Strike the Gong with These Chinese New Year Treats


As a white American girl, I don’t celebrate Chinese New Year and it partly explains the reason why I didn’t include it among my other holidays for February of last year. However, I tend to regret this because even though I don’t have any reason to celebrate it, it’s still a major holiday. And one I’ve often ignored for far too long. I mean Chinese New Year is a holiday that’s celebrated by at least no more than 1 billion people around the world. That’s more than who celebrate holidays like Cinco de Mayo, Thanksgiving, 4th of July, the Super Bowl, and Groundhog Day. And I’ve done at least a treat post for each of them. Not to mention, Chinese New Year is a very old holiday as well since it’s been celebrated in China and East Asia long before Christ, making it older than Christmas and Easter mostly due to several myths and traditions. Now the Chinese New Year is an important Chinese festival at the turn of the lunisolar New Year. This year it’ll be on February 8th as the year of the Monkey. The literal translation of the Chinese name is the Spring Festival, though February isn’t in what I’d exactly call spring. Nevertheless, celebrations traditionally run from the evening of the first day to the Lantern Festival which takes place on the 15th of the first month afterwards. Traditionally, this festival was to honor their deities and ancestors. Yet, while it may not be the case anymore, it’s still celebrated in China as well as in other countries like those in Southeast Asia, Mauritius, and the Philippines. There’s a lot of traditions pertaining to Chinese New Year, especially when it comes to food. But in this post, this will pertain to Chinese New Year treats which uphold to certain forms like panda cupcakes. So for your reading pleasure, here are is a treasure trove of Chinese New Year treats.

  1. You can’t celebrate Chinese New Year without some dragon cake pops.

The dragon is a common motif on Chinese New Year, especially since dragon dances are common for celebration. Nevertheless, this one comes in segments.

2. For your Chinese New Year dessert platter, you can’t go wrong with these cookies.


These consist of Chinese kids, money, cherry blossoms, lanterns, a fan, and a pagoda. Still, these are cute.

3. If you love Chinese fans, then you’ll sure love this cake.


I’m sure this is professionally made. Still, this cake is supposed to take the form of a Chinese porcelain vase with some Chinese fans on it.

4. When it comes to dragon cupcakes, they always have to have the right kind of scales.


And this one seems like this one is among the fire breathing types. Still, I like the colorful scales and the fiery tail on this one.

5. For the Year of the Snake, wake up to this slithering strawberry shortcake.


Well, the Year of the Snake was in 2013, before I started this blog. Still, you might be able to make this and refer it to a dragon.

6. Of course, where would Chinese New Year be without a panda cupcake?


This is so cute. Love the Oreo ears, hands, and feet. Also love that cute little face. Seriously, who can resist this?

7. For your Chinese New Year dessert platter, may I suggest takeout?


Okay, it’s just a professionally made cake that’s going to cost you way more than conventional takeout. But still, I think it’s clever if you ask me.

8. When it comes to Chinese New Year, nothing’s more appropriate than a rice bowl cake.


For many, rice seems to be the Chinese signature dish. But for a long time, this was now what a lot of Chinese actually ate.

9. These cookies are sure to delight your Chinese New Year dessert platter.


These include Chinese money, cherry blossoms, lily pad, mandarin orange, Yin Yang, Chinese Characters, Chinese lantern, red fan, Chinese girl, bamboo, and a panda. Still, quite cute.

10. For Chinese New Year, you can’t go wrong with mandarin orange macaroons.


Mandarin oranges are the most popular and most abundant fruit of Chinese New Year. It’s an emblem of luck and good fortune.

11. When it comes to Chinese New Year, it helps that the cakes all match.


This one was for the year of the Dragon as well as professionally made. The cake depicts a dragon with cherry blossoms and Chinese characters.

12. For Chinese New Year cakes, you can’t go wrong with red and gold.


As you can tell by the detail, this one is professionally made as well. But I do love the rich red and gold decor on this one.

13. To welcome the Year of the Snake, treat yourself to this little snake cupcake.


Sure it’s not the Year of the Snake. But this is so adorable that I just had to add it on. Seriously, who can’t resist this?

14. Looks like someone is having takeout all on one cupcake.


Nevertheless, fortune cookies aren’t really Chinese food. And sushi is primarily a Japanese cuisine. Still, how they did this, I have no idea.

15. This Chinese New Year, feast your eyes on this cupcake dragon.


Yes, this is another cupcake dragon. But it’s in another form as you can see. For instance, this one has an ice cream cone snout.

