5 Amazing Facts about Ancient China

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Updated on: Educator Review By: Michelle Connolly

Fact Number One: Ancient China was ruled by families called Dynasties

The government of Ancient China was ruled by an Emperor and his family. These powerful families were called Dynasties. Each dynasty gives its name to a period of time in China. The government would be ruled by that family for a very long time. Each time the emperor died he would be replaced by another family member. Some dynasties lasted as long as 800 years.

Fact Number Two: You had to be able to write poetry to work for the government

The Tang Dynasty lasted around 300 years and was the golden age of poetry in China. Being able to read about and write poetry was an essential skill if you wanted to move up the social ladder.

When applying to work for the Emperor you had to complete tests, these included being able to write poetry. Because poetry was seen as such an important skill this time in Ancient China saw some of the best poetry written. People still study this period of history today because of the great poetry written at the time.

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Chinese caligraphy

Would you like to learn more about the Chinese writing, check out our article on the Chinese Alphabet.

Fact Number Three: Fireworks were invented in Ancient China

In 200 BCE a man in Ancient China invented the first firecracker by accident by throwing bamboo into fire. It wasn’t until 1000 years later in 800 CE that a man tried to create a mixture that would give him eternal life. He mixed his ingredients together and created gunpowder. This would be placed in bamboo or paper tubes to create fireworks.

They weren’t different colours like the fireworks we know today but they were still very exciting. The Ancient Chinese used them in ceremonies and celebrations and believed the fireworks loud noise and bright light would scare away evil spirits.

They were very clever and they also invented many other things such as wheelbarrows, paper, and printing.

Fireworks invented in Ancient China
Fireworks were invented in Ancient China

Fact Number Four: An emperor in the 7th century had workers that made him ice cream

Rulers of the Ancient world had been enjoying icy treats for hundreds of years by the 7th century. Enjoying iced drinks and snacks was a thing for rich people largely because of the fact that ice was hard to find. They did not have freezers like we do to make ice.

King Tang of Shang was the Emperor in the 7th century and he created a new kind of icy treat which is one of the first ever ice creams. It contained buffalo milk, camphor, and flour and was frozen using snow. He loved the dessert so much he had a whole staff of men to go and get ice for him and to make him treat. They called them his ‘ice men’, what a cool job!

Fact Number Five: Ancient Chinese people believed in living a peaceful family life

Confucius was a very important Chinese philosopher that created the beliefs of Confucianism that focused on having good morals.

Confucius said to have a peaceful life it was important to be kind to your community and respect your elders. He also said that humans never stop learning so we should always be looking for new knowledge. Just like we are today!

If you enjoyed this content why not dive into some more historical eras – check out these articles: Ancient Rome, Ancient Egyptians – The First Woman Pharaoh, Greek Mythology – Medusa, Native American History. Victorian Era, Ibn Khaldun or Celts.

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