I wish I could make it to Beijing this August! There is no end to the cuteness created for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing! These five friendly characters are the official Olympic mascots called "Fuwa," whose name signifies friendship, peace and good wishes to children worldwide.
The Fuwa embody the natural characteristics of four of China’s most popular animals – the Fish, the Panda, the Tibetan Antelope, the Swallow – and the Olympic Flame. Each of Fuwa has a rhyming two-syllable name – a traditional way of expressing affection for children in China. Beibei is the Fish, Jingjing is the Panda, Huanhuan is the Olympic Flame, Yingying is the Tibetan Antelope and Nini is the Swallow. When you put their names together – Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni, which means “Welcome to Beijing” in Chinese. (**Isn't that so cute and awesome! I love it!**)
The campaign for the 2008 Olympic Games is really inspiring as well. Did you know that "8" is an auspicious number in Chinese culture? It's because the number eight "ba" sounds like "prosper" or "wealth." As you can imagine, the good fortune of the Olympics in Beijing will start on 8:08:08 pm on the eight day of the eighth month in 2008. (As a side note, this is really cool info for me because my birthday is on August 18, and my knickname as a baby was Jingjing, lol!)
Check out the cute Beijing merchandise at ChinaSprout.