China’s Big Four

China's four beautiful women: Shih Tzu, Wang Zhaojun, Yang Yuhuan, and Diao Chan. (Image:  wikimedia  /  CC0 1.0)
China's four beautiful women: Shih Tzu, Wang Zhaojun, Yang Yuhuan, and Diao Chan. (Image: wikimedia / CC0 1.0)

China has a long history and profound culture. From the four classic novels to the four talented women, some netizens came up with more of China’s Big Four after going through all aspects of China’s history and culture.

One of the most beloved episodes from the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West is the tale of Monkey King and Princess Iron Fan. (Image: Shen Yun Performing Arts)

One of the most beloved episodes from the classic Chinese novel ‘Journey to the West’ is the tale of the Monkey King and Princess Iron Fan. (Image: Shen Yun Performing Arts)

Here is a list of China’s Big Four:

  • The four most talented women: Cai Wenji, Ban Zhao or Shangguan Wan’er, Zhuo Wenjun, and Li Qingzhao
  • The four great classical novels: Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Journey to the West, Water Margin, and Dream of the Red Chamber
  • Four beauties of ancient China: Xi Shi, Wang Zhaojun, Yang Guifei, Diao Chan
  • Four ancient operas that depict tragedy: Guan Hanqing’s The Injustice to Dou E or Snow in Midsummer, Ma Zhiyuan’s masterpiece Han Gongqiu, Bai Pu’s Indus Rain, and Ji Junxiang’s The Orphan of Zhao
  • Four legendary stories: Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, Yu the Great’s Flood Control, Cowherd and the Weaver Girl, and Meng Jiangnv
  • Four famous Buddhist mountains: Mount Wutai in Shanxi, Mount Emei in Sichuan, Mount Putuo in Zhejiang, and Mount Jiuhua in Anhui
  • Four great inventions: direction compass, gunpowder, printing techniques, and the geomantic compass
  • Four ancient capitals: Xi’an, Luoyang, Beijing, and Nanjing
  • Four major cuisines: Lu (Shandong), Chuan (Sichuan), Su (Jiangsu), and Yue (Guangdong)
  • Four traditional festivals: Lunar New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, and Ching Ming Festival
  • Four major regional operas: Beijing Opera also known as Peking Opera, Huangmei Song originally known as the Caicha Opera, Cantonese Opera, and the Yueju Opera
  • Four famous mountains: Huangshan (absolute), Huashan (danger), Lushan (popular), and Taishan (scholar)
  • Four famous wines: Maotai, Fenjiu, Luzhou Lao, Jiao Tequ, and Xifeng

Translated by Chua BC.

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