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Learn Chinese Dining Etiquette

If you plan to have popular China tours which include the local family visit, you should learn the dining etiquette in China.

Chinese dining etiquette has developed for a long history. According to the records, dining etiquette has formed a well-established system during the Zhou Dynasty, and then it becomes the important aspect of showing Chinese culture, civilization and tradition. In this article, the writer will introduce some of the etiquette to you and help you blend in China more quickly.

◆Dining Etiquette

The biggest difference between China and western countries is westerners like to eat the food in front of them, on the contrary, Chinese people like to put all the dishes in the center of the table, and eat them together. The food you have picked up by the chopsticks should be put in your bowl before eating them, otherwise it is regarded impolite.

◆A Chinese Dinner

Cold dishes are firstly served to stimulate the appetite, and next dish is the hot soup, it will help you increase your body temperature, after all these are finished, the main dishes start. The finale food is dessert like red bean paste and sesame paste. There are also other types, such as pudding, pancakes, ice cream, they are equally tasty.

◆Way to Eat

Wait until the soup is either too hot or too cold, sip the soup with a spoon. As for dinner, you should raise your bowl to your lip, push the rice into your mouth with the chopsticks. That is one of the easiest way to eat, and also a sign to show that you like the meal.


Few Chinese people drink wine when having meals, however, it plays an important role in the party or banquet. At beginning of the banquet the host should propose a toast first, it is of decency to make the guests drunk. If you cannot or don’t want to drink, you should demonstrate at first so that the embarrassing scenes can be avoided.

Chinese Table Manners

1. Your invitation should be noticed in advance, it is not proper to invite your guests to the dinner at 5:45p.m if the dinner begins at 6:00p.m.

2. The hosts cannot be late for the dinner, however, if you are the guest it is appreciated to be late for 5-10min.

3. As a guest you shall not order the dishes unless the host asks you to do so.

4. If there is a pair of chopsticks or a spoon in the dish when it is served, use this to pick up the food, do not stir the food by your own chopsticks.

5. Do not talk while there is still some food in your mouth.

The above-mentioned dining knowledge is very useful and help you have an easy China travel.

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