Mei is from the third-largest country in the world – China.
Almost all Chinese people like Mei have straight black hair and brown eyes. Their skin color could be described as slightly sandy or golden.
China is nestled in Asia and bordered by fourteen countries, including Pakistan, India, North Korea, Afghanistan, Burma, Nepal, Russia, and Tajikistan. It is one of the world's most populated countries. Mei shares her home country with around 1.4 billion people. Although Beijing is the capital city, the most populated city in China is Shanghai.
The typography of China is unique. One-third of the land area of China is covered by mountains. The Himalayas are the major mountain ranges in China. Did you know that the tallest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, sits on the border between China and Nepal? China is also home to the third largest river in the world, the Yangtze, which is 3,915 miles long. The famous Giant Panda is also found near this river.
Mei's country has a long history. Chinese history is all about dynasties. The first recorded ruling dynasty of China was the Shang Dynasty. The Shang's tribal chief was Tan, and the Shang Dynasty lasted from around 1600-1050 B.C. That is almost more than 4000 years ago! Although the Shang Dynasty is the earliest recorded Chinese dynasty, there is evidence that there was another dynasty before that. Some historians found evidence of the Xia dynasty between 2205 and 1575 B.C.
In 1912 15 provinces declared independence from the Qing Dynasty that was in power. The county became known as the People's Republic of China.
Mei and her countrymen and women love festivals. The Chinese New Year is also called the Spring Festival and is held in late January or early February. The date changes each year because the Chinese have their own calendar different from the one you may follow. Unlike New Year's celebrations in other countries, Chinese New Year lasts for 15 days.
Chinese New Year's Day celebrates the start of the new year. Many Chinese people believe that this is a lucky time. That is why they observe many beliefs and superstitions during the days around the Chinese New Year. Mai and other Chinese children usually receive gifts and money wrapped in red envelopes or red packets to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
The Lantern Festival is technically a part of the Chinese New Year. It is held on the last day of the Chinese New Year period. This festival has been celebrated nearly from the beginning of China's history.
Chinese people go out and look at the moon during the Lantern Festival. They release lanterns into the air and fly drones that are lit up. They also spend time with friends and family and enjoy a meal together.
In April each year, Mei and her countrymen and women celebrate the Qingming Festival. The Qingming Festival is also called the Tomb Sweeping Festival. During this festival, Chinese people sweep and clean the tombs or gravesites of their loved ones. They use this time to honor and remember their ancestors.
Double Seventh day is observed on the seventh day of the seventh month. This day is also known as China's Valentine's Day – a day filled with romance and love.
Traditional Chinese clothing.
Many Chinese girls and women like Mei wear western clothes. But they also like to dress in traditional Chinese clothing.
China has 56 ethnic groups, but most people (91.6%) are part of the Han ethnic group. Han clothing, known as Hanfu, is the oldest style of traditional Chinese clothing. The outfit is often made of silk. Today Hanfu is mostly worn during festivals, wedding ceremonies, or for special photographs. A Hanfu outfit has several parts: an open cross-collar shirt, an open cross-collar jacket, and either a skirt or pair of trousers.
Chinese people would wear a belt or sash with decorations tied around their Hanfu. In the old days, the more decorations one wore, the higher social status one held.
The cheongsam (also called the qipao) came from the changpao ('long gown') favored by the Manchu women. A cheongsam has about six main features. The first is the Mandarin collar. These collars sit high around your neck, almost like a short turtleneck. The two parts of the collar are fastened at the front of the neck.
The second feature is the traditional Chinese knotted buttons called pankous. Most cheongsams have five pankous. Two pankous are usually used to fasten the neck area, while the other three are spaced to close the chest piece called the 'large front.'
The edges of a cheongsam are decorated with special edging techniques. The sleeves can be different lengths and styles; some have no sleeves, perfect for summer.
Cheongsams can be short (above the knee) or long (ankle length) and usually have slits on either side.
Tang suits are a type of jacket with buttons down the front. The suit has a Mandarin (or band) collar, and the buttons are formed by an intricately knotted cord. Traditional Tang suits are decorated with Chinese characters to bring the wearer good luck and other favorable wishes like longevity or happiness.
Today Tang suits are mostly worn for special occasions like important events, Chinese New Year, or wedding ceremonies.
Here are some more fun facts about China and Chinese people:
· The Great Wall of China is the largest human-made structure in the world. The wall is 5,500 miles long and is held together with mortar made with sticky rice!
· In China, every year is named after one of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals.
· The biggest holiday in China is the New Year.
· Ice cream was discovered in China some 4,000 years ago. Emperor Tang of Shang, who lived in the 7thcentury, even had 94 'ice men' who made ice cream for him.
· A particular type of dolphin, the Chinese White Dolphin, lives in southern China. Even though they are called 'white,' they are often pink in color.
· The currency of China is Yuan.
· China is roughly the same size as the continental U.S. Unlike the U.S., which has four time zones, China only has one.
· Mandarin, a Chinese dialect, is spoken by more people worldwide than any other language.
· Chinese people value harmony, courtesy, wisdom, honesty, and loyalty.
· Many Chinese emperors believe that they are descendants of dragons.
· Chinese people were the first people in the world to use paper money – about 1,400 years ago.
· At one point, the Chinese population grew so fast that the Government imposed a one-child policy. This meant Chinese couples could only have one child. This policy ended in 2016, and Chinese couples can now have two children.
Mei might be shy at first, but once she has warmed up to your other Megadolls paper dolls, she will be a loyal and trustworthy friend. Purchase your Mei Doll here.
With Megadolls, may we all inspire, encourage kindness, experience creativity, and promote meaningful play with awareness and compassion for others.