The art of making shigandang, ornamental stone tablets used to ward off evil spirits, has been a folk custom for centuries in Tai'an, Shandong province.
Shigandang are often associated with Mount Tai, located in Tai'an, Shandong province, due to its association with sunrise, birth and renewal.
Various incarnations of tourism commodities that have derived from the folk custom over the years were displayed at the 2016 Tai'an (Taishan) Tourism Commodities Contest, held from Sept 3-8.
Among the novel shigandang on display at the contest were perfumes, jade sculptures and gourds, each with unique carvings and inscriptions.
The contest has been held annually since 2004 and has enabled many award-winning designs to be rolled out commercially in the country.
More than 200 entries were submitted this year, with marked improvements in design, craftsmanship and practical value.
The logo of safe Mount Tai implies the harmony of
the sun, moon and stars. [Photo/ctnews.com.cn]
Seven designs picked up coveted golden medals on the day, including jade-embedded bracelets fitted with smart technology and a set mahogany "four treasures of the study", which includes a writing brush, ink stick, ink slab and paper.
Shigandang made from gourds displayed at the 2016 Tai'an (Taishan)
Tourism Commodities Contest. [Photo/ctnews.com.cn]
Judges gave particular praise to commodities that integrated traditional characteristics with modern functionality, such as the Mount Tai jade-embedded bracelet, which despite its classic look, is capable of recording daily exercise and monitoring sleep.
Fate Stone's smart bracelet combines classic features
with modern functionality. [Photo/ctnews.com.cn]
Chen Bin, one of the judges of this year's contest, said the Tai'an tourism commodities contest will lead the trend of innovative and popular designs and boost the development of local tourism goods companies that produce jade, food and linen products.
Tourism revenue generated from tourism commodities in Tai'an has increased in recent years. In 2015, more than 23 percent of the city's gross tourism revenue came from products such as Mount Tai jade, tea and Feicheng (a city in Tai'an) mahogany.
Tai'an will establish flagship stores in major scenic spots at Mount Tai to promote shigandang tourism commodities and boost local tourism industry.