What are the holy animals in Vietnam?

As you know, Vietnam is a strong country in Southeast Asia with a rich history. In Vietnamese culture, we not only worship the ancestors, the gods, godless, but also the four sacred animals known as “Tứ Linh” or “Tứ Thánh Thú”. Each of them represents a different symbol and has a specific meaning.

Four Sacred Animals In Vietnam- Best Hue City Tour
Four Sacred Animals in Vietnam

The first and the most powerful animal in the four sacred animals in Vietnam is the Dragon. It represents the power of the son of Heaven (the king or emperor).

Four Sacred Animals In Vietnam- Best Hue City Tour

Phoenix the second one in the 4 Sacred Animals in Vietnam. It is the symbol of the richness of females (the queen, empress, princesses). Very common on the uniforms or on the place area of them, the decorations are all about phoenixes.

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Turtle is absolutely a symbol of longevity and education (long-life and wisdom). In the temple of literature, the Dynasty’s doctor tablets are honored on the back of the turtles.

Four Sacred Animals In Vietnam- Best Hue City Tour

And the last one is the Unicorn, the symbol of power and loyalty of the civil and military servants. 

What is the difference between Vietnamese and Chinese Holy Animals?

Honestly, Vietnamese culture had been influenced by Chinese culture a lot because of the long-term colony. But Vietnamese people always try their best to keep their own cultures, customs. We always want to make something different to differ from Vietnam and China. So in the four sacred creatures, the difference is the Unicorn.

Four Sacred Animals In Vietnam- Best Hue City Tour
Qilin- the Chinese Unicorn

Mention unicorns, you will think about the horse with a horn (American and European unicorns). In Asia, the unicorn is totally different. Chinese unicorn is the Qilin, the dragon head, and the body of the lion. The Vietnamese unicorn is a combination among many animals but basically is the dragon head, the body of the dog.

 Best Hue City Tour
Vietnamese Unicorn (Nghe)- the four sacred animals in Vietnam.

In addition, in the Hue Citadel or Hue Royal tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty. Easily you can see a couple of Unicorns guarding and protecting in front of the entrances. Moreover, in the Vietnamese temples, you also see the phoenix standing on the back of the turtle, it is the symbol of richness and honor forever (the desire of most Vietnamese in life).

Four Sacred Animals In Vietnam- Best Hue City Tour
Four Sacred Animals In Vietnam- Best Hue City Tour

Passing the up and down of history, four sacred animals still exist in the spiritual life of the Vietnamese. It shows you that Viet Nam is an independent country with rich traditions.

Travel to Hue city and If you would love to learn more about Vietnam’s history, Hue culture, Hue cuisine; understand more about the royal life of the Nguyen Dynasty, you should book the Hue City Private Tour, Hue City Group Tour, Hue Royal Tombs Tour. Our local guide will tell you a lot of interesting information, stories that not in the guide books or on the internet.