The Beijing 2008 Mascots
On August 5, 2004, BOCOG issued a worldwide invitation to professional design institutes as well as individual designers for Olympic Games mascot designs.
By the deadline of December 1, 2004, the BOCOG Culture & Ceremonies Department had received over 3,000 entries, 662 of which were confirmed valid. On December 15, 2004, BOCOG invited 24 renowned experts and scholars from home and abroad to select 10 designs for final review.
On November 11, 2005, the mascots of the Beijing Olympic Games were unveiled. They were five personified dolls, called “Fuwa” in general, and respectively named “Beibei” (carp), “Jingjing” (panda), “Huanhuan” (Child of Fire), “Yingying” (Tibetan
antelope), and “Nini” (swallow). Their names put together - “Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni” - literally reads “Beijing Welcomes You” in Chinese.
The design inspiration and colour of Fuwa come from China’s vast landscape and beloved animals, as well as the Olympic rings. Their images are also associated with the elements of nature - sea, forest, fire, earth and sky, and are all stylistically rendered in representation of profound traditional influences of Chinese folk art. Each Fuwa symbolises a different blessing - prosperity, happiness, passion, health and good luck. Altogether, they carry the message of peace, friendship and good
wishes for harmony between man and nature.
Source document: Official
Report 2008, Vol. 3, page 266
Five Friendlies' named Beijing Olympics mascots
Like the Five Olympic Rings from which they draw their color and
inspiration, the Five Friendlies will serve as the Official Mascots of
Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, carrying a message of friendship and
peace--and blessings from China--to children all over the
In China's traditional culture and art, the fish and
water designs are symbols of prosperity and harvest. And so Beibei carries
the blessing of prosperity. A fish is also a symbol of surplus in Chinese
culture, another measure of a good year and a good life. The ornamental
lines of the water-wave designs are taken from well-known Chinese
paintings of the past. Among the Five Friendlies, Beibei is known to be
gentle and pure. Strong in water sports, she reflects the blue Olympic
When you put their names together--Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni--they say "Welcome to Beijing," offering a warm invitation that reflects the mission of the Five Friendlies as young ambassadors for the Olympic Games.
Friendlies also embody both the landscape and the dreams and aspirations
of people from every part of the vast country of China. In their origins
and their headpieces, you can see the five elements of nature--the sea,
forest, fire, earth and sky--all stylistic rendered in ways that represent
the deep traditional influences of Chinese folk art and
Spreading Traditional Chinese Blessings Wherever
In the ancient culture of China, there is a grand tradition of spreading blessings through signs and symbols. Each of the Five Friendlies symbolizes a different blessing--and will honor this tradition by carrying their blessings to the children of the world. Prosperity, happiness, passion, health and good luck will be spread to every continent as the Five Friendlies carry their invitation to Beijing 2008 to every part of the globe.
At the heart of their mission--and through all of their work--the Five Friendlies will seek to unite the world in peace and friendship through the Olympic spirit. Dedicated to helping Beijing 2008 spread its theme of One World, One Dream to every continent, the Five Friendlies reflect the deep desire of the Chinese people to reach out to the world in friendship through the Games--and to invite every man, woman and child to take part in the great celebration of human solidarity that China will host in the light of the flame in 2008.
In China's traditional culture and art, the fish and water designs are
symbols of prosperity and harvest. And so Beibei carries the blessing of
prosperity. A fish is also a symbol of surplus in Chinese culture, another
measure of a good year and a good life.
Jingjing makes children smile--and that's why he brings the blessing of happiness wherever he goes. You can see his joy in the charming naivety of his dancing pose and the lovely wave of his black and white fur. As a national treasure and a protected species, pandas are adored by people everywhere. The lotus designs in Jingjing's headdress, which are inspired by the porcelain paintings of the Song Dynasty (A.D.960-1234), symbolize the lush forest and the harmonious relationship between man and nature. Jingjing was chosen to represent our desire to protect nature's gifts--and to preserve the beauty of nature for all generations. Jingjing is charmingly naïve and optimistic. He is an athlete noted for strength who represents the black Olympic ring.
In the intimate circle of Friendlies, Huanhuan is the big brother. He
is a child of fire, symbolizing the Olympic Flame and the passion of
sport--and passion is the blessing he bestows. Huanhuan stands in the
center of Friendlies as the core embodiment of the Olympic spirit. And
while he inspires all with the passion to run faster, jump higher and be
stronger, he is also open and inviting. Wherever the light of Huanhuan
shines, the inviting warmth of Beijing 2008--and the wishful blessings of
the Chinese people--can be felt. The firery designs of his head ornament
are drawn from the famed Dunhuang murals--with just a touch of China's
traditional lucky designs. Huanhuan is outgoing and enthusiastic. He
excels at all the ball games and represents the red Olympic ring.
Every spring and summer, the children of Beijing have flown beautiful kites on the currents of wind that blow through the capital. Among the kite designs, the golden-winged swallow is traditionally one of the most popular. Nini's figure is drawn from this grand tradition of flying designs. Her golden wings symbolize the infinite sky and spread good-luck as a blessing wherever she flies. Swallow is also pronounced "yan" in Chinese, and Yanjing is what Beijing was called as an ancient capital city. Among the Friendlies, Nini is as innocent and joyful as a swallow. She is strong in gymnastics and represents the green Olympic ring.
© Copyright of five friendlies belongs to
International Olympic Committee, the Chinese Olympic Committee and
the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.