Like the Five Olympic Rings from which they draw their colour and inspiration, Fuwa will serve as the Official Mascots of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, carrying a message of friendship and peace - and good wishes from China - to children all over the world.
Designed to express the playful qualities of five little children who form a good circle of friends, Fuwa also embody the natural characteristics of four of China's most popular animals - the Fish, the Panda, the Tibetan Antelope, the Swallow - and the Olympic Flame.
Each of Fuwa has a rhyming two-syllable name - a traditional way of expressing affection for children in China. BeiBei is the Fish, JingJing is the Panda, HuanHuan is the Olympic Flame, YingYing is the Tibetan Antelope and NiNi is the Swallow.
When you put their names together - Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni - they say "Welcome to Beijing," offering a warm invitation that reflects the mission of Fuwa as young ambassadors for the Olympic Games.
Fuwa also embody both the landscape, dreams and aspirations of people from every part of the vast country of China. In their origins and their headpieces, you can see the five elements of nature - the sea, forest, fire, earth and sky - all stylistically rendered in ways that represent the deep traditional influences of Chinese folk art and ornamentation.
In the ancient culture of China, there is a grand tradition of spreading good wishes through signs and symbols. Each of Fuwa symbolizes a different blessing - and will honour this tradition by carrying their good wishes to the children of the world. Prosperity, Happiness, Passion, Health and Good Luck will be spread to every continent as Fuwa carry their invitation from Beijing 2008 to every part of the globe.
At the heart of their mission - and through all of their work - Fuwa will seek to unite the world in peace and friendship through the Olympics spirit. Dedicated to helping Beijing 2008 to spread its theme of "One World, One Dream" to every continent, Fuwa reflect the deep desire of the Chinese people to reach out to the world in friendship through the Games - and to invite every man, woman and child to take part in the great celebration of human solidarity that China is hosting in the light of the flame in 2008.
Above information taken from: http://en.beijing2008.cn/spirit/beijing2008/graphic/n214068254.shtml