Monday, February 11, 2013

Week 30: China

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Yeah! We're doing China this week, and coincidentally (wink),it just so happens to be the most important time of year for the Chinese culture - Chinese New Year!  So not only will we be doing some crafts and eating some delicious food, but on Saturday there is a Chinese New Year's Festival in the town where we live!!  Field Trip!!!  I'd love to take a little trip to San Francisco Chinatown but I don't know if that'll happen, we'll see :)  First let's learn some facts and fun tidbits about China......

Forbidden City - home to many Emperors
  • China's capital is Beijing and is located at the coordinates 39°53N/ 116°23E. The city has also gone by the name Peking and has been the capital for over 700 years.  It is famous for it's opulent palaces, such as the Forbidden City,temples, gardens, gates and art and architecture.  It is also the second most populous city (after Shanghai).
  • China is the most populous country in the world with over 1.3 billion people. 1 in every 5 people on the planet is Chinese.
  • Depending on how you measure (if you include water areas or not) China is the 2nd largest country(by land area)
  • The geography of China is very diverse- it includes deserts in the North and West, subtropical jungles in the south, mountains and coastline.
  • People have lived in the area known as China since between 250,000 and 2.24 million years ago and China is considered to be the longest continuous civilization.  Some historians say it is over 6000 years old.
  • The Chinese language is also the oldest continuously used written language.
  • The Great Wall is one of the wonders of China.  It was built along the historical Northern border of China to keep out various warring nomadic tribes (Remember Attilla the Hun).  Many parts of the wall were built as early as the 7th century BC and were later joined together to make a wall totalling over 13,000 miles!  Over the centuries it has been destroyed, rebuilt, parts of it have crumbled and parts have been restored but it is still a must see!
  • There have been many inventions to come out of this amazing place-  toilet paper was invented in the lat 1300's but it was only for use by the Emperor!
  • The Chinese are also credited with inventing paper, the compass, gunpowder, and printing- called by some the 4 great inventions.  They also gave the world kites, noodles and silk but these inventions are just the tip of the iceberg. The Chinese were great inventors!!
There is soooo much more to learn about China but I'd better get going if we are going to get anything I've got planned done!  With all that China has to offer, I might need two weeks to do it all!! 

BTW, the Chinese phrase "Gung Hay Fat Choy" that I always thought meant Happy New Year, actually means "May prosperity be with you"!  Man, I love learning new things :)