Any depiction of the Laughing Buddha is heavy on symbolism. For example, many theories abound about why he is shown with elongated earlobes with the most pervasive being that the earlobes reflect that the Buddha is all-hearing and has ears big enough to listen to all of our tales of suffering. His name, Pu-tai, refers to the omnipresent hempen sack containing precious gifts. At the same time, he also uses the sack to dispose of peoples problems. The Laughing Buddha usually clutches a set of prayer beads which represent a never-ending meditation practice, even when engaged in worldly activities. His ample stomach, which is rubbed for good-luck, is prominently exposed to reflect abundance as well his ability to stomach all of the worlds problems and transform them into happiness.
The artists at Herend have made the Laughing Buddha their own by incorporating new layers of symbolism. By painting him in the rich, highly ornate Jiangxi pattern, they have created one more reference to abundance. The Jiangxi pattern also features a recurring lotus motif which is very prominent in Buddhism. The lotus flower represents the Buddha mind because, though growing in mire, it puts forth beautiful, immaculate flowers. Presented in a limited edition of 250, the Laughing Buddha stands 14 tall and comes in a luxury case.