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Why is the traditional Chinese heritage trendy to Chinese millennials?

Courtesy of The Forbidden City

It’s not a secret that local and international interest in traditional Chinese culture has emerged, especially in social media. There are always discourses of global audiences with the Chinese who get curious about the cultural differences of the East and West. The pop-cultural movement on traditional Chinese culture can be found everywhere in the daily lives of Chinese millennials. 

The trend on traditional Chinese culture can be seen in a positive light because interested individuals can learn the rich Chinese history and culture. With different periods and dynasties, there are different notable legacies that they can admire. Not to mention, there are trends and quirks in the aesthetics and style in various dynasties that are very insightful and interesting. It’s good that the younger generation is eager to discover their roots and embrace their identities as Chinese with their interest in traditional Chinese culture. 

Courtesy of The Forbidden City

Chinese millennials bring importance to their traditional Chinese culture, which has resulted in a phenomenon already. Adapting the traditional Chinese heritage in their modern lifestyles is one of the best ways on how we can show importance and appreciation to our Chinese identity. These lifestyle choices and consumptions of traditional Chinese heritage are heavily influenced by these aspects: 

Pop culture in media 

Pop culture presented in film and television in China has a great impact on the Chinese with popular historical dramas like The Untamed and Story of Yanxi Palace. Viewers seek to understand why the characters have different names like Lan Wangji from The Untamed is also called Lan Zhan, Hanguang Jun, and Lan Er Gong Zi. They’re also curious and interested in historical facts about the Qing Dynasty in the Story of Yanxi Palace. With all the buzz from admiring the fashion and aesthetics of the Ming Dynasty to fact-checking historical details, the Story of Yanxi Palace has become the most searched show on Google!

Courtesy of Tencent Video and iQiYi


With eight world cultural heritage sites in China, it’s well-known for a fact that China gives priority to cultural preservation to significant historical locations. These historical sites are visited by Chinese millennials and international historical drama fans.  Popular dramas are filmed in Hengdian Film and Television City (橫店影視城) that fans flock to. The historical filming sets and filming locations in Hengdian Film and Television City (橫店影視城) have boosted leisure tourism. Scenic spots that bring tourists back from the historical dynasties and discover the historical cultures and customs through performances, as well. Services on acting in short films and dressing up in historical costumes are also provided for fans.

Courtesy of

Hanfu movement 

The Hanfu Movement has become a trend in social media sites like Tiktok, WeChat, and Bilibili. Of course, historical dramas have a great impact on the movement too. Hanfu or Han fashion around 1600 BC to 1633 AD with styles from the Ming, Song, and Tang dynasties have been gaining interest for three-fourths of 16-24 years old Chinese consumers. Over two million Chinese have worn traditional Chinese clothing for everyday wear, special events, or cultural and traditional festivals. With its aesthetics and cultural appreciation, the movement has garnered attention internationally too. 

Courtesy of New Hanfu Store

Fashion, arts & crafts, and beauty

The Forbidden City is China’s National Place Museum that showcases palaces, courtyards, buildings, and rooms of Ming and Qing dynasties emperors. Chinese millennials are fans of The Forbidden City with trendy and stylish product lines that are inspired by traditional Chinese aesthetics. They have become viral for their quirky publication materials of their stunning traditional branding in Weibo. The brand has developed visually-appealing with traditional Chinese designs on accessories, bags, and mugs in Taobao which garnered popularity among the millennial generation.

Courtesy of The Forbidden City in Taobao

Historical Chinese aesthetics in terms of packaging for cosmetic products have become a rising hit for Chinese makeup lovers. Patriotic makeup consumers to support their leading local brands in China with their aesthetically pleasing packaging and shades inspired by empresses in historical periods. Their current nationalistic pride of the Chinese in their history, heritage, and culture have made an economic success on local brands. In collaboration with the UNESCO world heritage site and local makeup brand Catkin, Beijing’s Summer Palace launched a trending collection of empress lipsticks that sold out more than 4,000 lipsticks on Tmall in just a day.

Courtesy of Cosmetics Design Asia

Modern tea culture

With the milk and fruit tea craze, we all know it’s not going away any time soon. It’s well-known that tea culture has been part of China’s history for a long time. Traditional tea ceremonies have become more casual in modern times. Milk and fruit tea places dominate over coffee places with new branches from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Long queuing lines at malls in Macao Imperial Tea, The Alley, and Yifang Taiwan Fruit Tea have garnered attention and love for unique modern variations of tea like brown sugar milk tea, wintermelon milk tea, and passionfruit fruit tea.  You’ll always end up spotting everyone sipping on their milk or fruit teas everywhere you go. 

Courtesy of Macao Imperial Tea in GrabFood

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