Sichuan is a province in Southwestern China with its capital in Chengdu. The current name of the province is an abbreviation of S¨¬ Chu¨¡nl¨´, or "Four circuits of rivers", which is itself abbreviated from Chu¨¡nxi¨¢ S¨¬l¨´, or "Four circuits of rivers and gorges", named after the division of the existing circuit into four during the Northern Song Dynasty.
The climate is highly variable. The Sichuan Basin (including Chengdu) in eastern half of the province experiences a subtropical monsoon climate with long, warm to hot, humid summers and short, cool to cold, dry and cloudy winters, with China's lowest sunshine totals. The western areas have a mountainous climate characterized by very cold winters and mild summers, with plentiful sunshine. The southern part of the province, including Panzhihua, has a sunny, subtropical climate with very mild winters and hot summers.
The Sichuanese are proud of their cuisine, known as one of the Four Great Traditions of Chinese cuisine, which now is famous all over the world. Szechuan cuisine is of "one dish, one shape, hundreds of dishes, hundreds of tastes", as the saying goes, to describe its acclaimed diversity. The most prominent traits of Sichuanese cuisine are described by four words: spicy, hot, fresh and fragrant. Two famous Sichuan chefs are Chen Kenmin and his son Chen Kenichi, who was Iron Chef Chinese on the television series "Iron Chef".