1- The great wall of China – it covers about 8,850 Km across the country and construction of the great wall began over 2000 years ago. It was built between 220-206 BC by the first emperor of China Qin Shi Huang. But only a little of that wall remains now. Majority of the existing wall was built during the Ming Dynasty.
2- The Terracotta warriors – This site was discovered in 1974 when a farmer was digging a well. The Terracotta army buried in 210 BC with the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty. Its situated in Xi’an Shanxi province.
3- Hangzhou, the paradise on earth - Hangzhou is a very beautiful city close to Shanghai where has green gardens, tranquil temples, and pavilions. This city is famous for Longjing green tea.
4- Karst mountains in Yangshuo - This place is situated in Guangxi province and can be viewed from Yangshuo a small town outside Guilin. 20 RMB Chinese money note also has this illustration. Karst mountains are one of the most eye-catching sceneries in China.
5- The forbidden city – The forbidden city or the Palace Museum is situated in Beijing where the famous portrait of Mao Zedong hangs on the palatial crimson wall. In 1987 it was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.
6- Giant Pandas – If you go to China as a tourist, you must have a visit to this place in Chengdu, Sichuan province. There’s a panda breeding research center too. Great place for panda lovers.
7- Jiuzhaigou Valley – This beautiful landscape is situated in Sichuan province and it is very famous for its crystal blue lakes and beautiful multi-level waterfalls. If you want to spend a quiet and calm holiday, this is the place for you without a question.
8- Potala Palace, Lhasa - This place is now a Chinese museum, but it was the traditional seat of Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader. It was built at an altitude of 12000 feet on the side of the red mountain in the center of Lhasa valley, the capital of Tibet region.
Dragon boat festival
The Dragon boat Festival is a festival that has long been popularly celebrated in mainland China. But it was only in 2008 that it was given recognition by the Chinese government by declaring it as a public holiday. It is also alternatively called Double Five Festival or Duan Wu Festival because following the Chinese lunar calendar, it falls on every fifth day of the fifth month.
There are several stories about the origin of the Dragon boat Festival. One story tells that this festival was born out of the Chinese’s earlier form of religion dragon worshiping. This was due to the fact that some of the activities in the festival included food being thrown into the river, supposedly to serve as an offering to the dragon god and serving as a sign of reverence were the dragon boat races.
The most popular and widely accepted story of origin related to Qu Yuan. He was a minister during the Zhou Dynasty, a dynasty which ruled major parts of China for over 700 years. Qu Yuan was well-loved by the people and much feared by government officials because of his courageous and outspoken fight against corruption which was rampant during that time.
As a result of this, officials schemed and found a way to force the emperor to dismiss him from the court. Qu Yuan traveled, taught, and wrote about his philosophies and poetry. But later he got to know that the Zhou Dynasty was overpowered by the Qin Dynasty, he took the defeat to his heart and committed suicide by throwing himself into the River Miluo.
Because of this incident, common people and fishermen who loved and respected him a lot, rushed out into the river on their boats, beat their drums supposedly to scare creatures in the water that might feast on Qu Yuan’s body and some people threw glutinous rice balls called zongzi into the water to feed those creatures that did not get scared by the beating drums.
And so it is that the modern Dragon boat Festival, which is one of only three major Chinese holidays, is a colorful and animated celebration which has also come to symbolize a healthy life, a life free from evil spirits and diseases by the other rituals done during this time. People hang herbs like moxa and calamus on their front doors, as well as pictures of Chung Kuei (a demon queller in Chinese legends) to ward off these evil spirits.
Adults also drink wine and children wear fragrant sachets around their necks. There is also a practice of fetching water from the well during noon time of the festival as this water is said well to cure illnesses.
Of course, this festival wouldn’t be complete without the different types of rice cakes prepared for everyone to taste and enjoy.
From the simple zongzi, these glutinous rice balls have evolved into more elaborate and more varied rice cakes. They now come in every imaginable size, shape, flavor, and stuffing. There is also a sport related to dragon boat festival where sports teams ride their boats in synchrony with the beating drums. At the present many countries practice this sport other than the Chinese.