Henan: Wikis


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Coordinates: 33°50′N 113°30′E / 33.833°N 113.5°E / 33.833; 113.5

Henan Province
Chinese : 河南省
Hénán Shěng
Abbreviations:   (pinyin: )
Henan is highlighted on this map
Origin of name 河 hé - (Yellow) River
南 nán - south
"south of the Yellow River"
Administration type Province
(and largest city)
CPC Ctte Secretary Lu Zhangong 卢展工
Governor Guo Gengmao 郭庚茂
Area 167,000 km2 (64,000 sq mi) (17th)
Population (2007)
 - Density
98,690,000 (2nd)
591 /km2 (1,530 /sq mi) (6th)
GDP (2009)
 - per capita
CNY 1.94 trillion (5th)
CNY 20,477 (17th)
HDI (2006) 0.768 (medium) (15th)
Ethnic composition Han - 98.8%
Hui - 1%
Prefecture-level 17 divisions
County-level 159 divisions
ISO 3166-2 CN-41
Official website
www.henan.gov.cn (Simplified Chinese)
Source for population and GDP data:
《中国统计年鉴—2005》 China Statistical Yearbook 2005
ISBN 7503747382
Source for nationalities data:
《2000年人口普查中国民族人口资料》 Tabulation on nationalities of 2000 population census of China
ISBN 7105054255
*As at December 31, 2004
Template ■ Discussion ■ WikiProject China

Henan (Chinese: 河南pinyin: HénánWade-Giles: Ho-nan), is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the eastern central part of the country.[1] Its one-character abbreviation is 豫 (pinyin: yù), named after Yuzhou Province (豫州 Yù Zhōu), a Han Dynasty province (zhou) that included parts of Henan. The name Henan means "south of the (Yellow) River" (Huang He).[2]

With nearly 100 million people, Henan is the most populous province of China by residency. It borders Hebei to the north, Shandong to the northeast, Anhui to the southeast, Hubei to the south, Shaanxi to the west, and Shanxi to the northwest.

Henan is often called Zhongyuan (中原 zhōngyuán) or Zhongzhou (中州 zhōngzhōu), literally "central plains" or "midland"; this name is also broadly applied to the entire North China Plain. Henan is traditionally regarded as an important cradle of Chinese civilization.



Northern Henan, along the Yellow River, was the core area of ancient China for at least the first half of Chinese history. The two cities of Luoyang and Kaifeng each served as the capital city of a long list of dynasties.

Archaeological sites reveal that prehistoric cultures such as the Yangshao Culture and Longshan Culture were active in what is now northern Henan. Although there have been factual data that prove reptilian fossils and statues found there of non human intelligent life civilizations that existed there that have pre-dated future civilizations to come as in following a pre-set order on how to live life in Henan for many years to come. Also shortly after The Erlitou culture, which has been controversially identified with the Xia Dynasty, the first Chinese dynasty as described in Chinese records, was also centered in Henan.

The first literate dynasty of China, the Shang Dynasty (16th-11th century BC), was centered in Henan. Their last capital, Yin, was located at the modern city of Anyang, Henan.

In the 11th century BC, the Zhou Dynasty arrived from the west and destroyed the Shang Dynasty. Their capital was located initially in Hao (near present day Xi'an in Shaanxi province). In 722 BC, it was moved to Luoyang, Henan. This began the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, a period of warfare and rivalry. What is now Henan was divided into a variety of small states, including Hua (destroyed by Qin in 627BC), Chen, Cai, Cao, Zheng, Wei (衛), and powerful Jin from Shanxi to the north. Later on these were replaced with Han and Wei (魏). Throughout this period the state of Chu also held much of what is now southern Henan.

In 221 BC, the state of Qin from what is now Shaanxi completed the unification of China, establishing the first unified Chinese state, the Qin Dynasty. They were followed by the Han Dynasty in 206 BC, which initially put its capital in Chang'an (now Xi'an, Shaanxi). The second half of this dynasty (the Eastern Han Dynasty) moved its capital to Luoyang.

