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Shaanxi

 

 

 

Shaanxi (simplified Chinese: 陕西; traditional Chinese: 陝西; pinyin:  Shǎnxī; Wade–Giles: Shan-hsi; Postal map spelling: Shensi) is a province of the People's Republic of China, officially part of the Northwest China region. It includes portions of the Loess Plateau on the middle reaches of the Yellow River in addition to the Qin Mountains (Qinling) across the southern part of this province. Shaanxi is the historical home, along with Gansu of the dialect of the Dungans, of the Hui people, who emigrated out of China to Central Asia.

 

 

Geography

 

The geography of the area is described as being part of the Ordos Desert in the north along the border with Inner Mongolia, the Loess Plateau in the central part of the province, the Qin Mountains (Qinling) running east to west in the south central part, and subtropical climate south of the Qinling. In between the Loess Plateau and the Qinling lies the Wei River Valley, or Guanzhong, a cradle of early Chinese civilisation.

 

Going clockwise, Shaanxi borders Shanxi (E, NE), Henan (E), Hubei (SE), Chongqing (S), Sichuan (SW), Gansu (W), Ningxia (NW), and Inner Mongolia (N). In terms of number of bordering provincial-level divisions, Shaanxi ties Inner Mongolia.

 

Due to its large span in latitude, Shaanxi has a variety of climates. Under the Köppen climate classification, the northern parts, including the Loess Plateau, have either a cold arid (Köppen BWk) or cold semi-arid (Köppen BSk), with cold and very dry winters, dry springs and autumns, and hot summers. The area known as Guanzhong is mostly semi-arid, though there are a few areas with a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cwa), with cool to cold winters, and hot, humid summers that often see early-season heatwaves. The southern portion is much more humid and lies in the humid subtropical zone, with more temperate winters and long, hot, humid summers. Annual mean temperature is roughly between 8 to 16 °C (46 to 61 °F), with January temperatures ranging from −11 to 3.5 °C (12 to 38 °F) and July temperatures ranging from 21 to 28 °C (70 to 82 °F).

 

Besides the provincial capital of Xi'an, other cities include: Baoji, Hanzhong, Lintong, Tongchuan, Xianyang, Yan'an and Ankang.

 

 

Tourism

 

Banpo Neolithic village, near Xi'an

 

Daqin Pagoda

 

Imperial mausoleums

 

Zhao Mausoleum

 

Mount Hua, one of the five most famous mountains in China.

 

Taibaishan (Mount Taibai), the highest peak of the Qinling Range.

 

Mausoleum and Terracotta Army Museum of the First Qin Emperor in Xi'an (World Heritage Site)

 

The city of Xi'an: City Walls, Great Mosque, Bell Tower and Drum Tower, Forest of Stone Steles Museum, Shaanxi History Museum, Wild Goose Pagoda

 

Yan'an, the destination of the Long March and the center of Chinese Communist revolution from 1935 to 1948

 

Biángbiáng noodles, one of the "ten strange wonders of Shaanxi" (陝西十大怪)

 

 

History

 

The Chinese pronunciation of 陕西 (Shaanxi) and its easterly neighbouring province 山西 (Shanxi) differs only in tone. Their normal spellings in the Pinyin system are Shǎnxī and Shānxī respectively, with the tone marks ("accents") alone distinguishing them.

 

However as Chinese tone marks are often omitted in foreign typography, this would leave the two provinces indistinguishable. To prevent this ambiguity, the Chinese government has devised the special spelling Shaanxi (borrowed from the Gwoyeu Romatzyh romanization system) as the official (non-tonal) romanization of the name.

 

When the tone marks are used however, the normal Pinyin spelling of Shǎnxī (and not Shǎanxī or Shaǎnxī) appears to be the norm.

 

As the spelling Shaanxi violates the rules of Pinyin, it is often found erroneously "corrected" to Sha'anxi. The addition of the apostrophe, the Pinyin syllable divider, misinterprets it as three syllables (Sha-an-xi) rather than its actual two syllables (Shaan-xi).