Xiang River

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Map showing the Xiang River basin

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[edit]

Picture of Xiang River in Changsha, the Orange Island (Juzizhou) Bridge is on the left and Orange Island (Juzizhou) is in front.

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 kilometres (532 mi) long and 670 kilometres (420 mi) of it is in Hunan.

People say the Xiang and the Lijiang River share the same origin, because the upper reaches of the two rivers are connected by the ancient Lingqu Canal, which is located in Xing'an County, Guangxi. According to a traditional saying, 70 per cent of the water in Lingqu flows into the Xiang and 30 percent flows into the Lijiang. In the past, the canal, along with the Xiang River and the Gui River provided an important waterway connecting the Yangtze River with the Pearl River Delta.[1]

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.

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
  • The Lian River (涟水) and Juan River (涓水) flows into the Xiang near Hekou Town (河口镇), Xiangtan

Deities[edit]

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, and daughters of the former ruler Emperor Yao. 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.

Other information[edit]

On June 14, 1919, young Mao Zedong founded The Shian Kian Weekly Review (湘江评论) to publicize Marxism 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[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°26′N 113°8′E / 29.433°N 113.133°E / 29.433; 113.133