外贸知识

【中国】Chinese Culture of Drinking Etiquette

Chinaenjoysalonghistory,hersplendidculturedotsallthenationalities,whichhasnurturedrichanddifferentfolkcustomsofdrinkingalcohols,someofwhichpassdowntothepresent.

TraditionalBasisoftheCultureofDrinking
AlcoholicBeverages–MoralitiesandEtiquetteofDrinkingBeverages.
Inhistory,Confuscismhadbeenpraisedandadmiredbytherulersasformalthinkingtoruleoverthecountryandstrengthennationaldefense,thecustomsandrulesofdrinkingbeverageswerealsogreatlyinfluencedbydoctrineofconfuscism.Confuscismfocusedonthemoralitiesofdrinkingalcoholicbeverages.

Moralitiesofdrinkingalcoholicbeveragesearliestappearedin《ShangShu》and《TheBookofSongs》,itsmeaningwasthatdrinkersshouldfollowsocialmoralities,shouldn’tdoasEmperorZhoudid–“violationofhumanismandindulgenceindrinking”,《ShangShu・Forbidden-drinkDocument》chieflyrepresentedtheConfuscianmoralityofdrinkingalcohols–therewasnodrinkingexceptfortheoccasionceremonyofpayingesteemandworshiptogodswasbeingheld;noorraredrinkingexceptforthemomentyoudidn’tfeelwellinordertosavegrains;nobig-groupdrinking(peoplewereprohibitedfromgatheringinlargegroupsfordrinking);noindulgenceindrinking(theninaresultdesertingmanagementofgovernmentalaffairs).Confuscismhadnoobjectiontodrinking,consideringitasgoodnessthatpeoplecelebratedesteemtogods,showrespectstotheagedandentertainedguestswithalcoholicbeverages.

Thewaysofdrinkingalcoholsasacultureofdietshadbeendevelopedintoasetofetiquettethatallshouldfollow.Sometimestheseruleswereverycomplexandtroublesome.Butonsomeimportantoccasions,violationoftheseruleswerethoughtofasthesymbolofrebellionagainstthepresentrulers.Somepeoplewerelikelytoover-drink,whichresultedintheirlossofself-controlandmakingchaos,forthisreason,itismuchnecessarytomaketheetiquetteofdrinkingalcohols.YuanHong-DaoofMingDynastywhosawsomedrunkardsnotfollowetiquetteofdrinkingalcoholsfeltthattheeldergenerationshouldberesponsibleforit,thenheabstractedagreatdealfromtheancientbooksabouttherulesthatdrinkersshouldfollowandwroteabook《RegulationsofDrinkingAlcoholicBeverages》speciallyfocusingonhowtobehavewhiledrinking.Althoughitwaswrittenparticularlyforthosewhoplayedfinger-guessinggameswhiledrinking,itwasalsosignificanttocommondrinkers.InancientChinathereexistedthefollowingetiquetteofdrinkingbeverages:

Thehostandguestshouldkneedownfacetofacetoshowrespecttoeachotherwhentheyhadadrinktogether.Theyoungergenerationshouldfirstkneeldownbeforetheeldertoshowrespecttotheeldergeneration,thentookaseataftertheysatdowntodrink.Thattheyounghadadrinktogetherwiththeelderwascalleddrinkingcompanions.Theelderpermittedtheyoungertohaveadrink,thelattercouldtakethecupup.Theyoungercouldn’tdrinkthealcoholinthecupupuntiltheeldercompletedhisalcoholinthecupfirst.

TherewerefourstagesofdrinkingetiquetteinancientChina–esteem,memorialceremony,tastinganddrinking-up.That’stosay,thedrinkershouldfirstpayesteembykneelingdown;thenpourabitofalcoholdowntothegroundtothankforthekindnessofearththatprovideduswithgrainsandfoods;afterthatsiptotasteitandexpressyourappreciationofitinordertomakethehostdelightful;atlasttakeupthecuptodrinkitdown.

Atthefeast,thatthehostinvitetheguesttodrinkorservetheguestbypouringthealcoholintotheguests’cupswascalled”entertainment”,andthattheguestpaybackthehost’skindnessandentertainmentbyservingthehostdrinkingwasnamedas”thanks”,thehostorguestshouldpresentashortspeechtoexpresshisgoodwillwheninvitingotherstodrink;sometimes,oneofguestscouldstanduptoinvitetherestatthefeasttohaveadrinkonebyone.Wheninvitingotherstodrink,theinvitorandinviteeshouldbothstandfromtheirseats.Invitationofotherstodrinkwasusuallylimitedtothreecups.

