6 Reasons Why Pandas Are Important to Chinese Culture

Giant pandas are one of the most iconic symbols in terms of wildlife conservation. They are on the list of animals that need protection and are very important to Chinese culture. 

This might get you wondering and want to ask why. Let’s read more to find out!

They represent peace and harmony to the Chinese

Panda gifting dates back to the 1970s. Pandas were presented to the Japanese emperor by Empress Wu Zetian in 658 AD as a gesture of friendship. 

They were cherished as peaceful, kind, and good-natured animals throughout the Zhou Dynasty. 

At the time, if a panda appeared on a flag during combat, a brief cease-fire would follow. The panda coat’s black and white colors were seen as a tangible representation of yin and yang. 

Because yin and yang, when in harmony, bring peace; so, the panda came to represent peace and harmony. 

Pandas have since been associated with peace, and China adopted them as its national animal. 

The Chinese government has used pandas in politics, and they acted as China’s goodwill ambassadors. They also encourage understanding and friendship between China and other nations.

China uses pandas to generate income

The pandas were initially given to countries as gifts, with no requests for payment by China.

However, it revised its panda policy in 1984 and began loaning them out rather than giving them away.

This was done in consideration of the diminishing number of pandas in the country.

As of right now, countries with pandas are required to pay $1 million every year to China’s Wildlife Conservation Association.

They are also expected to send any cubs born abroad back to China (their motherland) before they reach the age of four.

Recommended Reading: How Much Do Giant Pandas Cost?

Pandas Pelt are thought to be medicinal and drives away the evil spirit

In tribute to kings and emperors, Chinese people use the panda’s pelt as medicine to cure severe illnesses, women’s menstrual cycle, and to prevent tumors. 

According to a Chinese myth:

A panda god appeared to some people and instructed them on how to use herbs to cure deadly sicknesses.

Later on, they  imitated pandas by using masks, chewing bamboo and climbing trees in an old millennium dance to chase away evil spirits and pray for favors.

Chinese people see Them as Fighters

Chinese people treasure pandas and also call them “black and white tapirs” because of their abilities.

The panda has a very important place in Chinese culture and history as a strong fighter and warrior animal within the Shangshu.

Shangshu is a written story about the Xizhou family line in 1027-771 BC. 

One of Xizhou’s descendants plotted to conquer the Shang (a co-existing family line).

The desire to dominate the Shang dynasty brought a fight between the two families. And the Xizhou won the battle using pandas as their fighters.

This history made the Chinese people adore pandas as undefeatable animals just like tigers. 

They help in the growth of China’s bamboo forests

A picture of the Chinese bamboo forest developed by pandas

The bamboo forest, which is home to pandas, is also important for the survival of the local population in China since it provides food and fire. 

Without this grass, it would be impossible for them to cook or make heat. 

Therefore pandas do the Chinese people some good by scattering seeds. This benefits both humans and plant-eating animals. 

Hence, the government tries to protect the larger environment on which so many people depend.

Chinese people consider pandas as their close neighbors

Pandas and Chinese people have been neighbors for thousands of years.

They stay in bamboo forests in the mountainous side of west China, The Sichuan Province, Shaanxi province, and Gansu Province,

Although Sichuan Province is home to the majority of pandas (aka “Home of Giant Pandas”) other provinces have a reasonable amount of pandas too.


In conclusion, Due to China’s excellent habitat for pandas, pandas keep surviving.

They remain an important part of Chinese history and culture considering the reasons listed above.

Now that you’ve understood the reason why a typical Chinese man loves giant pandas and praises them.

Do you know why these panda cubs are returned to China? 

Read our article ‘’Why Do Pandas Have to Be Returned to China’’ to know more.