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September 23, 2009

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Celebrate festival with music and jade

AS the Mid-Autumn Festival approaches, a festive gala will be held in Minhang District's Nanfang Friendship Shopping Center this Friday afternoon, with residents and expats welcome to the free show.

Visitors can taste mooncakes with different flavors, sip traditional green teas and watch a performance of ancient Chinese music by the neighborhood Xianxia Band.

The group, set up in 1975, is made up of 27 artists with an average age of 66 and has won numerous awards and prizes in Shanghai and across the Yangtze River Delta.

During the gala, visitors can have a closer look at a variety of ancient Chinese musical instruments they play, such as dizi (bamboo flute), ruan (a plucked string instrument with a fretted fingerboard), pipa (Chinese lute), erhu (fiddle), dulcimer and many others.

During the eight-day golden week of the National Day holiday, a jade show will also be held at the shopping center through October 11.

The exhibition will showcase dozens of precious jade carvings in such shapes as ink brushes, daffodils, the goddess Guanyin and other figures.

They have been either collected or carved by Hong Ronghui, China's jade-engraving master from Yangmei Village in Guangdong Province, the country's jade capital.

On October 3, Hong will give a lecture on how to appreciate jade stones and help identify jade items, pearls and jewels brought by visitor.

In addition, a rough stone auction will be held that day, with more than 10 precious jade rocks to be auctioned.

Jade buyers "bet" on the rough stones they purchase from the market. It is a high-stakes "gamble" because it is only after the auction that the stone can be split.

Their purchase could be a plain stone worth nothing, or the buyer could be very fortunate to find imperial green quality inside that can make one a millionaire overnight.

Hong once successfully bought a giant stone for 80,000 yuan (US$11,764) and unearthed a huge slab of jade inside, which later earned him over 3 million yuan.

Mid-Autumn gala

Date: September 25, 2-4pm

Jade show

Date: September 29-October 11

Hong's lecture and auction

Date: October 3, 2pm

Address: 7388 Humin Rd


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