The Culture and Patrilineage of the Han Chinese

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Most Han Chinese are urban, although the countryside still has a large number of rural residents. Most Han families watch television in the evening. However, they also have access to video cassette recorders, which have become popular in urban areas. Han Chinese also enjoy movies and music, with rock and pop music popular among young people and classical and Chinese opera enjoyed by the elderly. Travel to other parts of the world is also a popular pastime, and calligraphy and traditional Chinese painting are the most popular forms of folk art. Some Han people also enjoy kite flying and chess, among other hobbies.


Patrilineage of Han Chinese is a longstanding tradition in China. From its earliest written history, Chinese people have been patrilineal. Clans and their hierarchical structure were the basis for the feudal order. The emergence of patrilineage in China dates back to the Song period. In Chinese history, patrilineage includes all male descendants of a founding ancestor. However, women usually attach themselves more strongly to their husbands' lineages.

Class structure

The social hierarchy in the Han dynasty had two different classes - the upper and lower classes. The upper class consisted of aristocrats and bureaucrats. These individuals were generally the most educated, and often sought advice from the emperor. In addition to this, they owned land in the emperor's kingdom. There were also some nobles who belonged to this class.


The traditional way of life in the Han region of China is quite different from that of the rest of China. Han villages are marked by religious observances, seasonal celebrations, and customs related to birth, marriage, and funerals. The ancient custom of marrying the younger son, and raising him to be a man, is still very much alive today. However, it's not uncommon to see a few minor changes.


The ancient Han Chinese religion is rooted in a universalistic philosophy, which emphasizes the role of the Yellow Emperor, a culture hero who created civility. According to the apocryphal texts related to Hetu He Tu, the Yellow Emperor was born of a chthonic deity and is considered the cosmic child of Heaven and Earth. The Han dynasty was characterized by its emphasis on the importance of the human being on the earth.

House styles

Although houses in ancient China were not necessarily circular, they were still commonly shaped like circles. Early archaeological sites revealed round dwellings, and as Chinese culture spread out of the Yellow River Valley, home style began to narrow down into a more streamlined siheyuan style. This was followed by Yue homes in southern China, which were typically built on wooden piles because of the region's humid climate. As time progressed, the Han Chinese culture became more organized, resulting in distinct house styles that were developed over the course of history.


During the Han Dynasty, the diet was quite different from that of today's Chinese. They ate a variety of different food items, including dried fruits, vegetables, and roasted meat. While they did not consume rice, they were a big fan of fermented and baked goods. Other staple foods included breads, noodles, and cakes. People in the Six Dynasties region of China mainly ate millet, while people in the southern region ate more rice and barley.

August 26, 2022



Race and Ethnicity

Subject area:

Han Chinese

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