The splendid culture of Shandong has cultivated many talented people, while its rich earth has devoted many featured commodities. From Lu Brocade, Jade of Mount Tai, Weifang kites and Yangjiabu Woodcut New Year Pictures, to Zibo porcelains, you will find great souvenirs from Shandong that you will treasure for a lifetime.
Lu Brocade, a type of cotton fabrics, is a famous featured product of Shandong. Enzyme pretreatment and ecological finishing technologies are applied to the raw materials. The brocade, with insect preventing, bactericidal, and UV protection functions, is distinguished by its bright colors and strong textures. In the 1980s, the Lu brocade experienced a strong revival as it became adapted to the needs of modern life.
Jade of Mount Tai
The Jade of Mount Tai, one of the earliest discovered jade stones in China, became nationally renowned as early as in the pre-Qin period. The jade of Mount Tai is produced in the west of Mount Tai, and it can be mainly divided into “Jasper of Mount Tai”, “Black jade of Mount Tai” and “Green jade of Mount Tai”. The Jade of Mount Tai is a kind of mineral without faces, containing various kinds of chemical substances and microelements that human body needs. The container made of such jade can change the water qualities, cure rickets, refresh brain and prolong longevity.
A shopping trip to Weifang, the Kite Capital of the World, would definitely include a kite, which is versatile, pretty and unique. You can keep it for yourself or as a gift, put on a wall or fly it in the wind. With a history of over 2,000 years, Weifang kites present lifelike images with rich country flavors, and are famous for their various themes, vivid profiling, and bold colors. The exquisite crafts make the kites easy to fly smoothly.
You can buy colorful and different shapes of kites from Weifang Kite Museum or the Yangjiabu Village. At the village of Yangjiabu, one of the nation’s Top Three Producing Places of Traditional New Year Pictures, it is said that every household knows how to paint and color. The villagers have applied the techniques of woodcut pictures to kite painting, which has further highlighted the local features of Weifang kites.
Yangjiabu Woodcut New Year Pictures
Woodcut New Year picture is China’s historic art form of traditional Han Chinese, and has been listed as one of China’s National Intangible Cultural Heritages in 2006. With a thousand years of history, the art form started in late Ming Dynasty and boomed in the Qing Dynasty.
Yangjiabu was famous for producing woodcut New Year pictures. Together with Tianjin’s Yangliuqing and Suzhou’s Taohuawu, they are known as the Top Three Producing Places of Traditional New Year Pictures in China. Colorful paintings, vivid characters and exquisite craftsmanship are features of Yangjiabu woodcut New Year pictures. As a folk art of the Yellow River area, the pictures have formed distinctive artistic features of rich country styles.
As one of China’s “Five Major Construction Material Bases”, Zibo has gained the reputation of the “Porcelain Capital of North China”. Dating back to the Neolithic Period, Zibo porcelain production boasts a history of over 8,500 years, and it has fostered many famous types of porcelain through the dynasties. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Zibo artisans have created many innovative types of porcelain to enrich its diversity. Many exquisite Zibo porcelains have found a niche in the Zhongnanhai (where the country’s top leadership resides and works) and the Great Hall of the People. Zibo’s representative porcelain, the raindrop glazed porcelain, deriving its name from scattered silver dots on the black glaze, is highly prized in Japanese tea art.
Qingdao Shell Carvings
With rare conch shells as the raw materials, shell objects are meticulously carved with the techniques for producing jade and wood sculptures. Shell carvings produced in Qingdao won the “Heavenly Horse” gold medal by the National Tourism Administration, and the Silver Cup (the highest prize) of the China Crafts “One Hundred Flower Award,” and have been sold to over 40 countries and regions in the world. Today, Qingdao produces nearly 1,000 varieties of carvings. Such articles can be used as decorations and ornaments for the lobbies of hotels, meeting halls and ordinary families. Some small screens, souvenirs, jewelries and ornaments have been well received by domestic and foreign customers.
