Have you always been fascinated by the Chinese Dragon ? Do you wonder what the Chinese Dragon symbolizes? Do you want to know why is the Chinese Dragon so important to Chinese people? As a dragon enthusiast, I will unravel all these mysteries and reveal everything about the Chinese Dragon in this Ultimate Guide. 🐉
The sacred animal that is the Chinese dragon embodies powerful and benevolent symbols . Chinese dragons have always been anchored in the national beliefs and traditions of the Chinese people. Let’s see how they created this magical relationship and why the Chinese dragon is such an important cultural symbol in China .
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CHINESE DRAGON MEANING
The Traditional Chinese Dragon, whose real name is actually ” Long ” (or lung, 龙 / 龍, lóng), signifies and symbolizes unity , the primary value of Chinese civilization. Unity brings more strength and power to the Chinese people, which is why the representative of the Chinese people and nation, the Emperor, called himself the ” True Long ” (真 龙 天子), son of heaven and direct descendant of Chinese dragons.
The ancient Chinese dragons are the ultimate symbols of cosmic Chi (energy). It is said to be the most powerful symbol of good fortune in the pantheon of Chinese symbols. As one of the four creatures representing the cardinal points, the Chinese dragon is synonymous with new beginnings . The Chinese dragon also has the power to release water on the parched lands, which represents abundance and well-being .
Continued success, great achievement, and prosperity are also featured in the Chinese Dragon’s arsenal of positive qualities and meanings, ranking it among the most popular Asian creatures. 🐲 In the end, the appearance of a Chinese dragon is a very positive sign . You can spot them at events such as the Dragon Boat Festival , Chinese New Year (Dragon Dance), weddings and many more. The Chinese dragon brings his blessing to those who worship him according to the Chinese people.
WHAT DOES THE CHINESE DRAGON SYMBOLIZE?
The Chinese Dragons are legendary creatures in Chinese mythology and folklore . In Chinese art, dragons are generally depicted as serpentine, scaly, four-legged creatures. Unlike European dragons, who are considered evil, Chinese dragons traditionally symbolize powerful and auspicious powers . They have the particularity of controlling water, rains, hurricanes and floods. The Chinese dragon is also a symbol of power, strength and luck .
The Chinese Dragon is also a symbol of imperial authority . Especially the yellow dragons or the golden five-claw dragons , they were the symbol of the emperor in many Chinese dynasties. The imperial throne was called the Dragon Throne. At the end of the Qing Dynasty, the dragon was even adopted as the national flag. The Chinese dragon is depicted on the carvings of the steps of palaces and imperial tombs, such as the Forbidden City in Beijing.
The Chinese Dragon symbolizes the sovereignty of the emperors , and everything related to it was exclusively reserved for the emperors in Chinese feudal society . The ancient emperors called their sons “dragon seeds”, their dresses were “dragon dresses”, and their chairs were “dragon chairs”. According to legends and stories, the Chinese considered them to be the descendants of the dragons since ancient times. To understand this, we have to look at the origin of the Chinese dragon and Chinese traditions.
WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF THE CHINESE DRAGON?
The origin of the Chinese dragon is not proven, but some specialists believe that it comes from totems of different Chinese tribes. Others believe it results from a stylized depiction of existing animals, such as snakes, fish, or crocodiles. It was from these speculations that the Chinese dragon gradually evolved into a mythical creature .
Chinese scholar Wen Yiduo suggested that this fantastic collection of beast parts was actually based on the political union of several different tribes , each with a different animal as their totem . The dragon was therefore a symbolic representation of the assimilation of these tribes into a single nation. This interesting hypothesis, however, does not explain the appearance of dragons long before such political associations existed in the first Chinese communities.
The dragon is one of the first creatures to appear in the tales and legends of ancient China . It is not known when, by whom and in what reality the dragon was invented, although some historians suggest a connection with rainbows and a “sky serpent” that is seen after rain showers or at the falls. of water. Of Jade dragons carved were unearthed at sites of the Hongshan culture. We can date this discovery between 4500 and 3000 BC, long before the appearance of any written record of the creature. Let’s take a look at the history of these ancient Chinese civilizations.
