Mascots for Beijing Olympics 2008 are the Five Friendlies or Fuwa, conveying the message of peace and friendship to the world. Beibei is the Fish, Jingjing is the Panda, Huanhuan is the Olympic Flame, Yingying is the Tibetan Antelope and Nini is the Swallow. Each of these mascots has a rhyming two-syllable name, the traditional way of expressing affection for children in China. All five friendlies are also inspired by five Olympic rings. These are chosen in line with the colors of the Olympic Rings.
Distinctive Chinese Characteristics
The mascots have distinct Chinese characteristics, representing the
multi-ethnic Chinese culture. They reflect the traditional Chinese
philosophy of harmony between humans and nature. The five mascots match
the five elements (metal, wood, water, fire and earth) believed by
ancient Chinese people to be the base elements of the world.
The fish and water designs symbolize prosperity and harvest in Chinese
culture. Beibei mascot is the epitome of prosperity. The fish symbolizes
surplus in Chinese culture. It denotes a good year and a good life. The
water-wave designs are taken from historic Chinese paintings. Jingjing
makes children smile. You could see his joy in the charming naivety of
his dancing pose. Design of Jingjing is inspired by panda. Huanhuan is a
child of fire, symbolizing the Olympic Flame and the passion of sport.
Yingying is a symbol of the vastness of China's landscape. Yingying's
flying pose resembles a species unique to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, one
of the first animals put under protection in China. Nini is as innocent
and joyful as a swallow.
Mascots in Olympic
The first mascot to appear at an Olympics was Schuss the Skier during
the 1968 Winter Games in Grenoble, France. However, it was not official.
The first official mascot was Waldi the Dachshund, which appeared at the
Munich Summer Games in 1972. Thereafter, the mascots have become a main
element of the Olympic image. They convey the Olympic spirit to the
general public. They are popular particularly among children.