Chinesenationalityenjoysanameofbigfamilythathasfifty-sixmembers,allthemembers,generallyspeaking,sharedifferentcustomsofdrinkingalcoholicbeveragesexceptthattheHuinationalitywhobelieveinIslamismgenerallydon’thavealcoholicbeverages.Eachnationalityholdsherownfeatureindrinking-alcoholcustoms.

CustomsofDrinkingAlcoholicBeveragesonBigDays
Onsomeimportantfestivalsinayear,weChineseholdsomespecialdrinking-alcoholactivitiesrelatedtotheirownfeatures.e.g.peoplehave”CalamusDrink”(agoodwishtohaveabumperharvest)ontheDragonBoatfestival(the5thdayofthe5thlunarmonth),ontheAgedDay(9thdayofthe9thlunarmonth)peopleenjoy”ChrysanthemumDrink”(agoodwishtobealiveeverlasting);andpeopleenjoy”LunarYear’sFeastDrink”bycelebrationofthepastyearandwelcomeofacomingyearontheEveofNewChineseLunarYear.InsomeareassuchasJiangxiProvince,localpeopleusuallyholdaget-togethertoenjoydrinkingalcoholicbeveragesaftertheyfinishtheirricetransplantationinspring.Atthemomenttocelebrateabumperharvestinautumntheyenjoyaparticularmerrimentbydrinkingmore.Bytheendoftheget-together,usuallyappearedascenethatallthemengotdrunkandwalkedunsteadilyhomesupportedbytheirownfamilymembers.

TheEveofNewLunarYearisthemostimportantfestivalanditisalsotheoccasiononwhichfamilymembersgetreunited.TheEveFeastistherichestdinner.Eventhoughheisinpoverty,seldomhasadrinkontheotheroccasions,hemusthavesomedrinkattheEveFeast.SomepeoplehavethecustomtostayuptospendthelastnightindrinkingaftertheEveFeast.OntheNewlunarYear’sDay,peopleusuallydon’tpayavisittoNieghboursandhaveacustomtostayathomeinsomeplaces.FromtheseconddayofNewLunaronYear,peoplestarttopayvisitstoNieghboursaroundandsomeguestsalsocomeovertocallon,thehostentertaintheguestswiththeprepareddeliciousdishesandalcoholicbeveragestocelebratetheNewLunarYear.

AtthebeginningofNewLunarYear,theancientChinesehadacustomofdrinking”TusuAlcoholicDrink”amongallthefamilymembers.Whiledrinking,theystartedtodrinkfromtheyoungesttotheeldest.Itwassaidthatthedrinkcouldguardagainstpestilence.

“Year’sFeastDrink”ofKoreanNationality.
Thealcoholdrinkonthisoccasionwasusuallybrewedjustbefore”theNewYear’sBeginningDay”whichissimilartotheChineseNewLunarYear’sDay.”Year’sFeastDrink”ismainlymadeofrice,togetherwithsuchChinesemedicineherbsasrootsofballoonflower,rootsoffeng-feng,cubedlitseatreeandChinesecassiatreeetc.Itissimilarto”TusuAlcoholicDrink”,butdifferentfromitincompositionsofChinesemedicineherbs.Peopleenjoyitbythemselvesorentertaintheguestswithit,whichisconsideredashavingafunctionofprotectingagainstmisfortunesandillnessesandhavingalongerandhealthylife.

“Newly-HarvestedGrainAlcoholicDrink”ofHaniNationality
Beforeautumnharvesteveryyear,HaniNationalitylivingaroundYuanjiangRiver’sreachofYuananProvinceholdsayearlyceremonywitharich”Newly-harvestedGrainAlcoholicDrink”Feastaccordingtothetraditionalcustomsinordertocelebrateabumperharvestofcropsandsafetyandhealthofpeople,cattleandpoultry.What”Newly-harvestedGrainAlcoholicDrink”isactuallyismadeinawayeachfamilycutsabunchofwould-beripegrain,thenhangingitontheupperpartoftherearwallofthehouseinordertoaskforthefamilygod’sblessandguard,overahundredofgrainsofriceorothercorntakendownwithsomefriedintopuffedgrainsandsomenot,arelaterputintoapotfullofalcoholicdrink.Aluckydateischosentodrinkit,everyfamilycookingarichdinner,allthefamilymembershavingseveralsipsoftheNewly-harvestGrainalcoholicdrinkandenjoyingthedinnertotheirhearts’content.”ChrysanthemumDrink”hasareputationofalonghistory.Itwasrecordedin《XiJingZaJi》that”ChrysanthemumDrink”wasbrewedwithchrysanthemumleavesandstemswhichwerefullygrownupandsomeothergrains,andusuallydrunkonSeptemberthe9thofthenextyear.Forthisreasonitwasentitledto”ChrysanthemumDrink”

