Olympic Games is coming. I think introducing the mascots of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games is not only interesting, it is important for the children to know more about them. The choice of the design, the names convey the Chinese traditional and culture. The official Mascots of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, instead the usual one or two, are 5 little figures called 福娃 (fú wá ), carrying the message of friendship and peace, as well as good wishes, to the world.

The five 福娃 (fú wá ) were inspired from four of China’s most popular animals — the Fish, the Panda, the Tibetan Antelope, the Swallow — and the Olympic Flame.

福娃 (fú wá )贝贝(bèi bèi ) is the 鱼(yú ) Fish.

In China’s traditional culture a fish is a symbol of surplus. To celebrate the traditional Chinese year, Chinese people have to have fish as a major dish on the fest dinner, simply because it reflects blessing for good year and a good life.

Among Fuwa, Beibei is known to be gentle and pure; as a fish in water, Beibei is also strong in water sports.

福娃 (fú wá )晶晶(jīn  jīn ) is the 大熊猫 (dà  xióng  māo ) panda.

Pandas are a protected species. It is also a Chinese national treasure. They look naive and charming, and thus are adored by people around the world.

The bamboo design on Jinjin’s head represents the nature. So Jinjin is the symbol of the harmonious relationship between creatures and nature.

福娃 (fú wá ) 欢欢(huān  huan) is the  火(huǒ  ) fire.

He is a child of fire, symbolizing the Olympic Flame and the passion of sport. He symbolizes the Olympic spirit: jump higher, run faster and be stronger.

福娃 (fú wá ) 迎迎( yíng  yíng ) is the  藏羚羊(zàng  líng  yáng ) Tibetan Antelope.

Yingying is fast and agile. He can run swiftly over a big distance. He is a happy and unique species which comes from the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau from the western China.

福娃 (fú wá ) 妮妮(ní  ní ) is the   a  燕子(yàn  zi ) swallow.

Nini is from the sky, a swallow which is joyful. In Chinese tradition, a swallow is a lucky bird. The house with a nestle from swallows is believed to be blessed.

Nini is the bird which brings blessing to the Olympic Games.

If we put the names of the five mascots together, we get Bei Jing Huan Yin Ni, which is, 北京欢迎你,Beijing Welcomes You!

How great! Looking at the five mascots, we can have a feel of the Chinese tradition;  understanding the meaning of them can help us appreciate the culture.

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