Definitions

Xiang River

Xiang River

The Xiang River (also as Xiangjiang, Xiangjiang River, or simply as Xiang, Chinese: 湘江, 湘水 or 湘, pinyin: Xiāng Jiāng, Xiāng Shǔi; Wade-Giles: "hsiāng chiāng" or "hsiāng shuǐ"), in older transliterations as the Siang River or Hsiang River, is a river in southern China. The river gave Hunan its Chinese abbreviation, the same as Xiang (湘).

Geography

Originating from Haiyang Mountain (海陽山) in Lingui of Guangxi, the Xiang is the largest river in Hunan and one of the largest tributaries of Yangtze River. It is 856-km long and 670-km of it is in Hunan. People say the Xiang and the Lijiang River share the same origination because of connecting the two rivers of the Lingqu Canal that it is located in Xing'an county, and 70 per centage of water in Lingqu flows in the Xiang and 30 percent flows in the Lijiang.

The river passes places such as Xing'an, Quanzhou, and Dongan, Yongzhou, Qiyang, Hengyang, Zhuzhou, Xiangtan, Changsha, Wangcheng, Xiangyin, and empties into Lake Dongting, where it connects to the Yangtze. The Xiang has 2,157 branches and covers 9,460,000 km², and 8,530,000 km² are in Hunan (40% of the province).

Tributaries:

  • The Xiao River (瀟水) flows into the Xiang near Changsha
  • The Zheng River (蒸水) converges with the Xiang in Chengbei District (城北區), Hengyang

Deities

The river is said to be protected by two goddesses, the Xiang Consorts (湘妃 Xiangfei): Ehuang (娥皇) and Nüying (女英).

They were the wives of the mystical ruler, Shun. Unable to bear the pain of their husband's death, they committed suicide in this river. The spots on the dotted Xiang River bamboos (湘江竹 or 湘竹), also known as Xiang Consorts Bamboo (湘妃竹), are said to be the teardrops of the consorts. These bamboos are also known as Marked Bamboos (斑竹) or Tear Bamboos (淚竹).

The Chu people of the Warring States Period worshipped these Xiang Water Goddesses (湘水神). The poet Qu Yuan wrote a poem called Ladies Xiang (湘夫人) documented the songs of the rituals.

On June 14, 1919, young Mao Zedong found The Shian Kian Weekly Review(original translating, Chinese 《湘江评论》) to publicize Marxism theorem in Changsha.

The character Shi Xiangyun from the Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber takes the first character of her given name from this river.

Major cities along the river

See also

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