16. Celebrate the coming of the Chinese New Year with these panda cupcakes.


Yes, these are panda cupcake. And yes, I put them for Chinese New Year because pandas are important animals in China. Also, they’re adorable.

17. Make your Chinese New Year a sweet and lucky occasion with a cake like this.


This one has 2 girls standing alongside a Chinese character, money, and mandarin oranges. Nevertheless, this is quite charming.

18. For Chinese Americans celebrating Chinese New Year, this chopstick and fortune cookie cake might suit your fancy.


Contrary to popular belief, fortune cookies aren’t really Chinese. They modern version likely originated in America and the earliest one probably came from Japan. Yet, they tend to serve these at Chinese restaurants for some reason.

19. For Chinese New Year, you can’t go wrong with a tea set on a cupcake.


Yes, the Chinese sure like their tea and their calligraphy. Nevertheless, how someone managed to do this, I have no idea.

20. Celebrate the Year of the Snake with this snake sandwich.


Yes, I know it’s not the Year of the Snake. That was 2013. But I needed something on this post other than pastries and desserts. So it goes on.

21. Red and gold icing are always great for Chinese New Year cookies.


I guess these were professionally made since they’re so ornate. Still, wonder how you can come across some gold icing.

22. If you like Chinese lanterns, then you’ll love these macaroons.


Seems like these are simple to make as I see. Well, for people who know how to make macaroons. But you have to like these.

23. For those who like to go big with Chinese lanterns, there’s a cake for that.


Yes, I know there are a lot of professionally made cakes on here that you probably can’t afford. Still, you have to admit this one is gorgeous.

24. If you’re looking for a Chinese New Year treat, you can’t go wrong with these cupcakes.


These consist of Chinese characters, cherry blossom and money, mandarin oranges, and firecrackers. And they’re all on one tray.

25. If you love flowers, then you’ll adore these cherry blossom sticks.


Cherry blossoms are more often associated with Japan than China. However, they’re said to be native to the Himalayas, so I’ll put it on here.

26. For you repressed art students out there, these are the Chinese New Year cookies for you.


Love the Chinese characters and flowers on this one. Nevertheless, I don’t think I could ever master icing calligraphy like that.

27. When it comes to Chinese New Year, grace your dessert platter with this pagoda cake.


Pagodas are towers associated with East Asian architecture. Many of the serve religious functions and have been around for centuries.

28. For their Chinese New Year lunch, your kids will enjoy this dragon sandwich.


Not sure if it reminds me of a Chinese dragon. But for this post it’ll do since Chinese dragons would be hard to make into sandwiches anyway.

29. For the enlightened, this Buddha cake will sure go well with your Chinese New Year dessert platter.


Buddhism may have originated in India, but it’s a big religion in China and other Asian countries. So it goes on this post.

30. Since a dragon is such an important figure in Chinese New Year celebrations, then this cake can’t be beat.


Yes, this is what a Chinese New Year dragon looks like. A bit smaller than some of them. But I think it’s adorable.

31. For Chinese New Year, you can’t have more intricately painted cookies than these.


These cookies are most likely made by a professional or repressed art major. This set includes a couple paintings, lanterns, and a panda.

32. For healthier lunch options, you can always go with panda sushi.


Sushi may not be a Chinese dish. But pandas certainly are native to China. And these sushi rolls are so adorable.

33. If you like Chinese fans, these cookies are sure to delight.


Yes, these are probably done by a professional. But you have to love the cherry blossoms on these. Not an easy thing to put on icing.

34. For the Year of the Monkey, this eggroll will make a tasty treat.


Eggroll is a Chinese dish as far as Chinese restaurants are concerned in America. But it still looks pretty adorable.

35. These panda cookies are guaranteed to be hard to resist.


These seem quite doable for Chinese New Year. Besides, you’d have to be crazy to think pandas aren’t adorable. Because they are.

36. For Chinese New Year desserts, these macaroons will sure go nicely.


These have flowers, Chinese characters, fans, and other things on them. And they’re in red, white, and black.

37. When it comes to Chinese New Year, your kids are sure to love these panda cupcakes.


Sure they may have chocolate cereal ears. But you still have to love them because they’re so adorable to behold.

38. For a more quaint Chinese New Year, you’re sure to like this tea set cake.


This teapot appears to be covered in cherry blossoms. Not sure how I feel about the color. But it’s certainly creative on the baker’s part.

