Situated in eastern Asia，and on the western shore of the Pacific Ocean, the People’s Republic of China covers a land area of 9.6 million square kilometers, with an inland and coastal water area of more than 4.7 million square kilometers and an eastern and southern continental coastline extending for about 18,000 kilometers. Its vast maritime territory is studded with 7,600 islands, of which Taiwan is the largest with an area of 35,798 square kilometers. China shares common borders with 14 countries and is adjacent to 8 nations on the ocean. There are 4 municipalities directly under central government administration, 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions and 2 special administrative regions. The capital city is Beijing.
Population: 1.36 Billion (2013).
Ethnic groups: There are 56 ethnic groups in China, among which the Han people account for 92% of the total population while the other 55 ethnic groups 8%.
Languages and characters: Fifty-three ethnic groups speak their own distinct languages and 23 ethnic groups have their own writing scripts.
Religions: Religions represented in China include Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Catholicism and other Christian groups. People are free to pursue any religion.
l New Year’s Day January 1
l Spring Festival January 1 of the lunar calendar - this is the biggest festival in China.
l The Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb Sweeping Day or Ching Ming,is a traditional Chinese festival on the first day of the fifth solar term of the traditional Chinese lunar calendar. This makes it the 15th day after the Spring Equinox, either 4 or 5 April in a given year.
l International Labor Day May 1
l The Dragon Boat Festival, also often known as the Tuen Ng or Duanwu Festival, is a traditional and statutory holiday originating in China. The festival now occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of the traditional lunar calendar, the source of its alternative name, the Double Fifth Festival
l The Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival celebrated by ethnic Chinese peoples. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar (within 15 days of the autumnal equinox), on the night of the full moon between early September to early October.
l National Day October 1
Currency: RMB ￥
Time Difference: 8 hours earlier than GMT
Climate: Eastern Asia monsoon climate.