Taoyuan County, Hunan
|Country||People's Republic of China|
|• Total||4,441 km2 (1,715 sq mi)|
|Elevation||40–1,130 m (130–3,700 ft)|
|• Density||220/km2 (600/sq mi)|
Taoyuan County (Chinese: 桃源县; Pinyin: Táoyuán Xiàn) is located in Changde, Hunan Province of the People's Republic of China. The Yuanjiang river, a tributary of Yangtze, flows through Taoyuan. Taoyuan covers 4441 square kilometer area, among which the arable land is 895 square kilometers. It is 229 kilometers from Zhangjiang Town, the capital of Taoyuan county, to Changsha, the capital city of Hunan province.
The area of present Taoyuan county belongs to Chu (state) during Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States Period, and is a portion of Linyuan county during Western Han Dynasty. In AD 50, the 26th year of Jianwu, Eastern Han Dynasty, it is merged to Yuannan county, administered by Wuling prefecture, detaching it from Linyuan county. In AD 783, the third year of Sui Dynasty, Wuling county is built by annexing the three counties of Linyuan, Yuannan and Hanshou, administered by Langzhou prefecture.
In AD 963, the third year of Song Dynasty, Taoyuan County was officially established by separating a part of Wuling County. It was named after its famous Taohuayuan, a park named after the fable “Peach Blossom Spring”.
Its capital, Zhanjiang, is situated on the northern bank of Yuanjiang river.
Agricultural products include rice, wheat, edible oils, sesame seeds, peanuts, cotton, and tobacco. Manufactured products include machinery, textiles, chemicals, wood products, and leather goods. Local mines extract gold, silver, iron ore, and diamonds.
Taoyuan has 123,000 students enrolled among its elementary schools, middle schools and high schools. 99.99% of children in their compulsory education ages are enrolled in schools, and 93.2% of children with disabilities are enrolled in schools.
Taoyuan Yizhong, The First Middle School of Taoyuan, is the most prestigious school in Taoyuan County, composed of a high school section and a middle school section.
Geography and climate 
Taoyuan County is located in the northwestern portion, , of Hunan Province. It is 118 km from its northernmost point, LaoPeng village, Reshi Town, to its southernmost point, Shizi Ling, Xuejiachong village, Xi'an Town and 75 km from its easternmost post, Caoxiezhou, Renfeng village, Mutangyuan Township, to its westernmost post, Wanjiahe, Gaofeng village, Niuchehe Township. Its total area is 4441.22 km2, which is the fourth largest in Hunan province. The arable land is 895 km2 (221,000 acres), which is the largest in Hunan province.,
The agricultural landscape consists of 13.4% of alluvial plains of Yuanjiang river, 49.3% of hillocks and 36.0% of hills and mountains.
The average annual temperature is 16.5 Celsius. The average temperature is 4.5 degrees Celsius in January and 28.5 degrees Celsius in July.
The average annual precipitation is 147 centimeters (58 inches), gradually decreasing from south to north. The annual average relative humidity is 82%, the annual sunshine length 1531 hours and frost-free period 284 days.
Taoyuan County has 976,000 population, which is composed of dominant majority Han ethnic group and other 12 minority ethnic groups of Hui, Uyghur, Tujia, Man, Dong, Zhuang and Yao, among which Uyghur and Hui have more than 3000 population, respectively.
Taoyuan Uyghurs 
Around 5,000 Uyghurs live around Taoyuan County and other parts of Changde. They are descended from a Uyghur leader Hala Bashi, from Turpan, whom the Ming dynasty Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang sent to Hunan in the 14th century, (mid-1300s). Along with him came Uyghur soldiers from which the Hunan Uyghurs descend. During the 1982 census 4,000 Uyghurs were recorded in Hunan. They have genealogies which reach up 600 years to the present day. Genealogy keeping is a Han Chinese custom which the Hunan Uyghurs adopted. These Uyghurs were given the surname Jian by the Emperor; they received Chinese education. A prominent Hunan Uyghur was Jian Bozan (1898–1968); he was a member of the Chinese Communist Party. There is some confusion as to whether they practice Islam or not. Some say that they have assimilated with the Han and do not practice Islam anymore, and that only their genealogies indicate their Uyghur ancestry. Chinese news sources report that they are Muslim.
