National Symbols of China
A national symbol is anything that has become significant to a country's community. They intend to unite people by creating visual, verbal and iconic representations of a nation's people, values, goals and history. These are the symbols that define the Chinese people as a nation.
|Name: Panda Bear|
|Habitat: Mountain forest
||Diet: Bamboo, wild plants|
|Size: 160 to190 cm
||Weight: 75 to 130 kg's|
|Age at Maturity: 5 to 6 years
|Length of life:30 years in captivity. Unknown in the wild.|
|Gestation: 4 to 6 months in the wild. Average 5 months.|
|Cubs: 1 to 2 cubs, rarely 3.|
Courtsey of www.bearplanet.org
The March of the Volunteers was adopted as the Chinese National Anthem on the 27th September, 1949. It was written in 1934 by Tian Han for a play he was writing at the time. In 1935 the song became the theme song for the film "Sons and Daughters in a Time of Storm". The film tells the story of those who left to fight the Japanese during the invasion in the 1930's. The March of the Volunteers became the voice of the Chinese people's fight against foreign aggression and their determination to sacrifice themselves for national liberation. ...see more.
In 2003 a selection process was initiated by the State Forestry Administration and the China Wildlife Protection Agency to settle this outstanding question. Finally, in 2007 after years of debate, it was thought the Red-crowned Crane had won the vote as China's national bird. However...
In 2004, a national poll was held with 5 million netizens voting on more than 20 Chinese websites. The Red-crowned Crane won the vote with an overwhelming 65% beating out ten species of birds including the Magpie and Golden Pheasant. However, when the State Forestry Administration submitted the results to the State Council, a strong anti-Japanese sentiment debate started. The reason being - the scientific name of the Red-crowned crane is the Japanese Crane.
The debate still continues, but a popular community forum shows almost 35% of its voters now favour the simple and stubborn Sparrow as the candidate for the nation bird. As of 2008, no official decision as been made, so officially China has no national bird.
Red and Gold. These two colours are the ones displayed on the national flag. ...see more.
The selection of a national flower has become a difficult one. China has 85% of the world's flower species, so many Chinese question "why should only one flower represent the whole country?"
In May 1994 the Ministry of Agriculture ordered the Chinese Flower Association to establish a panel to determine the criteria and candidates for the national honour. After a large scale selection process the results were made public in December of 1994:
- Eighteen provinces and regions (58.06%) agreed on "one country, one flower" with the Peony as the favourite.
- Eleven provinces and regions (35.48%) agreed on "one country, four flowers" with the Peony, Lotus, Chrysanthemum, and the Plum Blossom as their favourites.
- Two other provinces, Anhui and Sichuan also agreed on a "one country, four flower" idea, but preferred the Orchid over the Lotus.
The panel unanimously agreed on the Peony as the national flower and made the suggestion that the Orchid (spring), Lotus (summer), Chrysanthemum (autumn) and Plum (winter) be the "flowers for four seasons of China". The results and suggestion were submitted to the People's National Congress for approval.
To date, there is still no final decision. While most agree that a "one country, one flower" policy is acceptable, the "one flower" is still the topic of debate. Should it be the Peony or Plum Blossom? The question is still unanswered, so officially China has no national flower.
Actinidia Deliciosa - the Kiwifruit - is the national fruit. Originally from Southern China's Sichuan province it was originally a smaller, grape sized fruit with a fuzzy skin.
In 1904 the "Yang Tao" or sunny peach, crossed over to New Zealand - hence Kiwifruit - when Isabelle Fraser, a missionary schoolteacher from Wanganui took seeds back with her after inspecting missions in China. Researchers then bred the bigger, more fleshy fruit as we know it today.
While The March of the Volunteers is the official anthem of China, The East is Red is regarded as the national song. Played at every dusk and dawn, in every city and village, it was considered the unofficial anthem during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960's.
It's alleged, Yi Youyuan, a farmer from Northern Shaanxi wrote the words after watching the rising of the morning sun. The melody, however, comes from a local folk song.
Today, it's a hesitant reminder of the "cult of personality" associated with Mao Zedong and the promotion of Communism, especially Maoism. Since the 1970's, because of these associations, the songs faded in popularity. It was from about this time the reformer, Chairman Deng Xiaoping, led China away from the Moa era and towards market economics.
The East is Red is still chimed hourly from the clock towers on the Bund in Shanghai and the Drum Tower in the North Eastern city of Xi'an.
...see more about the East is Red.
Descending from the ancient game of tennis, table tennis or ping pong is China's national sport. In the early 1900's it became a popular sport in Central Europe while also being introduced to Japan. It later spread to Korea and China. In the 1960's ping pong ( pingpang qiú ???) was adopted as the national sport and today China is one of the top table tennis playing nations
Although never officially upgraded to the national symbol, the Ginkgo tree is widely believed to be the national tree of China.
In a national poll held in 2005, the Ginkgo won more than 1.7million of the total 1.8 million votes. Other nominations included the Davidia or Dove Tree, Eucommia, Arborvitae and the Metasequoia or Dawn Redwood. The results of the vote were submitted to the State Forestry Administration, but no official decision has been announced.
The Ginkgo is the oldest relict plant in the world. It's considered the "world's number 1 living fossil" and the "giant panda of plants". All the Ginkgoes found in Japan, Korea Europe and America were directly or indirectly introduced from China.
The Ginkgo is presently the city tree of Chengdu, the city famous for its Panda Bear research facility.