The late Eastern Han Dynasty saw war and rivalry between regional warlords. Henan was the power base of Cao Cao, who was based in Xuchang and eventually succeeded in unifying all of northern China under the Kingdom of Wei. Wei then put its capital in Luoyang. The Western Jin Dynasty that followed also put its capital at Luoyang.

In the 4th century, nomadic peoples from the north invaded northern China. Henan then came under the rule of many successive regimes, including the Later Zhao, the Former Yan, the Former Qin, the Later Yan, and the Later Qin. The Northern Wei Dynasty, which unified North China in 439, moved its capital to Luoyang in 493.

This limestone statue of a Boddhisattva was probably created in the Henan province around 570, in the Northern Qi Dynasty.

Northern Wei splintered in 534 and would not be restored until 589, when the Sui Dynasty reunified China. Sui Emperor Yang's costly attempt to relocate the capital from Chang'an to Luoyang contributed to the downfall of Sui. The Tang Dynasty that followed kept its capital in Chang'an (modern Xi'an, Shaanxi). The Tang lasted for three centuries, but eventually succumbed to internal strife.

In the Period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms that followed, Kaifeng was the capital of four dynasties: Later Liang Dynasty, Later Jin Dynasty, Later Han Dynasty, and Later Zhou Dynasty. The Song Dynasty that reunified China in 982 also had its capital at Kaifeng. Under Song rule, China entered a golden age of culture and prosperity, and Kaifeng was the largest city in the world  [1]. In 1127, however, the Song Dynasty succumbed to Jurchen (Jin Dynasty) invaders from the north, and in 1142 had to cede away all of northern China, including Henan. By this point, cultural and economic development in the Yangtze River delta Jiangnan region (modern southern Jiangsu, northern Zhejiang, and Shanghai) had made that area into the new economic and cultural center of China, instead of Henan. Henan would forever lose this pre-eminent position.

Kaifeng served as the Jurchen's "southern capital" from 1157 (other sources say 1161) and was reconstructed during this time. [2] [3] But they kept their main capital further north, until 1214, when they were forced to move the imperial court southwards to Kaifeng in order to flee the Mongol onslaught. In 1234 they succumbed to combined Mongol and Song Dynasty forces. Mongols took control, and in 1279 they conquered all of China.

Mongol rule over China ended in 1368. The Ming Dynasty that followed set up the equivalent of modern Henan province, with borders extremely similar to modern ones. The capital was, however, at Kaifeng instead of modern Zhengzhou. The Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) did not make any significant changes to this arrangement; nor did the Republic of China in their rule over Mainland China (1911–1949).

The completion of the Pinghan Railway (Beijing-Hankou) made Zhengzhou, a previously unnoted county town, into a major transportation hub. In 1954, the new People's Republic of China government moved the capital of Henan from Kaifeng to Zhengzhou. The PRC also established a short-lived Pingyuan Province consisting of what is now northern Henan and western Shandong, with capital Xinxiang. This province was abolished in 1952.

In 1958, Yashan in Suiping County, Henan became the first people's commune of China, heralding the beginning of the "Great Leap Forward". In the subsequent famines of the early 1960s popularly attributed to the Great Leap Forward, Henan suffered terribly, with several million lives lost. [4]

In 1975, the collapse of the Banqiao Dam and other dams in southern Henan, following a typhoon that caused extraordinarily high levels of rainfall, is estimated to have killed 230,000 people across several counties. This was the most deadly dam-related catastrophe in human history.

In recent years the prevalence of "blood selling" (blood donation with pay) among poor villagers has put Henan in the spotlight of the nation. It was exposed that AIDS villages, where most of the population is HIV positive, have resulted because of poor sterilization techniques. The initial cover up of the crisis by local officials, followed by the national exposure, has put Henan in a somewhat negative light.

In November 2004, martial law was declared in Zhongmou county, Henan, to quell deadly ethnic clashes between Han Chinese and the Muslim Hui Chinese. [5] The reported number of deaths ranged between 7 and 148.


