Oranges on Golden Mountain by Elizabeth Partridge

BOOK This picture book is the story of Jo Lee whose mother sends him to California with orange tree cuttings. The book makes reference to traditional Chinese folk religion and other cultural information about these immigrants from the east. Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, 2001. K-5

Chinese New Year

WEB VIDEO & DISCUSSION GUIDE This video from PBS Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly shows a Buddhist family in the U.S. observing the rituals of Chinese New Year. The Chinese tradition of celebrating the New Year began more than 4,000 years ago, and has evolved into a holiday that includes a combination of rituals from Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism. Also known as Spring Festival, it is celebrated by Chinese communities throughout the world at the end of winter. Download the video to the desktop of your device to view it.


WEB RESOURCE This British Broadcast Company website focuses on Taoism. Sometimes seen as Daoism, this is an ancient tradition of philosophy and religious belief that is deeply rooted in Chinese customs and worldview. Taoist ideas have become popular throughout the world through Tai Chi Chuan, Qigong, and various martial arts.

Daoism in China

WEB RESOURCE Daoism is one of the major belief systems or religions indigenous to China. The core of Daoism is in learning and practicing "The Way" (Dao) by which is meant to be the ultimate truth to the universe. This site has a description of the schools, main tenets, and the history of practicing "The Tao."

Daoism: The Way

WEB RESOURCE Classical Daoist philosophy, is believed to have been formulated by Laozi, who was thought to have lived in the 5th c. B.C.E., and Zhuangzi (3rd century B.C.E.). Their writings are an interpretation that led to the development of an ancient nameless tradition of nature worship and divination.

Chinese Religion

WEB RESOURCE Chinese traditional religion is not an organized, unified system of beliefs and practices. Instead, traditional Chinese religion describes an interaction of different religious and philosophical traditions that have been influential in China. Chinese religion is composed of three main traditions: Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. The religious outlook of most Chinese people consists of some combination of beliefs and practices from these four traditions. This ReligionFacts sites provides descriptions of various aspects of traditional Chinese belief.

Legalism (Chinese philosophy)

WEB RESOURCE This well researched Wikipedia site provides and overview of, the key figures in, and more elements of the Chinese philosophy of Legalism.

Chinese Calendar

WEB RESOURCE Chinese New Year is the main holiday of the year for more than one quarter of the world's population. Although the People's Republic of China uses the Gregorian calendar for civil purposes, a special Chinese calendar is used for determining festivals. The beginnings of the Chinese calendar can be traced back to the 14th century B.C.E.

Religion Library: Taoism

WEB RESOURCE Taoism, also known as Daoism, is an indigenous Chinese religion often associated with the Daode jing (Tao Te Ching), a philosophical and political text purportedly written by Laozi (Lao Tzu) sometime in the 3rd or 4th centuries B.C.E. The Daode jing focuses on dao as a "way" or "path" that is, the appropriate way to behave and to lead others. The Patheos Religion Library provides information about the origins, beliefs, history, rituals, and ethics of Taoism.

Mooncakes and Hungry Ghosts: Festivals of China by Carol Stepanchuk and Charles C. Wong

BOOK This is an overview of Chinese festivals as they are celebrated around the world. The book describes the historical roots of the festivals and the beliefs, and elements associated associated with the festivals. MS-HS

Chinese Religion

WEB RESOURCE This Patheos Library site argues that there are three major Eastern religions in China: Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism; but that religion in China predates these traditions and continues to exist outside their boundaries. Included is an introduction from which readers may link to origins, beliefs, history, rituals and worship, and ethics and community.

2,000 Years of Chinese History! The Mandate of Heaven and Confucius

WEB VIDEO In this Crash Course World History John Green introduces you to quite a lot of Chinese history by discussing the complicated relationship between the Confucian scholars who wrote Chinese history and the emperors (and empress) who made it. Included is a brief introduction to all the dynasties in Chinese history and an introduction to Confucius and the Confucian emphasis on filial piety, the role the mandate of heaven played in organizing China, and how China became the first modern state.

Legalism and Legalists of Ancient China

WEB RESOURCE Legalism was a philosophy of administration in ancient China. Upon first acquaintance with this system it seems no more than a rationalization by political administrators for their having total political control of their societies. It is thought to have developed during the Warring States period about 300 BCE to 200 BCE which was very damaging to Chinese society. The administrators who became known as Legalists asserted that humans could be dissuaded from acting upon their selfish impulses only if they faced a set of rigidly enforced punishments for evil, selfish behavior.

Laozi: The Old Master

WEB RESOURCE The concept of Dao is more often associated with the figure Laozi and the classic Dao de Jing (The Book of the Way and Its Power) than with Confucius. Laozi emphasized harmony with the Dao, that heavily emphasizes the need for harmony with the natural world, in order to achieve balance in life.

The Three Teachings

WEB RESOURCE There is an enduring significance of Confucianism in East Asian culture, and its intersections with Daoism and Buddhism, collectively known as the "three teachings" of Chinese tradition. This brief introduction to the basic concepts of each of the philosophies is done from a modern interpretation that will make sense to many readers.

Chinese Religions and Philosophies

WEB RESOURCES Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism are considered the "three pillars" of ancient Chinese society. As philosophies and religions, they not only influenced spirituality, but also government, science, the arts, and social structure. Instead of one tradition taking over and pushing the others out, the three philosophies have influenced society alongside each other, changed each other, and at times blended together. Understanding the unique interplay between these three traditions gives great insight into ancient Chinese society, as well as modern times.