39. On Chinese New Year, you can’t get more elaborate than these cupcakes.


Yes, these are definitely made by a professional. Still, includes cherry blossoms, a qipao, and Chinese lantern.

40. Nothing makes your Chinese New Year than cake pops like these.


These consist of Chinese kids, firecrackers, red envelope, mandarin orange, money, and lantern. Still, these are adorable.

41. For simplicity, you might want to go for cherry blossom marshmallows.


They’re marshmallows with cherry blossoms on them. Seems more doable than other ones on here. Except with the icing artwork.

42. When it comes to snacks, these jelly koi fish will do nicely.


Though associated more with Japan, koi fish were first bred for ornamental purposes in China 1,000 years ago. Also, they’re not tiny beyond any stretch of the imagination.

43. When it comes to celebrating Chinese New Year, you can’t do anything wrong with a cake like this.


Now this cake is professionally made because I don’t think a normal person can have those art skills. Still, this is cute.

44. With Chinese New Year cupcakes like these, your holiday is sure to bring great fortune.


These include mandarin oranges, Chinese characters, cherry blossoms, and koi. Nevertheless, you have to love these.

45. These cherry blossom sugar cookies would make fine additions to any Chinese New Year dessert platter.


Yes, these flowers look beautiful. Still, I know that most of these pictures usually consist of cookies and cakes. Hey, I tried my best.

46. I’m sure your Chinese New Year cookies could never look like this.


These consists of a cherry blossom tree, a lantern, a dragon, and a mask. Still, way better art job than I could do.

47. Celebrate your Chinese New Years with these delectable cupcakes.


These consists of a lotus blossom, a dragon, Chinese characters, and a Chinese lantern. Still, better than I could make them look.

48. For you Chinese fan lovers, these cookies will take the cake.


Now I guess these were made in 2013 which was the Year of the Snake. How could I have guessed?

49. For the Year of the Dragon, these cookies will do quite nicely.


These seem to consists of red envelopes, Chinese Characters, dragons, lanterns, and money chain. I’m sure these are from 2012.

50. Nothing goes better with a Chinese New Year dinner than some snake and dragon bread.


I think this came from some restaurant in San Francisco. It’s supposed to be a snake. But to me, it resembles a dragon.

51. Celebrate the Year of the Monkey with these chocolate banana buns.

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I think this might come from some online magazine in Australia. Still, they do look pretty cute though.

52. For the Year of the Snake, kids will hiss with delight on these fortune cookie and fruit roll up snacks.


These are from 2013. Nevertheless, as far as the year is concerned, I really don’t care. Besides, these are adorable and creative.

53. Celebrate your Chinese New Year with this golden dragon cake.


Now that’s more like it with the dragon cake. Love the colors on this one. So pretty.

54. For the Year of the Snake, take a bite out of these slithery buns.


Looks like these were made from a bun and a bagel. Too bad that was for 2013. Still, I think these are great.

55. For Chinese New Year, you can’t beat cookie art like this.


These include a Chinese lady with a parasol, a cherry blossom branch, a pagoda, and a map of China. Still, these are lovely and probably expensive.

56. If you want to make something for Chinese New Year, then look no further than these dragon cookies.


Sure these are cookie sandwiches andthey barely look like dragons. But they sure do melt your heart.

57. Those who celebrate the Chinese New Year sure have to love sugar cookies like these.


I guess these are professionally made as far as I could tell. Nevertheless, I sure love the artisan ship which is well beyond mine.

58. For a more kid friendly Chinese New Year, these Chinese Zodiac cupcakes might suit your fancy.


Each cupcake represents two animals of the Chinese Zodiac. Dog is with pig, monkey is with rooster, goat is with horse, dragon is with snake, tiger is with rabbit, and ox is with rat.

59. For a more golden Chinese New Year, this pagoda cake is just the thing.


Wonder how much of this cake is edible. If the roof is, If it is, wonder where they get the gold icing from. Never seen icing so shiny.

60. For a healthy Chinese New Year, you can’t go wrong with a panda lunch.


This has a pandom made from olives and nuts I believe. Yet, it also has a carrot sun and cucumber bamboo. Still, quite cute.

61. This red cake is exactly what your Chinese New Year party needs.


This one has a golden Chinese character as well as cherry blossoms. Either way, it’s simply stunning.

62. Yes, Chinese pagodas tend to be red but how about a pagoda cake in blue?


Yes, this cake is certainly professionally made as you see here. Still, it’s incredibly lovely that it almost resembles a scaled down model.

