How were China’s provinces named?

18 Nov

China has 27 provinces and autonomous regions, and this great feature explains every single one of their names from Anhui to Zhejiang. It goes beyond superficial translations of their names into the history and significance. Many of them are named after geographical purposes, such as Hubei (literal translation: North of the lake), which is north of Lake Dongting, or Shandong (East of the mountains), eastwards of the Taihang mountains. A surprising number of them are named for their rivers, such as Heilongjiang (Black Dragon River), which indeed is named for the river of the same name that flows between Russia and China. Meanwhile Sichuan (Four Circuits) was named due to its being divided into four states that formed river circuits during the Song Dynasty (960-1279).


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