Once the meal is ready, it is served all at once to the family, who eats it with chopsticks and drinks the soup with a wide spoon.
Chopsticks, which were called "Zhu" in ancient times and are called "Kuaizi" now, have been used as one of the main table utensils for more than 3,000 years. It was recorded in Liji (The Book of Rites) that chopsticks were used in the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC - 1100 BC). It was mentioned in Shiji (the Chinese history book) by Sima Qian (about 145 BC) that Zhou, the last king of the Shang Dynasty (around 1100 BC), used ivory chopsticks. Experts believe the history of wood or bamboo chopsticks can be traced back to 1,000 years earlier than ivory chopsticks. In the Western Zhou Dynasty (1100 BC - 771 BC), bronze chopsticks were invented. Later in Mawangdui in China, lacquer chopsticks from the Western Han (206 BC - 24 AD) were discovered. Gold and silver chopsticks became popular in the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907). It was believed that silver chopsticks could detect poisons in food.
There are a few taboos when using chopsticks. It is not allowed to beat bowls while eating since the behavior used to be practiced by beggars. Also, don't insert chopsticks in a bowl upright because it is a custom exclusively used in sacrifice.
If you are really interested in chopsticks, you may want to visit the Kuaizi Museum in Shanghai, since over 1,000 pairs of chopsticks are on display in the museum.
The common dinner includes a starch like rice, noodles, bread, or pancakes, and a meat dish, vegetable, and soup, which serves as a beverage. For formal meals and banquets, many successive courses are served in a strict traditional order.