63. This Chinese New Year, make it a panda party.


Because everyone knows that pandas live in China. And everyone loves pandas. So this cake is a win-win.

64. Those who wish to celebrate Chinese New Year in pink will love this cherry blossom cake.


Wonder if those flowers are icing, real, or plastic. Nobody will know for sure. Well, there’s one way to find out but this is not the venue.

65. For cold Chinese New Year treats, these panda ice cream cones are absolutely perfect.


Sure Chinese New Year happens during the winter. Still, these ice cream treats are most appropriate for the occasion. Since they’re adorable panda treats.

66. For your Chinese New Year platter, these Rice Krispie dragons are a real treat.


Yes, these are dragons with Rice Krispie snouts and Fruit Roll Up tails. Still, it’s a rather creative idea.

67. If you want a fancier cake, this pagoda one with the Chinese Zodiac is perfect for your platter.


I think this was a birthday cake for a guy named Peter. But it’s a great cake for Chinese New Year as well. Love it though.

68. Nothing makes a Chinese New Year party than a dish of these panda cookies.


Yes, these are panda chocolate and sugar cookies. And yes, these are adorable. Don’t you want to hold one of them? Don’t you?

69. Ring in the Chinese New Year with these jelly cakes.


I think these appeared on Groupon. Still these include money, Chinese characters, and koi.

70. For celebrating Chinese New Year, you can’t go wrong with these koi cookies.


These are shortbread cookies even though they might resemble bread. Still, I think they must be quite tasty.

71. These Chinese money buns are where the money is.


These look so tasty. Then again, perhaps it’s because the golden brown shine makes my mouth water.

72. These pandas are sure to make your Chinese New Year a delight.


These are cookies that are made to resemble pandas with chocolate details. Anyway, these are so adorable that you’d want to eat them up.

73. For your little ones, they will surely love these Chinese Zodiac cupcakes.


I’m sure these cupcakes are for little kids for the Chinese New Year. Yet, they’re just so adorable to look at if you ask me.

74. You can’t celebrate Chinese New Year without a cake of a golden dragon.


Wonder why the dragon seems like it’s cut in half. Nevertheless, I think this looks great, especially with the gold icing.

75. Make your Chinese New Year worthwhile with these cookies.


These consist of Chinese dolls, Chinese characters, and cherry blossoms. Still, these are so cute.

76. Greet the Year of the Horse with this cookie set.


These include lanterns, horses, dolls, money, and a fan. From 2014, but I like it so it goes on.

77. You can’t have Chinese New Year without a cake of red and gold with a dragon on top.


I wonder if the golden bird is a phoenix which might explain a lot. Still, once again, I’m not sure how they get gold icing.

78. Nothing says Chinese New Year like a red cake trimmed in gold with a lotus blossom on top.


I think this is a Longevity cake which is for birthdays. Still, since it’s Chinese themed, I’ll put it in for Chinese New Year.

79. It’s not the Year of the Monkey until you have some monkey cupcakes.

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Now this seems doable. All you need are wafers, icing, and sprinkles. Still, these are adorable.

80. When it comes to Chinese New Year, you’ve never seen a cake like this.


Now I’m sure you wouldn’t be able to fit that kind of cake on your dining room table. Nevertheless, this dragon boat cake is spectacular for any Chinese New Year celebration.

History of the World According to the Movies: Part 12- China


Perhaps no western movie encapsulates Chinese history more than the Award-Winning film, The Last Emperor, which accounts the life of the boy emperor Puyi whose life was profoundly affected by the governmental changes that embarked China in the early 20th century. Interestingly, he ended his days as a gardener under the Communist regime.

In many ways, Chinese history is about as old a civilization itself since it has existed with much of its culture intact for thousands of years though developed separate from Mesopotamia. However, this has not been the same in recent years with imperialism, the collapse of the last dynasty, the time of the republic, Communism, and whatever China has now. However, China is nevertheless consists of a rich history with dynasties, invasions, intellectuals, scandals, wars, and court intrigue. Two of China’s dynasties have been under foreign rulers such as the Yuan of Kublai Khan and the Ching under the Manchurians. China has also been credited with inventing things like paper, gunpowder, and fireworks. Still, movies about Chinese history tend to reflect that of a very large country that resides a billion people on earth. And yet, China is home to so many other cultures, traditions, and languages than what the Chinese government would like to admit. Nevertheless, many movies based in China aren’t a stickler for accuracy since they tend to be based on historic legends chronicling real life incidents (like Romance of the Three Kingdoms.) Still, even movies about a country with a glorious past still has inaccuracies which I’m willing to list.