Longmen Grottoes (Mt. Longmen), Luoyang, Henan.

Henan is flat in the east and mountainous in the west and extreme south. The eastern and central parts of the province form part of the North China Plain. To the northwest the Taihang Mountains intrude partially into Henan's borders; to the west the Qinling Mountains enter Henan from the west and end about halfway across Henan, with branches (such as the Funiu Mountains) extending northwards and southwards. To the far south, the Dabie Mountains separate Henan from neighbouring Hubei province.

The Yellow River passes through northern Henan. It enters from the northwest, via the Sanmenxia Reservoir. After it passes Luoyang, the Yellow River is raised via natural sedimentation and artificial construction onto a levee, higher than the surrounding land. From here onwards, the Yellow River divides the Hai He watershed to the north and the Huai He watershed to the south. The Huai He itself originates in southern Henan. The southwestern corner of Henan, around Nanyang, is part of the drainage basin of the Han Shui River across the border in Hubei.

There are many reservoirs in Henan. Major ones include the Danjiangkou Reservoir on the border with Hubei, the Sanmenxia Reservoir, the Suyahu Reservoir, the Baiguishan Reservoir, the Nanwan Reservoir, and the Banqiao Reservoir.

Henan has a temperate continental climate, with most rainfall in summer. Temperatures average about 0°C in January, and 27 to 28°C in July.

Zhengzhou is the province's capital and most populous city. Other major cities include Kaifeng, Luoyang, Xinxiang, Anyang, Luohe, and Xuchang.

Administrative divisions

Henan is divided into seventeen prefecture-level divisions – all prefecture-level cities – and one directly administered county-level city.The prefecture-level cities are:

Map # Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Administrative Seat Type
Henan prfc map.png
1 Zhengzhou 郑州市 Zhèngzhōu Shì Zhongyuan District Prefecture-level city
2 Anyang 安阳市 Ānyáng Shì Beiguan District Prefecture-level city
3 Hebi 鹤壁市 Hèbì Shì Qibin District Prefecture-level city
4 Jiaozuo 焦作市 Jiāozuò Shì Jiefang District Prefecture-level city
5 Kaifeng 开封市 Kāifēng Shì Gulou District Prefecture-level city
6 Luohe 漯河市 Luòhé Shì Yancheng District Prefecture-level city
7 Luoyang 洛阳市 Luòyáng Shì Xigong District Prefecture-level city
8 Nanyang 南阳市 Nányáng Shì Wolong District Prefecture-level city
9 Pingdingshan 平顶山市 Píngdǐngshān Shì Xinhua District Prefecture-level city
10 Puyang 濮阳市 Púyáng Shì Hualong District Prefecture-level city
11 Sanmenxia 三门峡市 Sānménxiá Shì Hubin District Prefecture-level city
12 Shangqiu 商丘市 Shāngqiū Shì Liangyuan District Prefecture-level city
13 Xinxiang 新乡市 Xīnxiāng Shì Weibin District Prefecture-level city
14 Xinyang 信阳市 Xìnyáng Shì Shihe District Prefecture-level city
15 Xuchang 许昌市 Xǔchāng Shì Weidu District Prefecture-level city
16 Zhoukou 周口市 Zhōukǒu Shì Chuanhui District Prefecture-level city
17 Zhumadian 驻马店市 Zhùmǎdiàn Shì Yicheng District Prefecture-level city
18 Jiyuan 济源市 Jǐyuán Shì Jiyuan Sub-prefecture-level city

The seventeen prefecture-level divisions and one directly administered county-level city of Henan are subdivided into 159 county-level divisions (50 districts, twenty-one county-level cities, and 88 counties; Jiyuan is counted as a county-level city here). Those are in turn divided into 2440 township-level divisions (866 towns, 1234 townships, twelve ethnic townships, and 328 subdistricts).


