Skip to Content

March 2024


This is the year of the dragon and dragons are one of the four sacred animals ("Tứ Linh" or "Tứ Thánh Thú.") of Vietnam. I've heard many different interpretations about the significance of each animal but here is one set: 

Dragon = the dragon represents wisdom, strength and independence, and good fortune and it helps you to live a better life.

Tortoise = The tortoise represents heaven (round top of shell) and earth (flat bottom of shell) and longevity. It is also frequently associated with knowledge and learning. In 1967, at  Hồ Hoàn Kiếm,” or “Lake of the Returned Sword" in the old quarter of Hà Nọi a massive 550 pound, seven-foot-long male tortoise climbed out of the lake and died. It is preserved in a climate-controlled glass box at the Ngọc Sơn Temple in the middle of the lake. There is a plaque that says it's age is more than 500 years! There is also another tortoise in a box there that they say is 100 years old.  

Unicorn = the unicorn represents trust and serenity. It's not the horse with a horn that we in the west envision, rather is is a beast made up parts of buffalo, horse, dragon, eagle's eyes, a deer's feet and horns, a crocodile's mouth, a lion's snout, and a horse's body. Given it's stature, trustworthiness, and serenity it guards palaces, temples, and pagodas.

Phoenix = the phoenix represents grace, morality, grandeur, pride, and peace. It is made up of the neck of a snake, the back of a tortoise, the breast of a swallow, and the tail of a fish. Legend has that it set it's nest on fire and a fewe days later rose from the ashes. So it also represents regeneration, rebirth, and survival.

plaque showing dragon in center tortoise in lower left, unicorn in lower right, and phoenix in upper left
temple with dragon decorations
close up of dragons on temple towers
Picture of elderly man (on left) left walking by a man sitting on a bench with his feet propped up on a baby carrigage holding a mylar helium filled dragon who is looking at an elderly lady sitting on a bench on the right of picture




JULY, p. 9

AUGUST, p. 9


OCTOBER,  p.g 2,  p. 3, p. 4

NOVEMBER p.2, p.3, p.4, p.5, p.6, p.7

DECEMBER p.2, p.3, p.4, p.5 p.6, p.7, p.8


FEBRUARY, p.2, p.3, p.4, p.5, 

p. 2,