First here’s a guide to the Dynasties to determine the time periods (and that everyone understands what I’m talking about):

Xia (c. 2100 B.C.E. – c. 1600 B. C. E.) -may be mythical but it’s inscribed in Chinese historical records.

Shang (c. 1700 B. C. E. – 1046 B. C. E.) -earliest Chinese Dynasty as far as archaeologists are concerned.

Zhou (1046 B. C. E. – 256 B. C. E.) – longest dynasty in Chinese history as well as the one where a lot of Chinese culture aspects are based. Also, Confucius, Sun Tzu, Laozi, and many of the early Chinese thinkers lived in this period. Many of their ideas would soon influence later Chinese thought in years to come.

Spring and Autumn Period (722 B. C. E. – 221 B. C. E.)- Zhou power is decentralized and wanes as feudal lords vie for local power in their own region sometimes with the king being ruler in name only.

Warring States Period (476 B. C. E. – 221 B. C. E.) – China is divided and local entities are fighting against each other. Zhou Dynasty falls, while the state of Qin eventually takes over.

Qin Dynasty (221 B. C. E. – 206 B. C. E.) – mostly encompasses the reign of Qin Shi Huangdi, first Emperor of China and builder of the first Great Wall. Fell a few years after his death.

Han Dynasty (206 B. C. E. – 220 A. D.) – one of the defining Chinese dynasties which established the Han Chinese culture. Confucianism becomes China’s official philosophy as well as saw the invention of paper and advances in metallurgy. Had a brief overthrow for 14 years but was later restored. May have had contact wit the Roman Empire. China was divided for decades after collapse.

Three Kingdoms Era (220 A. D. – 280 A. D.) – China is divided into three kingdoms and a period of feuding warlords. Romance of the Three Kingdoms covers this and is seen as a very famous time period in China.

Jin Dynasty (265 A. D. – 420 A. D.) – ruled Northern China and is famous for its decadent court, defeats by nomads, and line of incompetent emperors. Area was soon divided into sixteen kingdoms after it fell.

Southern and Northern Dynasties (420 A. D. – 589 A. D.) – a period of civil war and division but saw the development of Chinese Buddhism and pagoda. Han Chinese heavily colonized and developed the south while the north was constantly at war.

Sui Dynasty (589 A. D. – 618 A. D.) -united the country after centuries of fragmentation, set up a long lasting government system and coinage, and extended the Great Wall. Fell after two generations.

Tang Dynasty (618 A. D. – 907 A. D.) – encompasses China’s Golden Age of civilization as well as when gunpowder is discovered. Becomes a cultural influence in Korea, Vietnam, and Japan with embassies as far away as the Byzantine Empire.

Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period (907 A. D. – 960 A. D.) – another period of unrest and civil war. Former based in the north, latter in south.

Song, Liao, Jin and Western Xia Dynasties (960 A. D. – 1279 overlapping) – though one of contending dynasties, war, and eventual Mongol Conquest, was a period of great technological innovation as well as economic and cultural prosperity.

Yuan Dynasty (1271 – 1368) – basically this is Genghis Khan’s family and founded by his grandson Kublai Khan. Of course, they wanted to run China their own way so brought their own bureaucrats from the West who were mostly Muslim (though western Mongols brought Chinese administrators). Great period  for Chinese literature and drama.

Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) – last ethnically Chinese dynasty which built the most current Great Wall standing today. Famous for novels, porcelain, isolationism, and flourishing economy and urban life. Yet, marred by political troubles, national disasters, civil unrest and corruption by eunuchs.

Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911) – China’s last dynasty founded by the ruling family of Manchuria. China takes it’s largest form. Early years mark great conquest and prosperity. Later years marred by European Imperialism, opium, civil unrest, delusions of nationalistic grandeur, failed policies, and other things. Still, this is the dynastic period most covered in movies since documentation was more readily available.

Dynastic Periods:

The Forbidden City stood in Beijing around the time when China was under assault by the Huns. (The Forbidden City was built during the Ming Dynasty and by that time the Huns were integrated in Chinese society. Also, Mulan existed during the Han Dynasty.)

Fireworks were used in China during the Han Dynasty. (It was during the Sui.)

