China is a country with a long history, Chinese splendid culture dots all the nationalities that has nurtured rich and different folk customs of drinking, some of which pass down to the present.
In history, Confuscism had been praised and admired by the rulers as formal thinking to rule over the country and strengthen national defense, the customs and rules of drinking beverages were also greatly influenced by doctrine of confuscism. Confuscism focused on the moralities of drinking alcoholic beverages.
Chinese people hold some special activities where drinking is related to their features. On some important festivals in a year, people have:
"Calamus Drink " that is a good wish to have a bumper harvest on the Dragon Boat festival celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month.
On the Aged Day celebrated on the 9th day of the 9th lunar month people enjoy " Chrysanthemum Drink " that means a good wish to be alive everlasting.
People enjoy " Lunar Year's Feast Drink " by celebration of the past year and welcome of a coming year on the Eve of New Chinese Lunar Year.
In some areas such as Jiangxi Province, local people usually hold a get-together to enjoy drinking alcoholic beverages after they finish their rice transplantation in spring. At the moment to celebrate a bumper harvest in autumn they enjoy a particular merriment by drinking more. By the end of the get-together, usually appeared a scene that all the men got drunk and walked unsteadily home supported by their own family members.
The Eve of New Lunar Year is the most important festival and it is also the occasion on which family members get reunited. The Eve Feast is the richest dinner. Even though they are in poverty, seldom have a drink on the other occasions they must have some drink at the Eve Feast as requirement.
Some people have the custom to stay up to spend the last night in drinking after the Eve Feast. On the New lunar Year's Day, people usually don't pay a visit to Nieghbours and have a custom to stay at home in some places. From the second day of New Lunar on Year, people start to pay visits to Neighbours around and some guests also come over to call on, the host entertain the guests with the prepared delicious dishes and alcoholic beverages to celebrate the New Lunar Year.
At the beginning of New Lunar Year, the ancient Chinese had a custom of drinking " Tusu Alcoholic Drink " among all the family members. While drinking, they started to drink from the youngest to the eldest. It was said that the drink could guard against pestilence.
Year's Feast Drink " is mainly made of rice, together with such Chinese medicine herbs as roots of balloon flower, roots of feng-feng , cubed litsea tree and Chinese cassia tree etc. It is similar to " Tusu Alcoholic Drink ", but different from it in compositions of Chinese medicine herbs. People enjoy it by themselves or entertain the guests with it, which is considered as having a function of protecting against misfortunes and illnesses and having a longer and healthy life.
In short there is a special drink for every kind of events and culture period that go since a simple harvesting time to a big wedding or national festivities. Undoubtely the most popular drink is Tea, chinese tea and its ritual contemplates a great deal in Chinese culture.
Many Chinese alcoholic drinks are quite distinctive from those of other countries and foreign visitors coming across them for the first time may a little wary of them.
However, once they have tasted a sample or two, they may well acquire a taste for the various drinks available and find they really enjoy them!
An important component of Chinese cuisine and culture, the use of alcohol can be traced back to the dawn of the nation's history. Over the centuries many different kinds of alcoholic drinks have been developed and brewing methods as well as distillation has become more sophisticated. At the same time the way of consuming these desirable products has become a vital part of custom and culture.
Alcoholic beverages have inspired many writers resulting in thousands of poems and other works relative to 'the magic elixir'. People drink it when they are joyous and for fun and although we are aware that an over indulgence can harm the constitution, nevertheless drinking in moderation is considered beneficial. No banquet would be complete without it, while a toast can seal a business enterprise, send troops into battle with a prayer for victory as well as endorse a wish for the health and happiness of family and friends.
One of the classic examples of the ceremonial use of alcohol is described in the famous story "Romance of the Three Kingdoms". The three heroes in the epic tale, become blood brothers by drinking bowls of wine into which they have mixed drops of their own blood from cuts in their fingers! This act may seem extreme but was a symbol of faithfulness in those days.