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Henan ,, is a [province] of the [People's Republic of China] , located in the eastern central part of the country. [An Introduction to Chinese Provinces] ,, accessed July 2009 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). [Origin of the Names of China's Provinces] , [People's Daily Online] .

With nearly 100 million people, Henan is the most populated [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.

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