China was fighting the Huns during the later Han Dynasty. (The Huns were invading Europe at the time and hailed from Russia. The “Huns” depicted in Mulan were probably Mongols who were habitual invaders anyway and they were called the Xiongnu. However, they wouldn’t take over China until the 1200s.)

Chinese Imperial horsemen rode using stirrups on their horses. (They would’ve done no such thing. The Mongols, on the other hand….)

The Chinese Imperial Army rode on Arabian horses. (Maybe but no common peasant would own one. Mulan could never have such a majestic horse like Khan.)

Gunpowder existed during the Han Dynasty. (It was invented during the Tang.)

Chinese people were free to hug the Emperor. (No one would really be permitted to hug the Emperor, since his subjects had to keep respectful distance.)

Mulan was discovered as a woman after she was wounded and was kicked out accordingly. (She’s actually said to expose her breasts willingly to her fellow soldiers who were totally cool with it. Oh, and she had been a general for a while, served in the army for 12 years gaining great respect, and had literally saved the Empire before that, too. Of course, while China has had a reputation for treating women harshly, this only comes later since the Chinese had no law to execute any woman impersonating a man to join the military, at least during the Han Dynasty.)

Marco Polo actually went to China. (There’s some debate about this. The Yuan Dynasty kept pretty meticulous records even of those of foreign visitors far less important and illustrious than the Polos, and he’s not in them. However, there were other non-Chinese explorers who went to China during the Middle Ages. Still, Polo never mentioned things like foot binding, chopsticks, tea, gunpowder, or the Great Wall {though it might’ve disintegrated by that point}. Not to mention, they said that he didn’t understand much of Mongolian or Chinese at all such as the units. Thus, he may just have been a “conman” who might’ve tried to pass the stories of other foreign travelers as his own.)

The Eight Nation Alliance put down the Boxer Rebellion which wasn’t really about imperialism. (It was so about Imperialism and though the Boxers were violent and attacked civilians, they really had something to rebel against. I mean it was imperialism that basically got much of their country hooked on opium as well as make China a ruined mess, basically.)

Those who took part in the Siege of Legations were actively chose to stay in order to make a principled stand during the Boxer Rebellion. (They were more than willing to get the hell out of there but couldn’t because the countryside was swarming with Boxers.)

Chinese men had to shave their hair in a pigtail during the Mongol invasions. (This isn’t until the Qing Dynasty. Before then, they wore their hair long and bound it together on the top of their head or under a hat.)

Marco Polo was the first European in China. (He was the first to write a detailed account of it, assuming he did visit it. Also, he’s said to have traveled with his father and uncle {who weren’t there first}. There’s said to be Roman embassies in China during the 3rd and 4th centuries, but its fuzzy. )

Marco Polo only traveled from Venice with a servant. (He traveled with is father and uncle assuming he did go to China.)

Kublai Khan was a single dad with a daughter. (He’s said to have 4 wives and 22 sons. He’s also said to have at least 2 daughters, one who became a Buddhist nun and another who married a king of Korea. Neither ran off with Marco Polo, however.)

Everyone in Song China spoke Mandarin Chinese in what is now Central and Western China even by non-Chinese. (Only in Manchuria. Mandarin Chinese wouldn’t be spoken in mainland China until the Qing Dynasty. And those living in present day Central and Western China who aren’t Chinese would speak a Turkic dialect.)

Cao Cao was a scheming chancellor who ran China with an iron fist through the young Han Emperor. (Though he’s represented in Chinese media as a cunning and deceitful man, he was said to be a brilliant ruler who did a lot of good in the realms of education and agriculture. He also wrote poetry.)

Liu Bei was a compassionate and righteous leader endowed with charismatic potency who built a state on the basis of Confucian values though he was kind of a weeping wreck. (He was actually a competent commander while some of the strategies in popular media attributed to Zhuge Liang were actually his own. Not to mention, he was warlord and more Legalist than Confucian though he came from modest means rising through the ranks. And though he’s depicted as a loyal servant to the Han Empire, he probably would never have ascended to becoming emperor of his own state without the Han collapse. Also, he’s said to make a lot of mistakes like irrationally leading a disastrous attack on Yi Ling, slamming his infant son to the ground which doomed his future empire. Nevertheless, he’s a popular folk hero in China as well as has a cult following as a deity.)

Zhuge Liang was a wise and competent administrator who can perform fantastical achievements like summoning advantageous winds and devising magical stone mazes. (Sure he was a brilliant guy but he wasn’t the supreme tactical and strategic genius he’s depicted in Chinese media. He was actually more of a top political and domestic administrator.)