DrinkingBeverageCustomonMarriage
Astoryof”Daughter’sRiceAlcoholicDrink”madeinSouthChinawasfirstrecordedin《NanFangChaoMuZhuang》writtenbyJiHan.ItsaidthatsouthernChinesestartedtobrewaricealcoholicdrinkwhentheirdaughterswereonlyseveralyearsold.Whenthealcoholicdrinkwasbrewed,itwasburiedunderthebottomofapond,anddugupagaintoservetheguestswhenthedaughtergotmarried.Thiskindofalcoholicdrinkhadbeeninheritedandlaterdevelopedintoafamousalcoholicdrinknamed”HuaDiaoRiceAlcoholicDrink”,WhosequalityhasnodifferencefromthatofthecommonShaoxingRiceAlcoholicDrinkexceptthatthejarcontainingithassomespecialfeaturescarvedon.Whenitisstillinsun-driedmudmould,ithasbeensculptedvariouspatternsofflowers,humanfigures,animals,birds,naturalscenesandpavilionson.Whenthedaughterisgoingtogetmarried,thejarisdugupandtheartistisaskedtopaintfiguresofdifferentoperas,suchas”EightGodsCrosstheSea”,”FortunatePatternofDragonandPhoenix”(symbolizingamerrymarriage)and”GoddessChang-eFlyingtotheMoonPalace”etc.withothersomeluckysymbols.
“HappinessAlcoholicBeverage”isusuallyasubstituteof”Weddingceremony”.Arrangementof”HappinessAlcoholicBeverage”meansholdingaweddingparty;”goingtodrink’HappinessAlcoholicBeverage’”istoattendaweddingceremony.

Show-Affection-to-Each-Other-DrinkonWeddingCeremony”ofManNationalityWhenTheyGotMarried:

AttheWeddingnight,thebridalchamberisbrilliantwithallcandlesburning,thebridegroom,aftertakingofftheveilthatcoversthebride’sface,sitsonthebride’sleft,thebridegroom’smotherhandsacupfullofalcoholicdrinktothebridegroomtohaveasip.Whilethebride’smotheralsohandsacupfullofdrinkfirstletthebridetohaveasip,thentwomothersexchangetheirowncupandaskthebridegroomandbridetohaveasipeachagain.

“Thanks-givingDinner”ofManNationalityBeforeandAfterWeddingParty
Thebridegroom’sfamilypresentawell-cookedrichdinnercontainedinspecially-madeboxescarriedbytwopeopletothebride’sfamilytoexpresstheirthanksthatthebride’sfamilytookgreattroubleinnurturingthebride,thenmarryingtheirson.Besides,a”Thanks-givingMatchmakerDinner”shouldbecooked,placedinaroundboxes,carriedbyonepersontothematchmaker’sfamilytoexpresstheirthanks.

“WelcomeDrink”and”FarewellDrink”ofDaurNationality.
Assoonasthebride’srelativesaccompanythebridetoarriveatthebridegroom’shome,thebridegroom’sparentsshouldentertainthebride’srelativeswithtwocupsofalcoholicdrinkwhichisnamed”WelcomeDrink”,therelativesshoulddrinkupinordertoshowtheyhavebeenunitedasonefamily.Afterthatthebridegroom’sfamilyentertaintherelativeswithrichdishes.Aftertheweddingceremonyends,thebride’srelativesusuallystayforanightiflivingfaraway.Onthefollowingdaywhentherelativesareabouttobidafarewell,thebridegroom’sparentsshouldstandbythegate,presentinga”FarewellDrink”toeachrelative.

“EngagementFeast”
“EngagementFeast”isthedinnerpreparedfortheengagementceremony.Afterhavingan”EngagementFeast”bothsidesagreetobeengagedandtheengagementcontracthascomeintoeffect.Afterthatbothsidesshouldkeepthepromise.

“A-Visit-to-Bride’sFamilyFeast”
Onthesecondweddingday,thenewly-marriedcoupleshouldpayavisittothebride’sparents,andthebride’sfamily,ofcourse,entertainthecouplewitharichdinner,whichiscalled”A-visit-to-Bride’sFamilyFeast.”Thebride’sfamilyonlyprepareslunch,afterlunch,thecouplebothwillcomeback.

