Mythical creatures in Vietnamese culture Asian and African studies blog

The 2022 International Circus Festival, which saw the participation of nine domestic and foreign troupes, closed on December 7 at Hanoi Central Circus after a week of brilliant performances. Imagine if you will, a stunningly handsome man, semi clad; a sculpted body rivalling the perfection of some ancient Greek god. Just so, the Vietnamese Unicorn, looks nothing like the Western mythological beast of the same name. Like the Chinese style dragon, the Vietnamese dragon is often depicted with deer horns, serpentine neck, eagle-like claws, belly of a crocodile, scales like a fish, and hair. Located in the west of the capital, Trich Sai Village has always been famous for being an ancient village with a deep-rooted culture.

Shrouded in folklore, Vietnamese history is full of mythology, legends and stories. Vietnamese myths and legends play an important role in teaching Vietnamese children about their culture and origins, as well as valuable moral lessons and values. In Hoi An Vietnam, also known as the land of the ascending dragon due to its unique geological shape, dragons are no fairy tale. This is an old article, I know, but thank you so much for putting this thing together. I’ve been doing some research on Vietnam for an art project and this mini-repository of mythical creatures is going to lead me into a rabbit hole. People made a concerted effort to rid the world of this particular demon.

It is said they torture newly dead people’s souls for information about their living relatives. With this information, Thần Trùng can reap the souls of those living people as well, leading to instances where several family members die within a short time period of one another. These beliefs leave locals reluctant to go deep into the forests, especially after dark. But then again, perhaps they cliff jumping puerto rico are only legends stemming from people’s fear of the unknown and the dangers that lurk in the wilderness. As a testament to their importance in modern Vietnam, you will often come across the animals at places of worship and festive celebrations, from temples and dwellings to mid-autumn and tet. The noble deaths of the three kitchen gods are remembered on the 23rd day of the 12th month.

There was an actual old soft-shelled turtle who lived in the lake. Cụ Rùa was actually a female and is one of the four turtles of this breed known to survive in the world and was believed to be over 100 years old. From kitchen gods to sacred animals, myths and legends play a huge role in Vietnamese culture. They are in part reminders of Vietnam’s origins, but they also provide moral lessons which still apply today. And so, despite the massive societal changes going on in Vietnam today, these stories continue to endure the test of time. Like other East and South East Asian peoples, the Vietnamese believe in mythical and sacred animals, the most significant being the dragon, the phoenix, the turtle or tortoise, and the unicorn.

The Viet people believe that a phoenix bodes well for those areas where it settles. The combination of tge dragon and phoenix represent lovers’ happiness, good luck, position and fame. To understand the importance of dragons in Vietnamese culture, take a look at the names of locations.

For over 800 years, the capital of Vietnam was known by a different name. After claiming to see a dragon soaring up the Red River, the ancient ruler of the Dai Viet kingdom, Emperor Ly Thai To, relocated the seat of his administration from Hoa Lu to the present-day location of Hanoi in 1010. The city retained its name, ‘Thang Long’ (or ‘Soaring Dragon’) until the 19th century when the newly established Nguyen dynasty relocated the capital to Hue. Interestingly, in this instance, the carp symbolizes prosperity, success and scholarly knowledge, and its metamorphosis into a dragon serves as a reminder that nothing in life comes without struggle. In fact, to become a dragon and attain immortality, a fish must pass through three gates, just as a scholar must pass three exams , to become a mandarin. Hanoi – Images and stories of the nghe are currently on display at the capital city’s Temple of Literature, highlighting the important role of this symbol in the history and culture of the country.

It symbolises longevity, strength and intelligence and is also closely related to the independence of Vietnam in the 15th century. Legend has it that Lê Lời, who led the Vietnamese to fight against the Chinese invaders in the 15th century, borrowed a sword from the dragon king. After he defeated the Chinese, he returned the sacred sword to the king via the latter’s disciple, a turtle which lived in a jade water lake.

Sacred animals in Vietnamese culture and architecture, July 12, 2013. Or discover the surreal beauty of Halong Bay with our 2- and 1-night itineraries. Highlights include cave exploration, kayaking through dreamlike seascapes and breathtaking sunsets. Birds – their flight, grace and beauty have captivated the human imagination since time immemorial.

It was attended by many researchers, local authorities and managers of ancient buildings. This follows three years implementing regulation No 2662, issued by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, that bans foreign-style symbols, sculptures and worship objects unsuitable for Vietnamese culture. In Vietnamese culture, many animals are sacred; 4 of them are more important than the others and you can see them very often in architectural depictions or in daily objects. Follow us onFacebook,Telegram,Instagram, andLinkedIn for more stories like this. Similar creatures are also seen in the folklore of many other Southeast Asian countries including Thailand, Malaysia, and Cambodia, where they are known under different names such as Krasue, Ahp, or Penanggal. It seems that our cultures share a lot of similarities with one another.

Legends state that Si Van are marine creatures with round curving tails that cause rain to fall. Ancient people often carved these creatures onto roofs in order to prevent fire. In Vietnam, Si Van were colloquially called Kim, and came in various forms that looked like dragon or fish. As he scouted the internet, books, and religious scriptures, Lộc was amazed by how abundant and culturally significant Vietnam’s mythical folklore is. Yet not many people are aware of it because it’s mostly preserved through oral lore which is scattered, inconsistent and difficult to navigate. Southeast Asia’s longest river begins in the Tibetan plateau and flows through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia before branching off into several waterways in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.

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