Henan is the most populous province of China, with a population of 97,170,000 in 2004. If it were its own country, it would be the twelfth most populous, just behind Mexico. However, Sichuan used to be more populous before Chongqing city was carved out of it. Also, when considering migrants, Guangdong has the highest population in China, despite Hainan being splintered off of it.

Just under 99% of Henan's population is Han Chinese, while Hui account for virtually all the remaining 1%. It is the third most populous sub-national division in the world, after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra of India.

Along with Jiangxi, Henan has one of the most gender imbalanced ratios in China at over 140 males for 100 females in the 1-4 age group.[6]


The Government of Henan is structured in a dual party-government system like all other governing institutions in mainland China.

The Governor of Henan is the highest ranking official in the People's Government of Henan. However, in the province's dual party-government governing system, the Governor has less power than the Henan Communist Party of China Provincial Committee Secretary, colloquially termed the "Henan CPC Party Chief".


Henan is a major economy in China and is ranked 5th in GDP in China (after Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong and Zhejiang). Like most other inland regions, it lags behind the coastal region economically. Since undergoing reforms, however, the speed of economic development has increased by an average of about 10% each year for the past twenty years. In 2009, Henan's nominal GDP was 1.94 trillion RMB (US$280 billion)[3], a year-on-year rise of 10.7%. Its GDP per capita in 2009 was 21,073 RMB (US$3,085). In 2009, Henan's primary, secondary, and tertiary industries were worth 277 billion RMB (US$40 billion), 1.097 trillion RMB (US$160 billion), and 563 billion RMB (US$82 billion), respectively. An industrial system of light textiles, food, metallurgy, petrol, building materials, chemical industry, machinery and electronics has been formed. Nearly one hundred products, such as coal, industrial cord fabrics, fridges, aluminium, color glass cases, gold, meat products, tires, chemical fibers, glass, cement, generated energy, and others are an important part of the national market. Industrial sales reached 2.53 trillion RMB in 2008. [7]

Henan is actively trying to build an open economy. In 2008, the total trade volume (import and export) was US$17.5 billion, including US$10.7 billion for exports. Since 2002, 7,111 foreign enterprises have been approved, and foreign funds (FDI) of US$10.64 billion have been used in contracts with a realized FDI of US$5.3 billion. Foreign exchanges are increasing continuously. Friendly provincial relationships have been established with 16 states (districts) in the United States, Japan, Russia, France, Germany, and others. Some cities of Henan have established friendly relationships (sister city) with thirty-two foreign cities.

Henan is an agricultural province, leading the provinces of China in wheat and sesame production, and is third place overall in terms of total grain output. Cotton, rice, and maize are also important crops in Henan.

There are several important centers of coal production in Henan, including Pingdingshan, Yima, and Jiaozuo. Luanchuan County in western Henan is an important center of molybdenum extraction. Electricity generation is another important industry of Henan.

Economic and Technological Development Zones

  • Zhengzhou New & Hi-Tech Industries Development Zone
  • Zhengzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone
  • Zhengzhou Export Processing Area
  • Luoyang Hi-Tech Development Zone


Most of Henan speaks dialects of the Mandarin group of dialects spoken in northern and southwestern China. Linguists put these dialects into the category of "Zhongyuan Mandarin". The northwestern corner of Henan is an exception, where people speak Jin dialects instead. The dialects of Henan are collectively called "the Henan dialect" in popular usage, with easily identifiable stereotypical features.

Henan opera (Yuju) is the local form of Chinese opera; it is also famous and popular across the rest of China. Henan Quju and Henan Yuediao are also important local opera forms.

Henan cuisine is the local cuisine, with traditions such as the Luoyang Shuixi (Luoyang "Water Table", consisting entirely of various soups, etc.); Xinyang Duncai (Xinyang brewed vegetables), and the traditional cuisine of Kaifeng.

Important traditional art and craft products include: Junci, a type of porcelain originating in Yuzhou noted for its unpredictable colour patterns; the jade carvings of Zhenping; and Luoyang's Tangsancai ("Tang Three Colours"), which are earthenware figurines made in the traditional style of the Tang Dynasty.

