Zhejiang is an eastern coastal province of the People's Republic of China. The word Zhejiang (crooked river) was the old name of the Qiantang River, which passes through Hangzhou, the provincial capital. The name of the province is often abbreviated to "Zhe".
Zhejiang borders Jiangsu province and Shanghai municipality to the north, Anhui province to the northwest, Jiangxi province to the west, and Fujian province to the south; to the east is the East China Sea, beyond which lie the Ryukyu Islands of Japan.
Zhejiang has a humid subtropical climate with four distinct seasons. Spring starts in March and is rainy and weather is changeable. Summer, from June to September is long, hot and humid. Fall is generally dry, warm and sunny. Winters are short but cold except in the far south. Average annual temperature is around 15 to 19¡ãC, average January temperature is around 2 to 8¡ãC, and average July temperature is around 27 to 30¡ãC. Annual precipitation is about 1000 to 1900 mm. There is plenty of rainfall in early summer, and by late summer Zhejiang is directly threatened by typhoons forming in the Pacific.
Zhejiang is the home of Yueju, one of the most prominent forms of Chinese opera. Yueju originated in Shengzhou and is traditionally performed by actresses only, in both male and female roles. Other important opera traditions include Yongju (of Ningbo), Shaoju (of Shaoxing), Ouju (of Wenzhou), Wuju (of Jinhua), Taizhou Luantan (of Taizhou) and Zhuji Luantan (of Zhuji).
Longjing tea (also called dragon well tea), originating in Hangzhou, is one of the most prestigious, if not the most prestigious Chinese tea. Hangzhou is also renowned for its silk umbrellas and folding fans. Zhejiang cuisine (itself subdivided into many traditions, including Hangzhou cuisine) is one of the eight great traditions of Chinese cuisine.
Since ancient times, north Zhejiang and neighbouring south Jiangsu have been famed for their prosperity and opulence, and simply inserting north Zhejiang place names (Hangzhou, Jiaxing, etc.) into poetry gave an effect of dreaminess, as was indeed done by many famous poets. In particular, the fame of Hangzhou (as well as Suzhou in neighbouring Jiangsu province) has led to the popular saying: ("Above there is heaven; below there is Suzhou and Hangzhou"), a saying that continues to be a source of pride for the people of these two still prosperous cities.s