Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Top 5 Things To Know About the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

1.) Auspicious Starting Date
In the Chinese culture, certain numbers are believed to be fortuitious because they sound like the qualities that bring good luck. The number eight “ba” sounds similar to the word that means “prosper” or “wealth”. Because of the auspiciousness associated with this number, people often go to great length to choose them for street addresses, phone numbers and bank account numbers. For this reason, the Beijing Games will start at 8:08:08 pm on the eighth day of the eighth month in 2008, the best way to try and ensure its luck and success.

2.) “Dancing Beijing” Emblem
Every Olympics city emblem has always had a symbolic meaning to it. The “Dancing Beijing” emblem is a Chinese seal that stands for peace, friendship and progress of mankind. The dancing man in the center of the emblem is inspired from Chinese calligraphy, with the latter character of the city’s name “Jing” that is the form of the dancing man. His open arms in the emblem say that China is opening its arms to welcome the rest of the world to join the Olympics in a celebration of “peace, friendship and progress of mankind”. Red is the color of this seal, which is the traditional Chinese color of happiness and good luck.

3.) The Five Friendlies
Not just cute fuzzy friends, the Official Mascots of the Beijing Olympics are called “Fuwa”, whose name signifies friendship, peace and good wishes to children worldwide. Not only do they draw their color from the Olympic rings, the Fuwa also 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.

4.) A Slogan That Unites All
The slogan of “One World, One Dream” illustrates the essence of the Olympic spirit, which is unity, friendship, progress, harmony, participation and dreams. A pursuit of harmony between Man and Nature and building a harmonious society have always been the fundamentals of Chinese philosophy. “One World, One Dream” conveys the idea of the Beijing Olympics as a way for China to share with the world their dream of peaceful development in a harmonious, happy society.

5.) The Interlocking Rings
Baron de Coubertin, the founder of the Olympics, believed that the rings had great significance as the symbol of the union between men. The five rings, blue, yellow, black, green and red, represent the five parts of the world that compete against each other in the Olympics. Their colors are those that appear in all the different national flags at the founding of the Olympic Games in 1894.