HISTORY OF THE CHINESE DRAGON
Stories tell that a long time ago, around 2500 BC, in ancient China , tribes fought among themselves for more land. Yellow Emperor Huang Di made an alliance with another tribal chief named Yan Di to gain the advantage in the battle. Yan Di is said to have been born through his mother’s telepathic communications with a mighty dragon. The story goes that this mighty dragon helped him in his quests, and thanks to his help, both Huang Di and Yang Di defeated their common enemy, the Jiǔ lí people led by Chiyou during the Battle of Zhuolu . When the tribes of Huang Di and Yan Di united, they chose the dragonas a symbol for their new banner .
Since these prehistoric times, many Chinese consider themselves the descendants of Huang Di and Yan Di , and therefore the descendants of the Chinese dragons. In Chinese, we say (炎黄子孙) yán huáng zǐsūn, the descendants of Huang Di and Yan Di. There is also a well-known song in China that deals with (龙的传人) lóng de chuánrén, the descendants of the Chinese dragon . 🐉
Comme tu peux le voir, le symbole du dragon chinois remonte à l’époque de la Chine ancienne. Au fur et à mesure de l’évolution de la civilisation et de la disparition des tribus au profit de dynasties en Chine, l’importance du dragon s’est accrue. À partir de la dynastie Han, les empereurs ont commencé à se considérer comme des dragons. Tout a commencé avec Liu Bang qui, plus tard, est devenu le plus ancien empereur de la dynastie Han.
Un jour, alors que sa mère rêvait de rencontrer un esprit divin, le ciel s’est assombri et lorsque le père de Liu est entré, il a trouvé un dragon chinois gisant à côté de sa femme. À la suite de cette rencontre divine, elle est tombée enceinte et a donné naissance à Liu Bang. Certaines personnes ont dit qu’il avait un nez haut, des moustaches et une barbe étrange qui leur faisait penser à une tête de dragon chinois. Liu Bang est devenu le premier empereur de la dynastie Han.
The following emperors went out of their way to maintain this divine connection with the Chinese dragons. As Liu Bang’s heirs, they claimed that they were also the sons of Chinese dragons , and that Chinese dragon blood flowed through their veins.
From then on, everything in the Emperor’s suite was engraved with Chinese dragons: from clothes to furniture. For example, only the emperor was allowed to wear a dragon symbol on his clothing. The Chinese dragon’s claws symbolized the ranks of society and the higher the rank, the more claws there were. The Chinese generals and leaders could have up to 4 claws . Only the emperor could wear a Chinese dragon with 5 claws , which symbolized the real hands of the emperor. If anyone other than the Emperor wore the 5 claws, he was killed.
As we will explain in the following, the emperors also chose the color of their Chinese dragon to show their power. The color they choose for their Chinese dragon becomes the most important color in society. No one else was allowed to wear this color, or they were punished.
THE CHINESE DRAGON BODY
The physical appearance of the Chinese Dragon is often divided into several parts, as it is described as belonging to animals of different species. The Body of the Chinese Dragon is that of the serpent , covered with scales reminiscent of the carp . Its paws resemble those of a tiger , and its claws resemble those of an eagle .
The shape of the Chinese Dragon’s Head is inspired by that of the dromedary , it is decorated with a pair of deer horns or sometimes antelope . He still wears a very long mustache and goatee. Frequently, in addition to the horns, two antennae adorn its head. The eyes are that of the demon and the ears are those of the bull . The neck is often provided with a mane like the lion , it sometimes wears it on the elbows. In Vietnam, it has a crest of 81 scales.
The legs of the Asian dragon are equipped with a determined number of claws. This number, which varies from 3 to 5, is an indicator of the “rank” that the dragon occupies among his fellows. Indeed, the dragon with 5 claws , is considered as the most powerful. Only the Emperor of China could use this emblem, as well as his family.
This is why any item of clothing, furniture or architecture struck with the 5-claw dragon was attributed to the imperial family and respected as such. The great nobles and mandarins could in turn use this emblem according to their relationship with power. In Korea and Indonesia, generally only 4-toed dragons are found. Those with three fingers are more common in Japan.
THE DRAGON IN CHINESE MYTHOLOGY
The Dragon in Chinese Mythology is one of the powerful creatures endowed with supernatural powers. They are associated with the ability to control the seasons, the weather and the crops. In general, they generally symbolize the following:
- Masculinity – In traditional Chinese society, men were seen as physically strong and powerful and often had an influence on the affairs of the community. These tendencies are embodied by the dragon.
- Nobility – According to Chinese astrology, those born in the year of the dragon are more prosperous and noble than others. For example, 1988, 2000, 2012 and 2024 are considered years of the dragon . Those born in the Year of the Dragon are considered to be strong-willed, determined and confident.
