A Cultural Journal

    The Yellow River

    Written by: Feng Yang - Posted on: July 30, 2012 | Post your comment here Comments | 中文 (Chinese)

    Google Translation: اُردو | 中文

    Yellow River, China

    The Yellow River, China

    The Yellow River is the second-longest river in China and is regarded as the Mother River of the nation.  Its basin area is called “the cradle of Chinese civilization.”

    Originating in the Bayan Har Mountains in Qinghai Province, The Yellow River flows eastward through north China and runs into the Bohai Sea. The 5464-km long river runs through nine provinces i.e. Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia, Sha’anxi, Shanxi, Henan, and Shandong. Its middle reaches pass through the Loess Plateau, where large amounts of mud and sand are discharged into the river. The sediment elevates the river bed, making the lower reaches the most famous “river above ground.” With the high embankment, the waters therefore seem to “move out of heaven.”

    Chinese people consider themselves as the descendants of the Yan and the Huang. But who is Yan and who is Huang? They were the clan leaders who lived about 5,000 years ago on the bank of the Yellow River and are thus referred to as the Yan Emperor and the Huang Emperor.

    Yan and Huang shared the same ancestor and each one of them represented an era. Their clans later mixed together into one united group of people who became the great Huaxia Chinese. Their descendants, also known as the Chinese people, are therefore called as “the descendants of the Yan and the Huang.”

    There developed a civilization in the Yellow River basin area that was comparatively at highly developed stage. And mature techniques of this civilization included water control, astronomy, calendar, and math calculation, and technologies of agriculture, animal taming, pottery making, and metal smelting, which is believed to  have  been developed here for at least 1,000 year earlier than those of the western world. 

    The most magnificent and famous scenery of the Yellow River is the Hukou Waterfall, located at the intersection of Ji County of Shanxi Province and Yichuan of Sha’anxi Province. The river water, after rushing for thousand miles, arrive at Hukou where the width of the river abruptly narrows down from over 200m to about 50m and falls to the grand but narrow gorge  as if water were pouring down from a grand teapot, hence the name “Hukou” (literally means “teapot  mouth” in Chinese). In 2003, Hukou Waterfall was named as a national geo-park by the Ministry of Land and Resources of the country.

    The Yellow River basin area, where the soil is fertile, is famous for its varieties of products, beautiful in scenery, and in this area about 40 percent of the country’s population lives.

    The river is also the major water source of Northwest and North China. It has witnessed the continuous efforts devoted to control the water. The Xiaolangdi hydraulic project and its Dam, whose construction was completed at the end of 2001, is not only the monument of the Chinese history of controlling the Yellow River water but also a masterpiece in the water conservancy history of the whole world. The project is capable of controlling flood, preventing ice-flow, generating electricity, and de-silting. The success of the project marks the prominent achievement of China in controlling the river water.


    Selected From: A Legend of  the Yellow River

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