The ethnic groups of China are distinguished by their different traditions and customs in marriage, childbirth, funerals, festivals, food, housing, costume, hosting guests and recreational activities.

  The people's government takes care to accord respect to the traditions and customs of the minority groups, and works to gain broad acceptance of these by the population as a whole, especially among Han cadres and Han people living in minority areas. Serious offences against the traditions and customs of minorities may be punished by a sentence of two years' imprisonment or other forms of custody as stipulated by the penal code. The government also has adopted measures to protect ethnic traditions and customs. Vacation is regularly provided for ethnic festival days; pig-raising is discouraged among Islamic groups that have traditions against eating pork; special meals are provided for Huis and Uygurs at their places of work or given subsidies allowing them to have meals at nearby Islamic restaurants; and special arrangements are made for the production and supply of specific utensils and articles needed by the various minorities.

  Since 1949, many of the old customs and traditions that benefit production and prosperity have been further developed, for example, the Ongkor (Harvest) Festival of the Tibetan people, the Mongolian traditional festival, the Nadam Fair, the Corban of the Huis and Uygurs, and the Water-Sprinkling Festival of the Dais. These have become days on which people hold cultural physical activities, exchange goods and discuss farming innovations. As the political and cultural awareness of the more primitive minorities rise and their economy improves, they have taken steps to voluntarily give up some ancient customs and traditions that are emotionally and physically harmful. Among these practices are such customs as the slaughter of draft animals for religious purposes, restrictions preventing men from transplanting rice seedlings and women from ploughing, prohibitions against doing field work on special days, and the practices of polygamy, polyandry, early marriage and outdoor childbirth.