The culture of the Yellow River

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Lanzhou is China’s only provincial capital where the Yellow River flows through the whole city. [File Photo]

Dubbed the cradle of Chinese civilization, the Yellow River drainage basin is the birthplace of the Chinese nation.

The Yellow River is the second-longest river in China, after the Yangtze, and the sixth-longest in the world, at the estimated length of 5,464 kilometers.

Originating in the Bayan Har Mountains of Qinghai Province in western China, it flows through nine provinces and empties into the Bohai Sea in the east.

From the Xia and Shang Dynasties through to the Tang Dynasty, the Yellow River area was China’s center of politics, economy and culture. In addition, in terms of science and technology, the area has been in a leading position at all times. There are many cultural developments that can be accredited to the Yellow River civilization such as potteries, silks, bronze and characters.

Between 4,000 B.C. and 2,000 B.C., the Yellow River culture stretched across two millenia, making it the symbol of the Chinese nation. From Kunlun Mountain to the Pacific Ocean, it is a melting pot of hundreds of rivers that have generated the brilliance of Chinese culture.

Since ancient times, Lanzhou has been an important ferry on the banks of the Yellow River. The unearthed Majiayao potteries and Qijia culture, belonging to the later stages of the Yangshao culture, represent how the society from that era had truly entered a new phase. Lanzhou is also China’s only provincial capital where the Yellow River flows through the whole city.

Currently, a 100-li scenic area has been constructed on the banks of the Yellow River in Lanzhou, boasting the city’s cultural heritages of the Zhongshan Bridge, Yellow River Mother Sculpture, sheepskin raft, waterwheel and others renovated as Yellow River-themed attractions.


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