Hunan Province lies in the south of the
middle Yangtze River valley, with its name meaning "south of the lake" because
most of the province is located on the south of the Dongting Lake. Situated
108'47"-114'13" east longitude and 24'38"-30'08" north latitude, it has an area
of 210,000 square kilometers.
Hunan in the sub-tropical area has a warm
climate, with cold, short winters and hot, long summers. It has four clearly
contrasted seasons, abundant rainfall, and a mean annual precipitation of
1,300-1,700 mm. Its mean annual temperature is 16oC-18.5oC -- the hottest month,
July, averaging 26-30oC and the coldest month, January, 4-7oC.
Administrative Division and
is divided into 1 autonomous prefecture, 13
prefecture-level cities, 16 county-level cities, 65 counties and 7 autonomous counties,
with a population of 64.40 million by 2000, mainly including ethnic
groups of Han, Tu, Miao, Hui, Dong, Yao, Hui, Uygur, and Zhuang,
Xiang Cuisine (Hunan Cuisine) is one of the
Eight Great Cuisines in China. Famous dishes include Dong'an Chicken, Peppery
and Hot Chicken (Hot and Spicy Chicken), Orange Beef, Sweet and Sour Chicken,
and Crispy Duck, etc.
Xiang Opera, Huagu (Flower Drum), Shadow
Plays, and Flower Lamp, etc.
Special Local Product
The traditional local specialties include
Changsha Xiang Embroidery, Liuyang Fireworks and Firecrackers, Yueyang Fan,
Changsha Xiang Lotus, and Yueyang Whitebait (salangid), etc.
Hunan Province, known as Xiang for short, is located at the south
bank of the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, with
Changsha as its provincial capital. According to archaeological finds and recorded history, there
were human beings living in this area more than 8,000
years ago. Hunan Province was officially set up in 1664 during the Qing
Hunan is known as the land of fish and rice
because of plentiful production of rice, cotton, tung oil, orange, and fresh
water fishes. It is also noted as the home for rich mineral
Hunan Province is famous for its picturesque scenery. There are places
of historic interest and scenic beauty, such as Yuelu Mountain, Hengshan Mountain, Jiuyi
Mountain, the Yueyang Tower, the Dongting Lake and Wulingyuan Scenic
and Historic Interest Area.
There are a lot of celebrities in Hunan
history, and the most famous are: Qu Yuan, a great poet and one of the four
ancient cultural celebrities in the world; Cai Lun, who invented papermaking and
made the first piece of fabric paper in the world; Qi Baishi, the most famous
contemporary Chinese painter; Mao Zedong, the founder of the People's Republic
of China; Yuan Longping, who is well known in the world for the rice-hybriding
skill. The former residences of these celebrities and sites of some
revolutionary events, as well as the distinctive ethical folk arts of Miao and
Tu ethnic minorities in Hunan, are quite worth a visit.