Quy (Tortoise) is one of Vietnam's most outstanding sacred animals (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam’s major sacred animals, which star in ancient tales and reflect spiritual life of Vietnamese people and culture, were introduced to the public at a symposium held at the Vietnam National Museum of History on December 22.

At the event, PhD Tran Lam Bien, a culture heritage researcher, affirmed that sacred animals play a vital role in religious beliefs and perspectives on people’s lives as the creatures carry the converged power of other animals.

According to Bien, ancient people believed that sacred animals were the embodiment of natural phenomena, mysterious forces or supernatural power that could influence human life and the universe.

Long (Dragon) symbolising robust crop, fertility and royal power, Lan (Quilin) and Phuong (Phoenix) embodying talented people and Quy (Tortoise) - the emblem of strength and longevity must be the most outstanding sacred animals in Vietnam, Bien said.

Such creatures as tiger, elephant, carp fish and monkey have often been mentioned in Vietnamese culture, he added.

There were a myriad of sacred animals in Vietnamese art, which were created by Vietnamese people or adopted from foreign countries during centuries of trade exchange. Each totem represents unique identity and a typical art style seen in different historical stages.

An exhibition displaying an abundance of significant sacred creatures in Vietnamese culture and history is underway at the Museum. It aims to provide the audiences with deeper understanding about the cultural symbols of Vietnam.-VNA