- Agricultural life – In Chinese mythology, dragons are believed to control the weather and the seasons. Although most Chinese dragons do not have wings, males have the power to fly skyward and bring rain, while females control land waters like rivers, lakes, seas and the wells.
- Luck – Some people also believe that dragons symbolize fortune and luck. Thus, dragons are engraved on utensils and personal items to bring to life the best it has to offer.
- Kindness – The Chinese dragon is mostly seen as a sign of kindness and warmth. (Remember that the Chinese dragon does not breathe fire like its European counterparts). There are, however, a few exceptions.
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WHAT DOES THE COLORS OF THE CHINESE DRAGONS MEAN?
In China, the color of dragons is important, it determines at the same time their habitat, their powers and their rank. Chinese dragons are colorful creatures and each of these colors has a unique symbolism. The Chinese Blue Dragon and the Chinese Green Dragon symbolize nature, health and tranquility. Some people also associate these dragons with healing, peace, and rest. Other Chinese Dragon Colors are also well known:
- The Chinese Black Dragon is often associated with revenge by people. So, it is often linked to disasters like storms and floods.
- The Chinese White Dragon is considered a symbol of purity , just like in the West. However, it is also sometimes equated with death and mourning, some consider it a bad omen.
- The Red Dragon Chinese meanwhile, symbolizes good fortune . This is why this symbol is popular at weddings and other traditional Chinese celebrations, it encourages happiness and stirs up good fortune.
- The Chinese Yellow Dragon is associated with wealth and power. Some also believe that this dragon can control the weather and the seasons. It is the most revered dragon and therefore it is often seen as a symbol of empire and emperor . The other attributes associated with this dragon are warmth, wisdom, and wealth. The Chinese yellow dragon is the only one to have five claws on each paw.
THE 9 CHINESE DRAGONS
The dragon is the deity of aquatic phenomena , in popular Chinese beliefs. He is one of the four sacred animals of China with the Phoenix, the Tiger and the Turtle. The Chinese Dragon represents power and talent, so bright people are often referred to as a dragon. Thanks to its extremely positive connotation, the dragon, which is a symbol of the emperors, has by extension become that of Chinese culture. The Chinese dragon as a symbol of power was often depicted on the outfits of generals, but only the emperor had the 9 Chinese dragons depicted on his outfit thus embodying the supreme harmonious power . 🐉
- Tian-long (or t’ien-lung, 天龍, means ” Sky Dragon “, ” Celestial Dragon “). It is a divine Chinese dragon in Chinese mythology which is also considered a star in Chinese astrology . True to the meaning of his name, Tianlong spends his entire life in the heavens. He guards the palaces of the gods as well as their treasures. Tianlong is known to pull the chariots of the gods . He serves as a courier for Chinese deities and transports them to the place of their choice, no matter the distance, Tianlong is able to reach it. It symbolizes spiritual elevation.
- Shen-long (or shen-lung, 神龍, means ” spiritual dragon “). It is a Chinese dragon with azure scales in Chinese mythology. He fertilizes the earth by making the rain fall during his walks on the clouds. However, the wind and rain it produces can also be a source of disaster, which is why the Chinese feared it as much as they worshiped it. The Shenlong Dragon is an Imperial Dragon , it has five legs and it occupies a special place on the splendid dresses, ceremonial clothes and badges of the Chinese emperors.
- Di-long (or ti-lung, 地 龍), means ” Earth Dragon “. He is a Chinese Earth Dragon , he is one of the most powerful in the world. Also called “Underground Dragon”, its mission is to lead the various rivers. It sojourns in the sky during the summer and spends the autumn in the sea. According to some accounts, the Dilong Dragon is the female equivalent of the Shenlong dragon. The mating between Dilong and Shenlong is the equivalent of the primitive creation myths between Heaven and Earth. These Chinese dragons symbolize the union between these two elements, it provides mortals with water and healthy air.
- Fu-zang long (or fu-ts’ang-lung, 伏藏 龍), means ” Treasure Guardian Dragon “. The Fucanglong Dragon is a creature of the Chinese underworld that guards buried treasures and undergrounds, whether natural or artificial. It is said that volcanoes are created when it springs from the earth to return to the sky. Fucanglong is also known to possess a magic pearl which is his most precious possession . Fucanglong isn’t necessarily malicious, but due to his status as an underworld dragon , he presents himself as a cruel and listless dragon.