Zhang Fei was a blundering drunkard with a short temper who can be of hindrance on the battlefield though still smart enough to utilize great strategies. (He was the most strategically accomplished of Liu Bei’s main generals.)

Guan Yu was a righteous and loyal warrior. (His image is perhaps one of the most altered and aggrandized in Chinese pop culture, especially in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which is like the Chinese equivalent to the works of Homer.)

Xiao Qiao was a badass who walked right into enemy territory and had tea with Cao Cao. (We don’t know much about her and it’s very unlikely this ever happened.)

Qin Shi Huangdi was a ruthless despot who ruled China with an iron fist making the country a cyrpto-totalitarian legalistic dystopia. (Of course, this is China’s first Emperor and mostly responsible for what makes China the country it was during the later Dynastic years. However, he’s depicted as such villain in Chinese media that his would-be assassin and a concubine who conspired against him are shown in much more favorable light than he is. Still, his reputation may have to do with the fact that his dynasty was overthrown three years after his death despite the fact that archaeological findings relating to his dynasty may reveal that the Qin Emperor may not have been as brutal as previously thought. Nevertheless, his fear of assassination may be perhaps justified.)

Kung Fu broadswords and jians were often used in a lot of Chinese battles. (These swords were first made in fairly modern times. Neither were used in ancient Chinese combat.)

Guan Yu used a Gundao during the Three Kingdoms Era. (He more likely used a dagger axe since these weapons came out in the Ming era.)

Dowager Empress Cixi was a dominating and power hungry evil matriarch. (She’s certainly no saint and certainly did a lot of morally reprehensible things, there’s still debate on whether certain things about her are true or just stemmed from Chinese politics using her as as scapegoat.)

The Tang Emperors lived in the Forbidden City. (It wasn’t built until the Ming Dynasty.)

Emperors were all noble, wise, and grandfatherly. (Sometimes they were anything but.)

Big hulky brocade wearing brutes used to mow down peasants by the thousands with flashy musou attacks. (I’m not sure this is possible.)

Fair maidens were either skilled enough to kick butt in martial arts or supernatural creatures in disguise. (Hey, didn’t they have something called footbinding? I’m sure the latter is certainly not true. Still, how did some of these women managed to learn kung-fu after having their feet crushed? I mean some of these films take place after the Song Dynasty at least. Seriously, footbinding could really get in the way with a young girl’s martial arts training. And it doesn’t help that many of these martial arts wielding waif fus are from prominent families where footbinding would definitely be practiced. Of course, most Chinese families were peasants, but if a family could afford a well off lifestyle without doing manual labor, you can bet the girls would have had their feet bound.)

Tang Empress Wu Zetian imprisoned Di Renjie for eight years for opposing her rule. (She had him demoted to a province for three over another official accusing him of contempt. He later helped run the government under her, which makes him more of court favorite than anything. Of course, this guy is best known for getting his own western detective series.)

Empress Wu Zetian was a ruthless tyrannical ruler willing to off family members. (Maybe but she was probably no worse than her male counterparts. Chinese historic record tends to be biased against strong female rulers.)


Chinese villages were ruled by wise and benevolent landlords who were loyal to their country during World War II. (Actually, they weren’t nice guys to China’s vast peasant population and exploited them whenever they could. Also, many of them did cooperate with the Japanese during World War II.)

The Ip Man was a bourgeois martial arts teacher who escaped from the mainland to flee the Japanese during the invasion as well as worked as a laborer. (He was actually a police officer who supported the Kuomintang and fled to Hong Kong to escape the Communists. Also, he never worked as a laborer before becoming Bruce Lee’s teacher. However, this doesn’t stop the Chinese from portraying him this way in the movies.)

Simplified Chinese characters came in around the 1930s. (They were introduced after the Communists came into power in order to improve literacy.)

British journalist George Hogg led 60 orphan boys through China fleeing from the Japanese secret police and nationalists who wanted to conscript some of them with an Australian nurse. (He was actually assisted by friends from New Zealand, particularly a known Communist named Renwie Alley who’s absent from a film relating to this incident.)

Puyi was a playboy and had a lot of sexual interest in women. (Evidence in his romantic interest in women is scant {to the point he was rumored to be gay} though he had five consorts which he referred to as his wives “in name only.”)

Puyi was a tragic hero, especially in his private life. (He flogged eunuchs as part of his daily routine by age eleven. During his reign in Munchukuo, he went nuts, became obsessed with consulting oracles, injected himself, and beat servants for trivial offenses.)