The Uyghur troops led by Hala were ordered by the Ming Emperor to crush Miao rebellions and were given titles by him. Jian (simplified Chinese: 简; traditional Chinese: 簡; pinyin: Jiǎn) is the predominant surname among the Uyghur in Changde, Hunan. Hala Bashi was given the title "Grand General of South-Pacifying Post of the Nation" by the Emperor simplified Chinese: 镇国定南大将军; traditional Chinese: 鎮國定南大將軍; pinyin: zhèn guó dìngnán dàjiàng jūn Another group of Uyghur have the surname Sai. Hui and Uyghur have intermarried in the Hunan area, and the Hui were also used by the Ming Emperor to crush revolts. The Hui are descendants of Arabs and Han Chinese who intermarried, and they share the Islamic religion with the Uyghur in Hunan. It is reported that they now number around 10,000 people. The Uyghurs in Changde are not very religious, and eat pork. Older Uygurs disapprove of this, especially elders at the mosques in Changde, and they seek to draw them back to Islamic customs.
In addition to eating pork, the Uygurs of Changde Hunan practice other Han Chinese customs, like ancestor worship at graves. Some Uyghurs from Xinjiang visit the Hunan Uyghurs out of curiosity or interest. Also, the Uyghurs of Hunan do not speak the Uyghur language, instead, they speak Chinese as their native language, and Arabic for religious reasons at the mosque.
Taoyuan dialect is profoundly influenced by northern dialect since the commute path of government messengers，speaking northern dialect, travelling to Yunnan and Guizhou from Song to Qing dynasty, passes through Taoyuan, and also by dialects in central Jiangxi since substantial residents in Jishui, Zhangshu and Fengcheng of Jiangxi relocated to Taoyuan successively from Ming dynasty to early Qing dynasty.
There are two types of accents in Taoyuan dialect, one of which called native accent, spoken in the central area of Taoyuan, including Zhangjiang Town, Zoushi Town, Qihe Town, Sanyanggang Town and part of Jianshi Town; the other accent is called periphery accent, spoken in the strip area bordering other counties.
Taoyuan dialect is a fusion of northern dialect and Jiangxi dialect. Its accent is close to those of Sichuan dialect, Chongqing dialect and Hubei dialect. It is categorized into Southwestern Mandarin.
Culture and folk customs 
Taoyuan has its unique folk custom characteristics since it is located in the transition zone between Han nationality and ethnics.
In diet, Lei Cha, a "five flavors soup" by smashing a mixture of tea leaves, ginger, cornel, green beans and salt into powder, is popular drink in Taohuanyuan area. According to legend, Lei Cha prevented the soldiers from pestilence caused by the soldiers being unable to acclimatize to the environment in Taoyuan during the time Eastern Han general Ma Yuan fought southward to Taoyuan.
Taoyuan has unique local operas. Wuling Opera is a popular local opera performed by professionals. Musty Notes received the National Artist Award for its performance and script writing. Nuo Opera drama, called a "living fossil", is still widespread. Sangyanggang Town is known as the hometown of Nuo Opera.
Other folk customs include dragon dance and lion dance during Spring Festival. Meanwhile, the Three Bar Drum, Yugu Drum, and string instruments are very popular as well.
Notable residents 
- Song Jiaoren (Chinese: 宋教仁, Apr 5, 1882 - Mar 22, 1913), a Chinese republican revolutionary, political leader and a founder of the Kuomintang.
- Liu Kan (Chinese: 刘戡 1906 – Mar 03, 1948), posthumously awarded rank of General of the Republic of China Army in 1953, was born in Zhengaotian village, Taohuanyuan Town.
- Wang Qimei (Chinese: 王其梅, Dec 27, 1914—Aug 15, 1967), awarded rank of Major General of PLA in 1955, was born in Wangjiaping village, Sanyanggang Town.
- Jian Bozan (Uyghur: 翦伯赞, 1898-Dec 18, 1968), a prominent Marxist historian, Vice President of Beijing University from 1952 to 1968, was born in Huiwei village, Fengshu Uyghur Autonomous Township.
Tourist attractions 
- The Taohuayuan Scenic Area is a park based on Peach Blossom Spring, (Chinese: 桃花源), a land then secluded from the outside mortal world depicted as an idyllic shangri-la by Tao Yuanming, (365–427), an Eastern Jin Dynasty poet, in his intriguing prose of Peach Blossom Spring
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