- Yinglong (or ying-lung 應 龍) means ” Reactive Dragon “. This Chinese Winged Dragon is a rain deity in ancient Chinese mythology. The Yinglong Dragon is described as the oldest and only type of Chinese dragon with wings. Formerly known as the Winged Dragon, Yinglong is said to have lost his wings after killing the drought-causing demon Kua Fu. Even without being able to fly, he still had the power to summon rain by answering the prayers of the people who graciously named him the Reactive Dragon.
- Qiulong (or qíulóng 虬 龙) means ” Dragon with Horns “. He is one of the dragons considered to be the most powerful beings in the world. Renowned for its physical power and firepower which is said to far exceed that of many other dragons. Due to his power, the Qiulong Dragon is tasked with protecting relics and sacred objects from deadly intruders. It stabilizes the movements of continents to prevent islands and countries from falling into ruins. It is therefore more likely to be found under the strata of the planet rather than above.
- Panlong (or p’an-lung 蟠龙) meaning ” Coiled Dragon “. The Panlong Dragon is an aquatic creature resembling a jiaolong 蛟龍 “River Dragon; Crocodile” in Chinese mythology. It symbolizes an ancient motif in Chinese art, and it is also a proper name. These Chinese dragons are known to live in the eastern lakes.
- Huanglong (or Huánglóng 黃龍) means Yellow Dragon . The divine creature emerged from the Luo River to impart the basics of writing to men through the legendary Emperor Fuxi (Fu Hsi). That day, he filled a hole in the sky made by the Gong Gong monster. His awakening, his sleep and his breathing determined the day and the night, the seasons and the weather. The Huanglong Dragon is known for his erudite knowledge. He reigns over the Si Xiang, celestial creatures of the Chinese constellation (White Tiger, Black Turtle, Azure Dragon and Vermilion Bird), he stands at the center of the four beasts. Huanglong is the embodiment of the element of Earth in the five Chinese elements (Wu Xing).
It is sometimes said that the legendary Yellow Emperor transformed into a dragon that looked like his emblem and ascended to heaven. As the Chinese consider him to be their ancestor, they sometimes refer to themselves as “the children of the dragon “. This legend also contributed to the use of the Chinese dragon as a symbol of imperial power . In East Asian culture, the yellow dragon is the fifth symbol complementing the Sixiang (four symbols). This deity is the center of the cosmos and it represents the earth element, the quintessential Chinese, as well as the changing of the seasons.
- Longwang (or Lóngwáng 龙王) means ” Dragon King “. The Chinese Dragon King reigns over the four seas, those of the east, south, west and north. They are the masters of the dragons , considered the most powerful physically, they have no equivalent in terms of firepower. Each of the four Dragon Kings is associated with a color and a body of water corresponding to one of the four cardinal directions at the natural borders of China.
The Four Dragon Kings are also the tallest of the dragons, with a body length of 350 meters and an incredibly titanic weight of 1,500,000 tons. Most dragon kings are actually so tall that they can grip a small mountain in their claws. Here are the colors of the four Dragon Kings of China :
- The Azure Dragon, or blue-green dragon, is the dragon king of the east, and he is the essence of spring. His proper name is Ao Guang, and he is the Defender of the East China Sea.
- The Red Dragon is the dragon king of the south and he is the essence of summer. He is the protector of the South China Sea and his proper name is Ao Qin.
- The White Dragon is the dragon king of the west and he is the essence of autumn. He is the protector of Qinghai Lake.
- The Black Dragon , also called “dark dragon” or “dark dragon”, is the dragon king of the north and he is the very essence of winter. Its proper names are Ao Shun or Ao Ming, and its body of water is Lake Baikal.
THE 9 SONS OF THE DRAGON
The Nine Sons of the Dragon (龍 生 九 子) are creatures belonging to Chinese mythology. They are found as protective beings on most imperial or religious buildings throughout the Asian world (China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea). They are also sometimes depicted as nine dragons each holding a pearl in their claws. The 9 Sons of the Dragon are different from each other both in appearance and character.
