Thursday, April 26, 2012

Beijing Trip Day 3 - The Jade Factory

On the THIRD day in Beijing, before heading to the Great Wall of China, the tour guide brought us to the Jade factory instead. I knew by then, that every item we bought from any factory she has brought us to, will reward her in commissions.

It's OK for me just as long the things sold are practical. In this case... I'm no fan of jades. So I didn't buy anything. But learning about them was great fun though!

The jade factory that we went to is shown below. I have no idea what it's name. Can anyone translate Chinese for me?

And in we go!
The visit started with showing types of raw stones or slabs of jades found in different parts of the world. Mostly from China. Jade can come in many colors but differ in quality. The high-quality jades are Jadeite which are very expensive while the lesser quality jades are called Nephrite (source). Don't go asking me how to differentiate them 'coz I have no idea. LOL.

Slabs of Jade to be carved!
Inside the factory, we watched a man carving into the hard jade. He was pretty serious in his job and practically ignored our camera flashes. Hehe. Then we entered a room where a guide told us the stages of making a Happiness Ball. One of the most famous jade designs in China.

From Left: Guy carving into a Jade, Woman explaining a Happiness Ball
Yes a happiness ball. Wonder if there's a sadness ball. LOL. They didn't ask us to buy anything, just released us to view the jades on display, free to buy or browse anything we like.

Me? Browse only maa! Hehe.

Clockwise from upper left: Laughing Buddha, men doing something, Buddha on dragon,
Chinese Cabbage, Happiness Ball, dragons
What you guys might not know is that each design of jade has a meaning to the Chinese community. Here are some explanations on desirable jade designs in China:
  • Happiness Ball - Also called "lucky ball", "family ball", or "generation ball". From 3 layers to 13 layers, one layer stands for one generation. Just like an extended family, it can bless people with happiness and reunion. There are 12 holes on a layer, symbolizing 12 months, may bless a family with happiness, harmony and good luck in a year. The dragon and phoenix stands for the emperor and queen respectively. 
  • Laughing Buddha - Also called "Maitreya", "happiness Buddha, " or "smelling Buddha". It is characterized by broad mind and big smile. It is said if you touch his belly, you can get good luck and successes, helps you overcome all your difficulties and frustrations easily. If you touch his ears, you can get happiness. if you touch his head, you'll become very intelligent and knowledgeable. There are five popular Buddhas in China, the laughing Buddha, goddess of mercy, god of longevity, god of wealth, and god of happiness.
  • Jade Chinese Cabbage - shares the same pronunciation with Bai Cai (wealth) in Chinese, can bless people with a lot of money. The placement of the cabbage in your homes are important. No matter where you put it, you should ALWAYS place the "root end" inside and the other side facing the door, so that it can bring the owner lots of money. According to traditional custom, Northerner of china like storing a lot of green cabbages for winter that symbolizes they can store a lot of money. When choosing a jade Chinese cabbage, find one with long root and large vegetable leaf.
It was fun learning the meanings of the jade designs. Now I know why the Chinese community back in Malaysia are keen with these symbols. =)

RMB 225 per piece? You gotta be kiddin' me!
But getting myself any sort of jade for my own personal collection needs much thought and a bigger wallet. Hehehe. Later I found a jade bracelet in the open market for only RMB 10, most probably fake or just cheap Nephrites. =)

Next stop is THE GREAT WALL of CHINA!! -- next entry.

Before ending, again I'd like to say thank you for voting and supporting my blog in the "Tourism Travel Blog" Category. Voting period is until 1st of May 2012. So still hoping to garner enough votes to stay on top. =)

OH ya, if you haven't voted yet, hope you don't mind voting for me here.. THANKS!

And thankyou for reading! ^^


Mak Lin said... [Reply]

seronoknya dapat melancong mcm ni (>____<)"

redlomo said... [Reply]

great place to visit and shopping... wish will visit there soon

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@suzlin.. hehe.. sekali skala boleh la. klu selalu.. robek la dompet

@redlomo.. true.. hope u can visit there too. it's worth it!

Unknown said... [Reply]

RMB 225 tu brape jard dalam RM???

aku suka jed,...suka tengok nak beli xmampu...

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@jedi... RMB 225 tu bersamaan dengan RM112.50. mahal jugak kot. huhuhu

HEMY said... [Reply]

best...aku ni bila nk pi tak tau..aku suka jed..penah asek patah jeee

tester said... [Reply]

jade has diff types. those expensive jades can be mesmerizing while those cheap ones looks just so so... it all depends on the pattern of the jade material...

hazman aka species1980 said... [Reply]

hurrmm... rasanya macam ADA PELUANG BESAR la tuan punya blog nie menang TOURISM TRAVEL BLOG

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@hemy... jed yg berkualiti ada darjah kekerasan 7/10 manakala darjah kekerasan batu permata 10/10. klu asik patah je.. ko beli jed yg jenis murah tu. hehe thanks for your input. the expensive jades are said to have more minerals in it. they won't be translucent coz those will be cheap ones. am I right? =p

@hazman... hope to win.. tp pasrah klu tak menang. hehe..

Unknown said... [Reply]

Hi! Thank you,The information you shared is very informative. Visit website "chinese jade".

Anonymous said... [Reply]

The factory is National Stone Place. I went to the same one. :)