Chinese Arts and Pastimes

China is well-known for its lavish arts as well as interesting pastimes. Here we have selected some highly representative examples among our culture activities.

Shadow Play

Shadow play is a Chinese folk art form. The production of fine shadow play is a combination of drama, music and other artistic means to form the performance. It has a long history and is also the earliest introduction of Western traditional Chinese art. In this culture activity, you will learn the history and manufacturing process of Shadow puppets. You can also enjoy a professional show of shadow play and even tell your own story with the shadow puppets on the stage!

Making Pottery

Pottery in ancient times was used in daily necessities, compared to today it in general is seen as more of a crafts collection. China (as one of the four ancient civilizations) has made outstanding contributions to the progress and development of human society, among which is the invention and development of ceramics.

Our master said to us, the English word-“china” is not only the meaning of China herself, but also the meaning of ceramics, clearly shows that China is the “hometown of ceramics.” Although it is different from the pottery, there are close relations between them. Pottery has always been one of the earliest works of art in China.

In the pottery-making seminar, Aupairia will bring you to the pottery workshop and guide you through the art of crafting pottery with your own hands.

Calligraphy – History and practice

History and development of Chinese calligraphy from the oldest forms (which are more than 2,000 years old), through to modern scripts we see and use in everyday modern life. The varying styles covered include – Oracle Bone Script, Large Seal Script, Small Seal Script, Clerical Script, Regular Script, Semi-cursive Script and Cursive Script. Introduction to the four writing implements of Chinese calligraphy – writing brush, ink stick, paper and ink stone.Instruction and practice on how to properly hold a writing brush. During the seminar, you will learn and practice how to write the seven basic strokes of Chinese characters (㇀一丨丿丶㇏亅), plus experimenting with writing common characters.

Chinese traditional painting

What is traditional Chinese painting? It is paint with brushes, ink and traditional Chinese colors. Most commonly painted on rice paper or thin, tough silk, it has its own art theory system and painting techniques. You will learn the unique technique of Chinese traditional painting – handling the magic of ink and water with a soft bush!

Seal Carving

Seal carving (or zhuanke in Chinese 篆刻) is a traditional art form that originated in China. It involves cutting a pattern into the bottom face of a seal or chop the active surface is then used for stamping. The seal is always an important part of a traditional Chinese paint and calligraphy in China. Aupairia will bring you to the seal workshop to experience the process of your own seal being brought to life!


Paper-cutting is a Chinese traditional folk art which is still popular in China nowadays. It is a common decoration for weddings and traditional festivals like the famous spring festival held every year in China. The patterns of traditional subjects will be cut on red paper and include ancient and modern Chinese people, beautiful natural views and famous buildings. In paper-cutting class, you will learn how to cut double 喜, which means happiness which is always used in a wedding. Also the12 Chinese zodiac animals (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, pig) which is usually used as a window decoration in the celebrating of Chinese New Year.


Mah-Jong is one of the most famous Chinese games which is played with 4 players. Mahjong is a popular very popular pastime for the Chinese people. It is played in their spare time and is usually an important form of entertainment for the Chinese during traditional festival, or with family and friends. This is a game for truly bringing people together. In our Mahjong class, we will guide you through this tradition while explaining the various Chinese Mah-Jong tiles. Of course you’ll learn the rules of the game and how to organize the right settlement to win. You will also learn some important words about playing it which make you play the game as a local while boosting your Chinese. It’s a win win situation!

Chinese Chess

Chinese chess originated in China in 569 AD and is a board game for two players. The game is based on the story of the last battle between Liu Bang and Xiang Yu, the former became the first emperor of Han dynasty (202 BC to 220 AD) soon after the battle. In the game, you will lead your army as a general and fight to win the battle coquering your rival!

Chinese Tea Ceremony

When people discuss the topic of tea and porcelain, they will no doubt mention “China”. In the Aupairia tea ceremony seminar, we will share the knowledge and origin of tea, main categories of Chinese tea and give you the best possible combination of tea and porcelain. In the Chinese tea ceremony you will have chance to try different kinds of Chinese tea you might never have comprehended before and see tea in whole new light.

Making Dumplings

Dumplings are one of the main traditional foods here as you may already know. A dumpling consists of a small piece of dough and a filling (vegetables or meat or combinations of both), the dough is then used to wrap the filling. Chinese people cook dumplings by boiling, frying or steaming. In China there are various kind of dumplings, for example shrimp dumplings from Guangdong province and steamed crab dumplings from Yangzhou in Jiangsu province.

Dumplings are a popular dish in China and they are traditionally prepared and consumed as part of the Chinese Spring Festival celebrations. During our recent Chinese Spring Festival, we had a tasty “making dumplings culture class”. During this class, you will learned to make dumplings from a local expert to get the true flavour of China. After preparing and boiling the dumplings, we get them together and have a beautiful Chinese style feast!

For an unforgettable adventure, apply to become an au pair in China