Traditional Chinese music was endorsed by the Red Guard during the Cultural Revolution. (Traditional Chinese music was illegal in China during the Cultural Revolution considered as one of the four “Great Olds.” Western music was considered “bourgeois.”  Actually the only music allowed in Maoist China were Socialist slogan songs. How horrible.)

Mao Zedong was depressed about his legacy as well as bored with his political life by the 1970s. Yet, he was more interested in why Henry Kissinger was such a ladies’ man. (Contrary to Nixon, he may have been more optimistic about his legacy than how it turned out, yet he had a good reason to be depressed about his legacy since so many people in China got killed under him and the fact that he left China in terrible shape. Not only that but his wife would be jailed after his death. But at least China was unified and the Chinese people had better lives so he remains a controversial figure. As for Kissinger, yeah, I’d probably wonder the same thing. Yet, we need to understand that Mao was married four times and had terrible hygiene habits like not brushing his teeth and going 25 years without taking a bath according to one account. He was also a chain smoker. Yet, he’s said to have a lot of sexual partners.)

Bruce Lee started taking martial arts lessons after having a childhood nightmare. (Contrary to Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, he started training at 13 after being beaten up by a street gang. He would also get into a lot of fights as a teenager that his mother decided to ship him off to America. Also, he had been taking occasional acting jobs since he was a child since his dad was an actor and singer in the Cantonese Opera Company. Yes, one of the biggest martial arts stars ever had a dad who was an opera singer.)


China has always consisted of homogenous Han Chinese. (Han Chinese usually live in the southeast of China and even they were a mixed lot before the Sinicizing Han Dynasty. China is also home to Manchurians, Muslim Uighurs, and Buddhist Tibetans. Actually China has been quite a bit multicultural than it usually makes itself out to be.)

Older and/or wealthy or noble Chinese women could walk in a normal fashion unassisted by a cane. (Since their feet were bound as children, they couldn’t without wobbling unassisted. Also, some of those women who could walk unassisted were Manchurian, not Chinese.)

Chinese traditionally wore a qipao that opened at that side. (The Manchurians did. Chinese robes open at the front. The modern qipao doesn’t look like something pre-20th century Chinese would wear at all.)

The Great Wall has always looked the same. (It was renovated several times from the Qin to Ming Dynasty.)

China has always been a unified entity. (There have been times when it hasn’t, particularly between dynasties.)

Chinese people had good hygiene and dental care. (It depended on status naturally. Since most of China has comprised of poor peasants for most of its history, this wouldn’t be the case. Also, Mao Zedong was notorious for having poor personal hygiene {he had green teeth} as well as certainly didn’t practice safe sex {most of the women he slept with got infected with STDs because of him}. Oh, and every day he used to take a swim in one of China’s major rivers {take it what you will}.)

Chinese people were very polite and courteous prudes. (Just because their Confucian ethic encourages them to be nice to others doesn’t mean the country has exercised in polite behavior in society at least by Western standards. I mean there’s a No Spitting campaign there and some of their literature can get quite spicy. Also, some of the things Chairman Mao once said can put Howard Stern to shame.)

Chinese aristocrats had Fu-Manchu mustaches. (Well, maybe some did.)

Chinese people didn’t eat any weird things. (Uh, much of what you see in a Chinese restaurant doesn’t really consist of what someone in China would eat.)

Kung-Fu fights were a common occurrence. (Of course, most of the movies set in historical China are kung-fu movies despite it being a culture of intellectuals. You were more likely to hear government officials staging Chinese philosophy debates than kick punching each other. Seriously, how often would kung-fu fights occur during that time?)

China was an isolated entity for much of its existence until Europeans arrived there. (It’s said that the West knew of China’s existence for centuries even before Marco Polo {even if he didn’t actually go there}. Sure China was isolationist at times but it also engaged in foreign policy with other entities, just not European. Then you have the Zheng He voyages during the early Ming Dynasty.)

Family and filial piety was the most important thing in Chinese society. (Yes, but apparently there were emperors who didn’t see it that way. And then there’s Dowager Cixi poisoning her nephew.)

Funerals were modest affairs in China. (Actually Chinese people spend much more on funerals for family members than most Americans spend on weddings, especially in Taiwan. Oh, and it’s not uncommon to hire strippers for those occasions either.)

China had samurai in the 19th century. (Samurai were exclusively from Japan. However, China did have ninjas though.)