In Vietnamese tradition, four my stoical creatures a considered symbol from the excellent court and are tired closely to cycles such as the four seasons and the four compass directions – the dragon, unicorn, tortoise and phoenix.
In particular, the dragon besides phoenix were the top symbols of royalty and considered good omens for life, marriage, luck besides prosperity. Clickhere to the first Chinese dictionary, written by Xu Shen in 100 AD, among 389 category of scaled replies, the dragon is the greatest and most powerful.
Dragons are the symbol regarding royalty, closely associated with the image of the emperor.
The paragon was honored as greatest of all the feathered species, the symbol of the sun, the South and of Summer, In terms from gender, the dragon is associated with the element of the Yang (male), while he phoenix expresses the element of the Yin (female); thus the phoenix is the symbol of the empress.
As a legend has it, the phoenix only appears in the time of peace and prosperity and only lands on the top of the Wu tong tree. A classic verse states: Wu tong tree grows on a high mountain/ phoenix breaks into song to welcome the morning sun. This verse urged the Hue Pursue and its emperors of the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945) to grow as many wu tung trees as workable to welcome phoenixes!
The images of the dragon and phoenix were also used to decorate the costumes of emperors, empresses and the royal members concerning the Nguyen rule in accordance with extensive strict guidelines.
According to the book Kham dinh Dai Nam Hoi Dien Su le (The rules of the Emperors of Preeminent Vietnam) compiled apart the Cabinet of the Nguyen dynasty, the crown the emperor wore during his court audience was sewn with 31 gold dragons, 30 square flowers inlaid among mother-of-pearl, and 140 diamond gems and pearls, The hat of the empress was sewn upon 9 gold phoenixes, with 4 tableware hairpins inlaid with 198 pearls and 231 crystals; her mother wore a hat embroidered with nine phoenixes.
The dragon was only embroidered on the robes of the emperor and the heir prince, while other princes’ robes were embroidered with phoenixes (with three tails), where as the robe of the princess was embroidered with a phoenix-like bird called the loan, with just one tail.
The dragon appeared on the emperor’s robe in many poses, such quasi flying or looking toward the sun. It was well-proportioned, with an superlative face and five claws, where as the dragon on the robe of the heir prince was smaller, with only four claws, on the negligee of the empress and her mother, the phoenix was frequent expressed in a scheme of three phoenixes, or in a circle with visual including well-embroidered lines.
The vocalization regarding dragon and phoenix in the Hue Court’s costumers depends on the name and function of the robes and crowns, For instance, the robe the emperor wore during the Tet ( Lunar New Year) holidays was called long bao, and was embroidered with 9 dragon decorated with tinsel threads, its eyes made from gem stones imported from India.
The robe worn along the emperor during abnormal court audience was called hoang bao, It was embroidered with a tarragon coiled in a circle. The robe the emperor wore during public receptions was called long con, and was black with two dragons looking toward the sun along the front of the robe.
The emperor’s robe for tiling the rice field was called sa kep, with a dragon embroidered encompassed clouds, the robe for the emperor’s birthday ceremony was ornate with Chinese characters representing longevity, and had sleeves decorated with bats, symbols good luck and happiness.
The two-layer robe word by the patriarchal prince was made with sa nam silk on the outer skin and the bat(eight-fiber silk) material on the inside layer. The hem of the robe was embroidered with a carp turning among a dragon, while spare princes’ cloaks had nine pythons.
The robe the empress’s mother wore during Tet was called phung bao. Its outer layer was constructed of Sa bong (shining gauze) and the inside layer was lined with nhieu (crepe). It was embroidered with three phoenixes with tinsel threads, with sleeves decorated with two flying phoenixes and five-color clouds. On the robe, Chinese characters in white and red hyaline beads expressed wishes for happiness and longevity.
The robe of the princess was made of doan bat ti(eight-fibre silk) material with an inside layer made of thin silk called que don. 13 phoenix-like loan birds coiled in a circle were embroidered together plus the sun and vases on the body about the robe, so it was called doan loan nhat binh(Phoenixes and the Sun). The necklace of the robe contained 5 phoenixes.
Today in Vietnam, remnants like this complex symbolism and numerology permeate traditional ceremonies and even ordinary life. But while the monster and phoenix are modern thought about as mythical creatures, in the days like the Nguyen dynasty, the dragon und so weiter phoenix were essential to every function of the kingly court, their power ideal real.