China’s etiquette culture has a profound impact on people with its peaceful and upright characteristics. However, the culture of any nation cannot be consistent throughout the world. It can only change with the times, discard its dross and choose its essence. The factors of excellent culture often last forever, survive the long river of history, and continuously affect the spirit and appearance of the nation. For example, around the sixth century BC, it was the axis age of ancient civilizations in the world. Such as Confucius, Lao Tzu, Sun Tzu, as well as philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Sakyamuni, and glorious classics appeared throughout the ages. For more than two thousand years, they have always been with the process of history, and people can feel their presence almost everywhere. In today’s highly developed technology, people often go back to that era to find wisdom. People should also view the ritual and music culture advocated by Confucius.


In modern times, due to the decline of the country and the invasion of foreign powers, the people of the country have changed rapidly. It is reasonable to blame the backwardness and beatings on traditional culture, but it is not entirely true. Imagine that a scholar who knows well is beaten by a robber. People can blame him for not being brave, but they cannot blame him for not knowing well. If the scholar abandons his books and only practices martial arts and becomes an uncultured “strong man”, then that would be the real tragedy. Human society will eventually enter a civilized era in which everyone believes in harmony and respects each other. Therefore, people must not only practice martial arts to strengthen their bodies but also promote the existing culture. The ritual and music culture will eventually have its new use.


China’s etiquette culture not only has a huge effect on the Chinese nation but also has a profound impact on the world. For example, Chinese traditional etiquette culture has been preserved in Korea and Japan and continues to play an active role in social life, but its loss rate is very alarming. In people’s interpersonal communication, people who know how to use elegant words and manners to show respect have become scarce. As the most common and solemn folk celebrations such as weddings and birthday ceremonies, they are losing their national identity and rapidly Westernizing; and Christmas and Valentine’s Day are increasingly becoming major festivals for Chinese young people. Once the etiquette and festivals, which are the symbol of national culture, are all westernized, it shows that the basic culture has been abandoned by the people, and its demise will not be too far away. The descendants of Yan and Huang, people of insight, should be aware of worries.


The etiquette culture forged by Chinese civilization for thousands of years could have been the strength of the tourism economy. However, many industry members can’t even say the ten-character polite language of “I’m sorry, thank you, it’s okay, please”, let alone others. Although hotels and hotels are becoming more and more magnificent, the quality of service has always been the weakness of the tourism industry, which is sighing. In addition, the number of Chinese traveling abroad in recent years has increased day by day, but there are many people who have vulgar behavior and lack etiquette education. Criticisms by overseas public opinion are often reported, which greatly damages the national image of people as an “ancient civilization” and “a country of etiquette”. In order to change this situation, in recent years, the government has made “clear etiquette and honesty” an important part of the “civic ethics” of the Second Cross. How to rebuild the etiquette norms that meet the requirements of the times has been on the agenda. Traditional Chinese etiquette and civilization are precious ideological resources and can provide an important reference for people.


The 21st century is a century of culture. The competition between nations and nations will be increasingly carried out in the cultural field. Culture is the basic feature of a nation. If culture survives, the nation survives, and the culture perishes the nation perishes. Throughout the ages, there have not been many ethnic groups that were truly extinct due to genocide, while the number of ethnic groups that perished due to the disappearance of their inherent culture is too numerous to list. China is the only civilization that has not experienced cultural interruption among the four ancient civilizations in the world. In the coming century, whether Chinese civilization can stand on its own among the nations of the world, one of the basic prerequisites is whether it can establish a strong standard culture on the basis of absorbing advanced foreign cultures. This is undoubtedly a major event of strategic significance. . Liyue culture is the core of Chinese traditional culture. Whether it can carry forward its essence is crucial to the rise and fall of the local culture.

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