“Showing-Affection-to-EachOtherDrink”
ItisoneprocedureofthetraditionalChineseweddingceremony,itwasalsocalled”MatchingTwoGourdLadlesTogether”meaninggettingmarriedinancientChina.ThetermcameintoexistenceduringTangDynasty.DuringSongDynasty,thecustomwasratherpopular,twocupscontainingalcoholicdrinkweretiedandlinkedtogetherwithcolorfulsilklaceinthemidofwhichtherewasacolorfulsilkflower,thecoupletookonecupeachanddrankitorexchangedthecupthendrankit.ThetraditioniswidelyspreadoverChina.Forexample,inShaoxingDistrict,theceremonyisheldbyamarriedwomanwhoisselectedforhergoodfortune,herhavingsonsanddaughtersamongtherelatives.Beforehavingthedrink,thebridegroomandbrideareprovidedwithsomericedoughnutsandtwocupsofHuaDiaoRiceAlcoholicDrinkarepouredbytheselectedwomanwhofirstpresentsthetwocupstothebridegroomandbride,eachtakingoneandhavingonesip.afterit,theselectedwomanwillmixthetwocupsofdrinktogether,whichsymbolizes”Youaremine,mineisyours”,andaskthecoupletofinishthedrink.Intheend,thewomanwillcastanumberofcandiestothecrowdstandingoutsidethedoorwatching.

“Arm-CrossedDrink”attheWeddingCeremony”
Attheweddingceremony,thenewly-marriedcouplewilltakeacupofdrinkeachandcrosstheirarmsintheshapeofEMBEDMSDraw*mergeformattohaveasipinordertoshowtheaffectionandlovetoeachother.

OnWorshipCeremonytoGodsandAncestors,FuneralCeremonyandAlcoholicBeverages.FolkAlcoholicDrinkingCustomsontheOccasionsofWorshiptoGodsandAncestors,andFuneralCeremony:AlltheChinesenationalitiesenjoythecustomsofholdingthememorialceremonytoworshipgodsandancestorswithalcoholicdrinks.Whenapersondied,therelativesandfriendsallcametoexpresstheirlastmemoryandesteemtothedead.TheHanshaveacustomofholdingamemorialfeast–a”Non-animalMeatFeast”,someplacescallthedinner”Soybean–curdFeast”.Althoughthenon-animalmeatfeastisusuallyheldatthefunerals,thealcoholicdrinkcan’tbesaved.Someminoritiesgotoexpresstheirlastmemorytothedeadwithsomealcoholicdrinksandmeat,e.g,theMiaoNationalitySharesthetradition,thevillagersusuallypresentsomejinofalcoholicdrink,ricejosssticksandcandlesetc.tothefamilywhosememberwasdead,therelativesshouldpresentmore.Forexample,theson-in-lawshouldpresenttwentyjinofalcoholicliquorandapig.Thefamilywithsomeonedeadshouldentertainthepeoplecomingtooffertheircondolenceswithadinnerandthealcoholic.IntheNunationalityareainYunnanprovince,allthefamiliesofthevillageshouldcometocondolewithsomealcoholwhensomeoneisdead.Thewizardpourssomealcoholintothedeadperson’smouth,whileallthepeopleonthespothaveacupofalcoholeach,whichisnamed”aLeavingForeverDrink.”InancientChina,whenthedeadwasburied,somealcoholicwasusuallyplacedintothetomb.Thismeantthedeadcouldenjoythefunofdrinkinginthenetherworld.TheHanshaveacustomtobringsomealcoholandmeattotombsandgravestopaytheirmemorialesteemtoancestorsonBrightnessDay.

Onsomeimportantfestivals,whenafamilyfeastisheld,importantseatsshouldbekeptforthedeadancestors,thefamilyheadshouldtakealessimportantseat,thefamilycanenjoythedishesandalcoholicdrinksonlyafterallthedishesandalcoholicdrinkshavefirstlybeenplacedthedeadancestors’seatswhichmeanstheyhavebeentastedbythedeadancestorsfirst.Beforethedeadancestors’pictures,somedishesandcupsofdrinkareplacedwithcandlesburning,whichexpressesthefamily’smemorialthinkingandesteem.

SomeOtherCustomsofDrinkingAlcoholBeverages
“MonthlyBirthdayCelebrationFeast”and”OneHundredDayAfterBirthCelebrationFeast”arewidelyspreadcustoms.Whenonecouplehaveababy,relativesandfriendswillbeinvitedtohavearichdinnertocelebrateatthemomentthebabyhasbeenonehundreddaysoldoronemonthold.Therelativesandfriendscometocongratulateusuallywithsomepresentsorsomemoneyasagift.

ACelebrationfeastforANewly-bornbabyUndertheGuardianshipofClergyman.Inancienttimes,anewly-bornbabywouldbesenttothetemplenearbytoregisterforaclergymanonlyinnamewhenthefortunetellersaidthatmuchtroubleandmisfortunewouldfalluponthebaby.Wealthyandpowerfulfamiliesusuallyheldmagnificentceremonies–payingavisittotheclergyfather,holdingbigfeastsandworshippinggodsandancestors.Alltherelativesandfriendswouldbeinvitedtohavedinnersforcelebration.

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