The Shang dynasty, 2000 BC, is the earliest period known about what the Chinese worshiped. They worshipped different gods, gods of the weather of the sea, prosperity and growth. The jade emperor was in charge of the running of heaven, hell and the living, The Chinese dragon was the god of the rain. It is believed to be the most powerful and divine creature in Chinese mythology as it can control all waters Early Gods
Ancestral worship They also worshipped their ancestors – their parents and grandparents become god like when they died, they got magical powers from crossing into the afterlife and the ancestors could either help them or punish them. Each family worshipped their own ancestors. They believed the world of the spirits was very similar to the world of the living and they would need food money and clothes. They would keep the ancestors happy by bringing gifts and food and they would burn them so they would go to the other realm and the ancestors would be able to eat or drink. If the ancestors weren’t kept happy they would turn into hungry ghosts, which might attack anyone in the community.
Oracal Bones Around 1500 BC people begun to use written oracle bones to try find out what will happen in the future. They believed they could talk to their ancestors through them. They were usually tortoise bones or animal shoulder bones but some oracle bones have been found made of deer, ox and human skulls. How they work... the king or emperor would ask a question, and the priest would heat a bronze pin and calve the question in to the oracle bone,. Then the priest would heat the oracle bone, this created a pattern of cracks over the bone. The priest would study the cracks to find the answer to the question
Taoism Then in 600 BC, a philosopher created Taoism, which is closely linked to Buddhism, they believe there is an opposite to everything, yin and yang, for every action there is a reaction, and they must find a balance in everything, they believe in working with nature, not trying to get in the way by force, but through compromise and using natural forces in their favor. They try to obtain an inner peace through meditation.
Confucianism Not long after Taoism began another philosopher, Confucius created a different philosophical system, Confucianism, which went against Taoism; it holds that people should do their duty and follow their leaders and their gods faithfully. Order is the way to peace. If everyone does what their told and what their supposed to do there won’t be any fighting and nobody will be upset.
Buddhism Around 500 AD Buddhism was introduced to China from India. Which has the largest following in china today. It is very similar to Taoism, it encourages followers to ward off self interest and lead a simple life without suffering, they do this through meditation to find inner peace.
Food and Agriculture Wheat production
Foot binding In the Sung Dynasty, about 1100 AD, a fashion for women to bind their feet. Women thought that to be beautiful they needed teeny-tiny feet, only about three inches long for the story of their version of Cinderella, where the prince loves her because she has the smallest feet of anyone in the kingdom, so the slipper would only fit her. They got these tiny feet by wrapping tight bandages around the feet of little girls, about five or six years old. The bandages were so tight they broke the girls’ toes and bent them underneath their feet and then they had to walk on them like that. Women with bound feet couldn’t walk very well at all, and when they had to work in the fields often they would crawl.
Chinese jewellery Religion had a big influence in ancient Chinese jewelry, with things like Buddhist symbols or dragons. Men and women wore items of jewelry as symbols of their wealth and status. It was traditional for men to wear one earring and women to wear a pair of earrings. Many pieces of jewerllery were made of jade, jade symbolized nobility, prosperity, perfection, immortality and luck.
Ancient Clothes In ancient times during the Sui dynasty about 500 AC, the emperor decided that all poor people had to wear blue or black clothes and only rich people could wear color. The woman would wear long tunics down to the ground, the men would wear them to their knees, for festivals, or public gatherings they would wear very beautiful silk robes.
Modern clothes Modern Chinese clothing still tries to incorporate ancient patterns and embroidery in to the modern fabrics.