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Asian Culture and Traditions

"Heritage" is defined as the customs and traditions that are handed down from generation to generation of families and society. A person with Asian heritage is someone whose family originates from Asia. Let's check out some Asian traditions.

Asian Holidays

Chinese New Year

Despite the name, Chinese New Year is actually celebrated in a lot of countries. The 2004 Chinese New Year is the Year of the Monkey and is celebrated on January 22nd. It celebrates the first day of the Chinese Lunar Calendar and is the most important yearly festival for the Chinese. Each year is named after one of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac.

Ching Ming Festival

This Chinese holiday, celebrated on April 5th, is the Ching Ming Festival (aka Qingming Festival.) Ching, in Chinese, means pure or clean and Ming means brightness. Most people call this holiday grave-sweeping day because people head to the cemetery to clean graves.

Holi

Holi is a spring festival that is celebrated throughout India. For two days, people party it by dropping powdered colors from the rooftops, drench each other with balloons filled with colored water and have huge feasts. This festival is held to celebrate the defeat of the mythical creature, Holika. Holi starts off with a big bonfire to help clear the leaves and twigs of the autumn that has just past.

Asian Traditions and Culture

  • Buddhism: While there are as as many religions in Asia as there are anywhere else, Buddhism is one of the predominant ones. Buddhism was established in northern India about 2500 years ago in response to the life and teachings of Gautama Siddhartha who was given the title "Buddha" or "awakened-one."
  • Dim Sum: A traditional Chinese meal that consists of lots of small dishes of a bunch of different kinds of foods, including steamed or fried dumplings.
  • Tea: Tea plays a major role in Asian culture - whether it's in China, India or Malaysia - tea ceremonies, in their various forms, are a major part of most Asian cultures.
  • Origami: Origami is the art of folding paper. While it is quite popular in Japan, it is believed to have originated in China in the first century AD. One of the most popular origami shapes is the crane. The crane is thought to be a sacred animal in Japan and legend has it that if you fold 1,000 paper cranes, your wish will come true.
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