Notable people


Two important railway arteries, the Jingguang Railway (Beijing-Guangzhou) and the Longhai Railway (Lianyungang-Lanzhou), pass through Henan and cross at Zhengzhou, the provincial capital. The Jingjiu Railway (Beijing-Kowloon) also passes through Henan.

With the recent completion of the Zhengzhou-Xinxiang expressway, there is an expressway that now crosses Henan from north to south, as part of a longer line linking Beijing with Shenzhen. Another expressway crosses Henan from east to west, and more are being built.

Xinzheng Airport is the province's main airport.


Henan is located in the Yellow River valley where ancient people lived. Earlier in the New Stone Age, the light of civilization had appeared and the delicate potteries in the Peiligang Culture and Yangshao Culture, and the character signs and musical instruments 8,000 years ago have filled the present world and the ancient times with wonders. Three of the Seven Ancient Capitals of China are in Henan: Luoyang, Kaifeng and Anyang. Henan is one of the provinces that has the most historical relics in the country. There are 16 key national units of protecting historical relics and 267 provincial units of protecting historical relics. The over-ground historical relics are the second in China in number. Historical relics in museums take up one-eighth of those in China, and the underground historical relics are the first in China in number. In Henan Museum there are 120,000 historical relics, including over 40,000 rare ones.

Gaocheng Astronomical Observatory.

Colleges and universities

Public (a partial list)

Miscellaneous topics

Professional sports teams in Henan include:


External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Henan is a province in the Northern Central Region of China. Henan, Yu for short, lies in the Central Plains of China. With the Yellow River (mother river of the chinese nation) running through it.

  • North Henan — the core of ancient China around the Yellow River.
  • South Henan — less travelled and with fewer historical sites than the northern part of the province.


Henan is the birthplace of the Chinese nation, the cradle of China's 5000-year-long civilization and the place of origin of many Chinese family names as well.

From the Xia Dynasty (about 21st century B.C to 17th century B.C), the first dynasty in China, to the Northern Song Dynasty (around 12th century A.D), more than 200 emperors from over 20 dynasties set up their capitals in (or moved their capitals to) Henan, making it the ancient political, economic and cultural center of China.


Henan's famous historical and cultural cities include Zhengzhou, Kaifeng, Luoyang, Anyang, Nanyang, Shangqiu, Sanmenxia, Pingdingshan, Xinxiang and others. Traveling Henan means enjoying the beautiful landscape and the historic relics and ruins. It also means seeking the Chinese roots and rediscovering the soul of the Chinese nation.

  • City wall of Kaifeng — surrounding the old city of Kaifeng.
  • Baima Temple — in Luoyang, the first official Buddhist temple in China.
  • Daxiangguo Temple — in Kaifeng, dating back to AD555.
  • Baogong Memorial Temple — in Kaifeng, temple at the lake side built to honor Lord Bao.
  • Red-flag Canal — in Anyang, man made canal built in the 1960s due to water supply shortage in the area.
  • Wulongkou Scenic Area — area outside Jiyuan consisting of five scenic spots comprising more than 60 sights.
  • Yellow River Scenic Area — near Zhengzhou, consisting of five scenic spots, Five Dragons Peak, Camel Mountain Range, Yueshan Temple, Stone Figures, and the Ancient City of Liubang and Xiangyu
  • Henan Provincial Museum — in Zhengzhou, exhibitions on ancient civilizations.
  • Kaifeng Museum — exibits on Kaifeng ancient and newer history.
  • Qingming Festival — enjoy the Garden Landscape at Bian River during the festival.
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:





The name Henan means "south of the (Yellow) River (Huang He).

Its one-character abbreviation is 豫 (pinyin: yù), named after Yuzhou Province (豫州 Yù Zhōu), a Han Dynasty province (zhou) that included parts of Henan.

Proper noun



Henan (河南)

  1. A province in the central part of the People's Republic of China.

See also


  • Anagrams of aehnn
  • henna

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