The expression “the dragon with nine sons” (龍 生 九 子) already existed in the Ming Dynasty (明朝), when the Ming Emperor XiaoZong (明 孝宗) asked Li DongYang (李東陽), scholar employed at the palace, which were their names. Li DongYang didn’t know, but to satisfy the Emperor, he came up with a list of fantastic creatures with auspicious attributes found in ancient texts and decorative arts. Despite their dragon nicknames, the collection ” HuaiLu TangJi ” (懷 麓 堂 集) specifies that: “the nine sons are not dragons, but each one has his talent”:
- Qiuniu (囚 牛) – Qiuniu is the eldest of the nine sons of the Chinese dragon. He is the sweetest, very talented, he loves the art of music. According to legend, Qiuniu has a dragon head and a serpent body with excellent ears which can distinguish most sounds. Traditionally, the Chinese like to engrave the figure of Qiuniu on the heads of Chinese violins, as well as on many ethnic minority musical instruments.
- Yazi (睚眥) – Yazi is the second oldest of the nine sons of the Chinese dragon, and he has the head of a dragon, but the body of a jackal. He is very fierce and belligerent, he is a god of war in ancient China. For this reason, the ancients often engraved the figure of the Dragon Yazi on their weapons, as the emperors believed that Yazi could annihilate all evil spirits.
- Chaofeng (嘲 風) – Chaofeng is the third of the nine sons of the Chinese dragon. Although more like a beast, Chaofeng enjoys adventure , risk, and observing from a high place. Legend has it that Chaofeng has the power to cause earthquakes, tsunamis and many other disasters, but that he himself is an auspicious symbol . On the cornices of Chinese palaces , one can admire Chaofeng showing his grandeur and bringing his blessing to passers-by.
- Pulao (蒲 牢) – The fourth of the nine sons of the Chinese dragon is called Pulao, whose body is extremely flexible. Pulao loves to roar and has an extremely powerful voice. In China, almost all large bells are decorated with the figure of Pulao, which means that the sound of the bell is intense and resonates over long distances.
- Suanni (狻猊) – Suanni is the fifth of the nine sons of the Chinese dragon. He looks like a lion and looks fierce and tough. However, he prefers to sit still and enjoy the fireworks. This is why the figure of Suanni is often decorated on censers in temples.
- Bixi (贔 屭) – Bixi is the sixth of the nine sons of the Chinese dragon. Resembling a huge turtle, it has exceptional strength and can carry heavy objects. Many statues of Bixi are placed under tombstones.
- Bi’an (狴犴) – Bi’an is the seventh of the nine sons of the Chinese dragon and looks like a tiger. He is an excellent debater, with a great sense of justice. People always decorate the prison door with Bi’an in order to show the sense of justice and the power of deterrence.
- Fuxi (伏羲) – The eighth of the nine sons of the Chinese dragon is Fuxi, who has a lion’s head and a dragon’s body. He is a being of grace who feeds on literature and calligraphy. The figure of Fuxi is still carved on the sides of the stelae, around the tombstones.
- Chiwen (螭 吻) – Chiwen is the youngest of the nine sons of the Chinese dragon and has a dragon’s head and a fish body. Legend has it that he was the god of rain and therefore could put out fire. On the ridge caps of most Chinese palaces, a pair of Chiwen’s decorations can often be seen, in the hope of preventing the fire.
Yang Shen (楊慎), poet of the Ming Dynasty, gives a slightly different list in ” Sheng’An WaJi ” (升庵 外 集), unofficial anthology of Sheng’An:
- Bi Xi (贔 屭)
- Chi Wen (螭 吻) or “ChiWei” (鴟 尾 / owl tail)
- Pu Lao (蒲 牢)
- Bi An (狴 犴)
- Tao Tie (饕餮)
- Ba Xia (𧈢 𧏡) or (蚣 蝮)
- Ya Zi (睚眦)
- Suan Ni (狻猊)
- Jiao Tu (椒 图)
The number “nine” is special in China, as it is the largest number among the rest, and Chinese dragons are frequently associated with 9. For example, a Chinese dragon is commonly described by nine attributes , which is why there are nine attributes. nine shapes . The Nine Dragons Wall (九龍壁) is a wall that brings together nine different dragons, and is found in Chinese imperial palaces and gardens. Because the “nine” is considered the Emperor’s number , only the highest officials were allowed to wear so many on their robes, while those of lower rank were only allowed to wear eight or more. five.
CHINESE ZODIAC DRAGON
The Dragon in the Chinese Zodiac occupies the 5th position, the Dragon is the most powerful of the signs. The dragon symbolizes such character traits as dominance, ambition, authority, dignity, and ability. Dragons prefer to live by their own rules, and if left on their own, they are usually successful. They are motivated, are not afraid of challenges and are willing to take risks. They are passionate about everything they do and they do it big. Unfortunately, that passion and enthusiasm can leave the Dragons exhausted and, interestingly, dissatisfied .
