China is a large nation in the world with one fifth of the world's population. Who is the father of this large country? It is Huangdi that laid the foundation of Chinese civilization and from whom everyone can find the merits of Chinese people living since ancient times. Under his leadership, prehistoric Chinese tribal life was transformed and presented a new civilized image to the world.
His family lived on Xuanyuan Hill in Xinzheng County, Henan Province, Huang's family name is Gongsun and his first name is Xuanyuan. Because he had a special attachment to the yellow earth, he was called Huangdi by the people ('Huang' in Chinese means yellow symbolizing the yellow earth and 'Di', emperor).
It is recorded that, in the Prehistoric Times, there lived many clans and tribes around the Yellow River and the Yangtze River and Huangdi was the most renowned tribal leader at that time. When the tribe lead by Yandi (Huangdi's close relative) began to decline, Huangdi's tribe was flourishing. During this period, Chiyou often lead his stronger tribe to invade other tribes, and invaded Yandi's tribe. With the help of Huangdi, Chiyou was defeated. Afterward war between Huangdi and Yandi began and when the war ended Huangdi had become the leader of many tribes.
|Mausoleum of Huangdi in Yan'an, Shaanxi|
Many outstanding achievements were made during the reign of Huangdi in architecture, science and culture. Palaces and boats were devised, and arithmetic and medicine also began to appear. He instructed his people to plant corn, and invented tools for guiding the direction of travel. With the help of his wife, people began to feed silkworms and spin thread into silk. In addition, characters and musical instruments were invented by his officials. All in all, many creations came from the Huangdi period.
Huangdi was buried on the Mt. Qiao (Bridge) in Huangling County, Shaanxi Province, and nowadays Huangdi Mausoleum known as 'The First Mausoleum in China' has been visited by numerous people home and abroad especially on the day of Qingming Festival (April 4th or 5th).
As Huangdi was the first leader with the great moral and superior wisdom that developed early Chinese civilization, the people regard him as the forefather of the Chinese nation and call themselves the offspring of Huangdi.