As I was putting together my previous blog on Year of the Dragon 2012: The Rise of Chinese Wines, I came across a lot of near Chinese traditions regarding wine that I want to share with you.
In China, they have a saying, “A thousand cups of wine is not too much when the bosom of friends meets together.” In other words, wine brings people together, and a close friendship means happiness. Just like many other places in the world, the Chinese use wine to celebrate many different occasions.
There are fifty-six different nationalities within China, and nearly all of these have their own distinct customs and traditions with regards to the consuming of spirits.
Festive Moments in Chinese Culture
For example, in Mongolia residents will give three cups of wine to a guest, and will go on singing about wine until the guest finishes their wine.
A popular time to drink wine in China is, of course, that time that day that we find ourselves on today, the Chinese New Year! It is a time for familiars to get together and have some social drinks. Another big celebration is Double Ninth Festival, or recently more colloquially called “Senior Citizens Day.” However instead of drinking table wine they drink and traditional wine called Chrysanthemum wine, which is done to prevent disasters and pray for blessings. During this, the children will toast their parents as a way of saying “Thank You” for carrying for them when young.
Another Chinese celebration that uses wine is the celebration to mark the 100th day following a birth, as wine is seen as a gift of longevity, as well as a transfer of love and well-wishes. For this reason younger person will bring wine and join the elderly for a drink.
The Chinese Etiquette
- The Guest’s Glass should always be full of wine.
- Older and important people should be served first.
- A toast represents esteem and is seen as impolite if you don’t participate.
- A toast is represents esteem and is seen as impolite if you don’t’ participate.
- If you don’t drink you must find someone else to drink for you.
Stay tuned. The next blog is Year of the Dragon: 2012 – Traditional Foods for New Years and some wines to accompany.