The mascots of the Palace Museum meet the public in Xiamen, Fujian province on Nov 23. [Photo/Chinanews.com]
The Palace Museum mascots named “Zhuangzhuang” and “Meimei” first met the public in Xiamen, Fujian province on Nov 23.
The mascots’ design originates from the Chinese traditional cultural symbols of the dragon and phoenix.
Feng Hui, head of the cultural service center of the museum, said they hope the mascots will become “cultural products with star effect”, be well received by the public and spread Chinese culture to the world.
The names of the mascots also bear special meanings. “Zhuang”, which means strong in Mandarin, shows the power of the dragon, which represents the image of the gorgeous Forbidden City; “Mei”, which means beautiful, stands for the more than 1.8 million treasures collected by the museum.
The mascots of the Palace Museum meet the public in Xiamen, Fujian on Nov 23. [Photo/Chinanews.com]
Developing the mascots’ design took more than 10 months. All the costumes, beads, hats, and other accessories on the mascots underwent the scrupulous examination of experts.
Feng said the mascots issued this time wear costumes from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and in the future it’s expected more mascots will wear costumes from other dynasties.
An online shopping mall for the museum will open on Jan 1, 2015 and cultural products, including the mascots, will be delivered to households around the world, Feng added.
The mascots have stirred heated discussion on Sina Weibo, attracting more than 22,000 comments. Some said they are cute while others said they are ugly.
Sina Weibo user “Fangmenglifetianxia” said the mascots not only have great visual effect but also represent Chinese culture’s glamour.
Another Internet user, “Wenzisuogu”, said the dragon mascot looks ferocious while the phoenix looks like a parrot.
Some are interested in the mascots, saying they are good gifts for foreign friends.