Bo Xing Cloth Tiger
The cloth tiger, a kind of cloth-made toy, is a folk handicraft with strong local color. The cloth tiger had been very popular in the ancient times of China, and the cloth tiger from Boxing in Binzhou originated early from the Han Dynasty. The Chinese people think that there is a large character “王 (Wang)” (the word means king) on the forehead of the tiger; Therefore, the tiger is named as “the king of the animals”. The cloth tiger is deemed to be a symbol of exorcising, disaster prevention, and peace and luckiness, and it can also protect the fortune.
Qi Writing Brush
Among the various calligraphic tools, the writing brush is special to China. It represents one of the four treasures of study, which also include paper, ink and ink stone.
Guangrao in Shandong Province is known as the “Town of Qi Writing Brush”. Qi writing brush has a long history of more than 2,000 years. Meng Tian, a famous general of Qin State during the Warring States period, made significant contributions to transforming the writing brush and is regarded as the ancestor of writing brushes. The people of Guangrao have handed down the techniques for making writing brushes from generation to generation. Qi writing brushes generally fall into four kinds: brushes made of goat’s hair, rabbit’s hair, wolf’s hair, or mixed hair. The handles of writing brushes are made of bamboo, ivory, ox horn, glass, plastic, purple sandlewood, padauk, or Chinese littleleaf box.
Xu Gong Ink Slab
Linyi is famous for its stone. Legend has it that when Xu Gong, a successful candidate of the Tang Dynasty in the imperial examinations at the provincial level, passed the place where Feixian and Yinan meet, he picked up a stone and used it as an ink slab for his examination in the capital. Though it was a cold winter, the ink on the slab was not frozen. Xu Gong wrote an excellent article and became a top scholar. The ink stone was then named as Xu Gong Ink Slab. Xu Gong stone is high in quality, with changeable patterns, and is especially good for making ink slabs.
Laiwu Tin Carvings
Laiwu produces a wide variety of tin carvings in beautiful shapes, showing advanced techniques. In the Ming and Qing dynasties, Laiwu reached its greatest prosperity in producing tin carvings. The Wangs in Xiguan, Laiwu is an old family producing tin carvings, such as crane-shaped candleholders, dinner sets, vases, cases, and boxes. Many of their products have been collected as treasures.
Qingdao beer is the most famous beer brand in China. Made with fine materials, the beer is meticulously brewed using the most high-tech processes. Its white and fine foams and gentle and refreshing taste has earned worldwide recognition. It has won seven gold medals, and was the champion at the US International Wine Appraisal Meeting three times.
Changyu Grape Wine
Located at the same latitude as Bordeaux, France, Yantai is the hometown of grape wine. With excellent conditions of soil, temperature, precipitation, and illumination, Yantai is one of the best areas for grape and wine production. Awarded as the only International Vine and Wine City in Asia by the International Organization of Vine and Wine, Yantai is the birthplace of China’s modern wine industry. The famous Changyu Grape Wine was first produced here. Changyu Wine Culture Museum in Yantai is well worth visiting and it’s the perfect place to taste Changyu wine.
Zhoucun Sesame Seed Cake
With a history of 1,800 years, Zhoucun sesame seed cake got its name from its place of origin, Zhoucun Village of Zibo, East China’s Shandong Province. Famous for its thin crust, appetizing flavor, and crispness, Zhoucun sesame seed cake is on the second list of national intangible cultural heritage in China. Round and thin, one side of the cake is inlayed with sesame seed while the other side has a crispy crust. Since it is very nutritious, Zhoucun sesame seed cake is suitable for both young and old. The cake can be stored for a long time and will remain fresh.
Laoshan Green Tea
Laoshan green tea is brewed with water from Mount Laoshan. As a kind of green tea growing in the northernmost of China’s tea-producing region, the tea is characterized by a long growth cycle, high quality, juicy leaves and rich taste, and has been reputed as the “Best Tea in North China”.
Dong’e is famous for its E’jiao. E’jiao, ginseng and pilose antler are the Three Treasures of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Made from donkey hide, E’jiao is a top-quality nutritious tonic. It can be used for treatment and fitness, and it is especially effective for gynecological problems. It might sound strange at first but, trust me, it’s pretty useful stuff.