Liuzhou’s biennial Fantastic Stones Festival is in progress at a number of venues throughout the city. People come from all over China and numerous foreign countries to buy and sell strangely shaped and colored rocks. Two of the largest venues are within a stone’s throw of my condo. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
The rocks range in size from pebbles to giant boulders weighing
several tons. They’ve all been processed to some extent – oiled and
polished at the least, and sometimes ground or cut into statues.
They are valued for their shapes, or their colors or patterns, or
because they resemble or, with a little glue can be made to
resemble, a scene or object.
Some are painted, and some look like they must have been
painted but the vendors swear they haven’t been.
There don’t seem to be as many customers at the festival this
year as in the past, but it’s still pretty crowded.
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