By ◆ Juppie on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 4:08 AM

This is the first "bonus" label edition I've made. Hehe.

I'm going to give a bit of a lecture here, so bear with me.

Haibao is the mascot of the Shanghai World Expo. The world expo, or fair, is something that occurs every couple of years, kind of like the Olympics. (But the next one will be in 2010, unlike the Olympics.) In the world fair, countries can display their wares. This is a chance for countries to show off their best stuff and potentially get people to want to buy their stuff. (You'd probably be better off reading the Wikipedia article: Click)

Anyhow, apparently this is China's first time hosting the World Expo. (Odd, because recently we had the first Chinese Olympics. And they were really hyped up about it.) And they decided they wanted to have the first mascot. (Haibao is the first Expo mascot! This is kind of like the Beijing pandas for the Olympics.)

"Haibao," the mascot representing the Shanghi World Expo was unveiled on the Shanghai Grand Stage Tuesday evening.

Haibao is a blue "人," or "human-shaped" form. As a combination of tradition and modernity, the mascot represents "treasures of the seas."

Haibao is the first mascot of the world expo. As the participants of its birth, we feel lucky and proud," said Liu Jun, head of the mascot designing committee of the Shanghai Expo.

This past spring, a mascot for the World Shanghai Expo was publicly solicited worldwide. Within 135 days of solicitation, Liu Jun's office received 26,655 designs from 21 countries, 63% of which were designed by youth aging from ten to thirty.

Shao Longtu, the 62-year-old design team leader, explained that Haibao is a happy, naïve, confident and lovely child. Its blueness symbolizes many things: the earth, dreams, the oceans, life, future and technology.

December 18 is Haibao's birthday. This year, the date also commemorates the 5 year, 15 day mark of when China won the bid to host the international event. Only 865 more days to go until the World Shanghai Expo takes place.
(From this article)

Here's a few picture of the little bugger. (He's all over Shanghai...My mom says it's one of the few things they can be proud of.)

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