Chinese Dragon

By: Bebe L

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Origin and Symbolic Value

The Chinese Dragon was the symbol of the Emperor of China. The Chinese Dragon was occasionally used in the West as a " Nation Emblem of China." In European-influenced cultures, the dragon has aggressive, war-like connotations, and it is said that Chinese Government wishes to avoid using the dragon as a symbol. In the Qin Dynasty, the Emperor was linked to the dragon with 5 claws, and the commoners were linked to the 3-4 clawed dragons. The origin isn't exactly known, but dragon carvings where found dating 4700-2900 BC.

Worship/Mythical Creature

People usually paint the dragons shape with a horses head, and a snakes tail. These are just some of the characteristics of a Chinese Dragon: the head of the crocodile, the eyes of a demon, and the neck of a snake. Of the 117 scales on a Chinese dragon, 81 are the yang

(positive), and 36 are yin (negative.) The Chinese dragon evolved from totems to become a mythical animal. Chinese dragons don't have wings in most of their drawings. Their powers are reflected in the drawings and they can have the characteristics of many different animals. For example, Chinese dragons can glow in the dark, camouflage with its surroundings, and have tears of the dog.

Ruler of Weather and Water

The four major dragon kings are East China sea, South China sea, Qinghai Lake, and Lake Baikal. The dragons are in charge of water related weather such as hurricanes, storms, and floods. When these types of things happened, the Chinese people thought that the dragon was causing these things, so they set up ceremonies to try and make the dragon happy again! When the dragons where drawn as a ruler of water and weather, they looked human but had a dragon head and wore a king's costume.
Dragon Dance, an excerpt from Dragon2000

Popular Modern Culture

Chinese dragons are very popular during Chinese New Year celebrations around the world. Another fun thing that people do during Chinese New Year is boat racing! In yin-yang, the phoenix represents yin who is gentle and warm unlike the dragon who is yang and is mighty and fierce. The Chinese dragon is one of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. If you are born in the year of the dragon, then you could make a good ruler but also be arrogant!! The dragon is also associated with the number 9.