Dragon, peacock, turtle, phoenix, tiger, Lac bird, etc., are among the largest and most popular mascots, expressing the cultural identity of the Vietnamese nation today.
From time immemorial, each mascot has been regarded as a symbol of human culture, conveying ideas, spiritual and religious beliefs. Each mascot in the development process shows its own identity, characteristics, and unique artistic features of each different historical period. Currently, in Vietnam, the number of giant mascots is prosperous and diverse, spanning many regions.
- Dragon – Peacock
- Nghe (Nghê)
- Si vẫn (con Kìm)
- Bo Lao (Bồ Lao)
- Lac bird
- Sau (Sấu)
A pair of mascots has just been confirmed by the Vietnam Book of Records as "Vietnam's largest gold-gem mascot," crafted by more than 270 Thai artisans over a year in silver, red, and gold, 4k gold plated, using hand plating and electrostatic plating. In addition, on this pair of mascots, there are many types of crystals, gems, etc.
For Vietnamese people, the dragon is a symbol of strength, praying for rain and wishing for a prosperous life; The peacock is a symbol of noble authority and a symbol of attachment in the happiness of the couple.
Nghe is a pure Vietnamese mascot created to protect spiritual life and is often seen on ancient communal houses in Vietnam.
The most giant pair of Nghe in Vietnam has more than 1m, made of artificial stone by sculptor Lien Vu, modeled after a couple of painted wooden cymbals at King Le Thanh Tong (Tho Xuan, Thanh Hoa, 17th century). This is the first mascot specimen to be allowed to enter the ranked monument.
The unicorn is a mascot that symbolizes benevolence. In Vietnam, the unicorn image appeared popular in the early Le Dynasty of the 15th century, when Confucianism developed at its peak.
One of the oldest and rarest pairs of unicorns is a pair made of ancient bronze of a family in Vinh Long province. Currently being kept by Mr. L.M.S in Binh Thuy, Vung Liem district, Vinh Long province, he is a son of the family, and this is the treasure left by his ancestors.
In architecture and decoration, turtles are often represented with other mascots belonging to the quartet. Still, the most popular are the images of "turtle wearing a stele" and "turtle wearing a crane" in pagodas and temples, in the Temple of Literature. Quoc Tu Giam and Temple of Literature in Hue.
Phoenix is the image symbolizing the nobility of the court, the empress dowager, the empress, and the aristocratic women of the feudal period. In Vietnam, the idea of the phoenix is a popular decorative theme at all times and in many different fields of art.
According to legend, Si vẫn is still a sea animal with a curved tail that beats the waves when it rains, so people still attach Si vẫn to the roofs of buildings with the meaning of preventing fire.
As a mascot used in architectural decoration, this is one of the rare artifacts displayed at the Vietnam National Museum.
According to legend, the Bo Lao is a sea animal that loves loud sounds and roars. When casting bells, they often created a handle in the shape of a Bo Lao in the past. While the awl was made in the form of an orca with the desire that the bell rang far away. Therefore, Bo Lao is also used to refer to the sound of temple bells. In Vietnam, Bo Lao is often represented as a two-headed dragon.
In Vietnam, the tiger is considered the king of the jungle. Therefore, the tiger has been spiritualized, and it is a symbol of domination, authority, fame, and strength. The tiger is often placed in the position of guarding ancient architecture and temples. In the Mother shrines, there is often an altar of Ngu Ho with 5 colors of yellow, blue, white, red, and black representing the Marble.
Lac bird is the totem of Dong Son residents, is considered a symbol of Au Lac country, is a famous bird in legend. The image of the Lac bird is always seen on the face of the Dong Drum. Lac bird symbolizes the spirit and culture of Dong Son of Vietnam.
Sấu, also known as "Sóc" or "Sấu nghê sóc," appeared in Vietnamese art from the Ly Dynasty, lasted until the Le Trung Hung period (17th-18th centuries). Like Nghe, Sấu is a pure Vietnamese mascot, often shown on the slopes of steps in front of pagodas, towers, or tombs. It is also one of the unique mascots of Vietnam, which has never appeared in any art in the world.