|The sacred and mythical animals are displayed at the exhibition. — Photo dantri.com.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — More than 100 exhibits of sacred and mythical animals in Vietnamese culture will be presented today at the Viet Nam National Museum of History (VNMH) in downtown Ha Noi.
The exhibits date back to the country's foundation during the Nguyen Dynasty and include icons of dragons, unicorns, flamingos, mandarin ducks and the 12 animal designations of the lunar New Year. The items were constructed from various materials such as bronze, terra-cotta, stone and wood.
These sacred and mythical animals were created by the Vietnamese or emerged from exchanges with outside cultures. They are used as cultural symbols to convey spiritual and religious beliefs and messages.
"These mascots are not only described in myths and legends, but also expressed in visual art," said Nguyen Quoc Huu, deputy manager of the exhibition room at VNMH. "The ancients believed that the mascots embodied the natural forces and had characteristics of mysterious supernatural powers that dominated the humanity and universe."
He added, "The exhibition is the chance for visitors to see Vietnamese sacred and mythical animals so that they can better understand Vietnamese cultures because each mascot has its own story, characteristics and relates to different cultures."
The exhibition will remain open until February 2016. — VNS