The Red Factories of Yiwu

December 9, 2014 @ Shanghaiist

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The city of Yiwu, just a couple of hours south of Shanghai by fast train, is known as China’s massive Christmas market. From 2001 till now, the booming Christmas production industry there grew from a mere 10 factories to more than 600. The village produces 60 percent of the world’s Christmas decorations and more than 90 percent of China’s.

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China’s First Rainbow Tunnel Constructed in Zhengzhou

January 18, 2015 @ Shanghaiist

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An under-construction rainbow tunnel in Zhoumou county of Henan’s Zhengzhou city is the first and only one of its kind in China, according to the construction workers. It’s 400 meters long, has a total investment of nearly 100 million yuan and may or may not have been inspired by the world’s greatest go-kart racing video game.

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Imperial Yellow Tableware at APEC

November 12, 2014  @ Shanghaiist

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China pulled out all the stops in the cutlery department for its APEC welcoming banquet inside Beijing’s “Water Cube” on Monday night, wowing foreign dignitaries with their excellent sense of design and trademark imperial yellow color. The theme of the dining set was the “Flourishing Age” (aka “The Age of Xi”) and it was designed and produced by a Beijing company. The design of the dishes, name plates, and china sets was inspired by the mural painting of the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang. The enamel-coated porcelain was widely used in the court of the Qing dynasty.

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Wuxi Tiger Dogs or Black Mutt with Chemically Dyed Stripes

August 23, 2014 @ VagabondJourney

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They mysteriously arose across China in 2010, the year of the tiger. While a variety of methods of dying the pups are used, it has been reported that many use chemical bleaches and dyes, “toxic tarnish,” paint, and other miscellaneous and potentially fatal substances. Sometimes these dogs are called “one week puppies” — an indication of their life expectancy. Pet owners across the country have taken to diversifying the color palettes of their canines. So pink, green, and, of course, tiger stripped dogs are not exactly uncommon. You can see them from time to time when walking around in the streets here, and a well groomed poodle with florescent orange fur, gold painted nails, wearing little booties hardly gets a second glance anymore. In China, trends are born fast, spread far, but die hard.

More at Vagabond Journey

“Refined red sand turns into silver”

May 31, 2014 @ MoC

Taoists have a saying:

“Refined red sand turns into silver.”

This means that if you fuse all the different kinds of emotional energy together, they will adhere into a harmonious whole. However, unrefined, “unfused” energy will have the quality of sand, scattered about and unable to stick together.

Purple Bobby the Bear

May 17, 2014 @ Shanghaiist

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A purple bear stuffed with dried lavender and weight, has become one of the latest status symbols in China, especially among its youth. the Bridestowe Estate, a lavender farm in rural Tasmania, Australia, initially stuffed the animals partially with dried lavender as a way of utilizing its excess crop. It’s popularity has been attributed to Chinese models and actresses declaring themselves fans of the bear.  Imitators have also promptly ensued, with Chinese celebrity and entrepreneur, Guo Degang, having bought an Australian lavender farm to create his own lavender-stuffed bears, closely resembling the original.