Although Dragons often help others, they rarely ask for help. Others are drawn to Dragons, especially their colorful personalities , but deep down, Dragons are lonely . Perhaps this is because they are more successful when working alone. Their preference for loneliness can be seen as arrogance or vanity. Dragons have a temper that can soar quickly and ignite. 🐉
WHAT ARE THE YEARS OF THE CHINESE DRAGON?
The Years of the Chinese Dragon are 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024, 2036 … It takes place every 12 years. The Year of the Dragon is the fifth of the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac . If you were born in any of these years, then you are a Dragon. 🐉
There is a myth that the Jade Emperor organized a competition declaring that the order of the Chinese zodiac signs would be decided by the order of arrival of the animals in his palace. The Dragon came in fifth position. The years when we share the same animal sign and the same element are repeated every 60 years. The five elements of the Chinese zodiac are metal (gold), wood, water, fire, and earth. The signs and elements of birth animals are said to determine the characteristics of people.
WHAT DOES THE DRAGON SYMBOLIZE DURING THE CHINESE NEW YEAR?
The Dragon is an important symbol in China , it is omnipresent in Chinese culture. We also know that the Chinese Dragon symbolizes wisdom, power and wealth, and that it brings good luck to people. Therefore, the presence of the Chinese Dragon is essential during Chinese festivals, and this, since ancient times. Thanks to the spread of Chinese culture around the world, the Chinese Dragon’s presence at New Year has been introduced to all corners of the world where overseas Chinese gather. It has become a true symbol of Chinese tradition. 🐲
WHAT DOES THE CHINESE DRAGON DANCE REPRESENT?
The Dragon Dance Chinese is a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture. The dragon represents power, wisdom and wealth. Like the lion dance, it is most often performed at parties. The Chinese dragon dance is believed to chase away evil spirits and all the bad luck associated with them, and instead brings good luck and fortune. This is why the dragon dance is very popular during Chinese New Year as well as on other auspicious occasions such as weddings and other festivities.
During the Chinese dragon dance, a team of dancers carry the dragon on sticks . The lead dancers lift, dive, push and sweep the dragon’s head , which may contain animated elements controlled by another dancer. It is sometimes rigged to spit out smoke using pyrotechnic devices. The team of dancers mimic the supposed movements of the Chinese dragon in a sinuous and undulating fashion. The dragon’s body is made of cloth and bamboo and its length can vary, some reaching up to 100 meters in length, and is held by many people. Today most dragons are danced by 9 people. 🐉
The musical accompaniment for dancing Chinese dragon is often provided by a team of musicians, who play drums, cymbals and gongs traditional. The Chinese Dragon Dance is one of the highlights of Chinese New Year celebrations taking place in Chinatowns around the world. The Chinese often use the term “descendants of the dragon” as a sign of ethnic identity.
It is said that the longer the Chinese dragon stays in the dance, the more luck it will bring to the community. Moreover, if you are looking to learn to draw the Chinese dragon , it is quite simple and fun.
THE DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL IN CHINA
The China Dragon Boat Festival (or Longzhou Jie) was originally held in honor of the poet and statesman Qu Yuan (circa 340-278 BC). Minister of State Chu had ended his life by jumping into the Miluo River , which was his dramatic response to his exile following a slanderous attack on his character by a rival politician. Boats were launched to search for his body, but to no avail, so his supporters threw rice balls (zongzi) into the waters to honor his memory.
To further commemorate the tragedy, a dragon boat race is held on the river each year. This practice then spread to other rivers in China, and it quickly took on a larger dimension, that of calming the dragon that brings rain. As a result, dragon boats usually have a dragon head on their bow and a large dragon tail on the stern. The dragon boat race is a colorful part of the Duanwu Festival today and is usually held on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month.
The heritage lives on. The Chinese dragons are perhaps only mythological creatures, but they are very important in the eyes of the Chinese people and the impact of this cultural phenomenon is considerable. Historically, Chinese dragons have served as important symbols with a variety of mostly positive meanings. Understanding Chinese dragons gives you access to a better understanding of traditional Chinese culture.
We have just covered the subject, we could go into much more detail, but we will do that for next time. If you want to create a warm and relaxing atmosphere in your home, discover our collection of Dragon Incense Holders .
Chinese Dragons – Here Be Dragons – Detailed information about dragon history, life-cycle, physiology, and much more.