Chinese Dragons are symbols of wealth, wisdom, power and nobility. It was the symbol of the Emperor in ancient China.
Dragons in Chinese culture, unlike the Western dragons, are not depicted as enemies to be defeated. They are wise and welcoming and a sign that good things will happen.
Dragons are found everywhere in everyday Chinese life:
- in architecture at temples, palaces, walls... you will often encounter dragons while traveling through China.
- at parades specially at Chinese New Year
- and festivals such as the Dragon Boat Races
- as decorations and artwork. You will find it in handicrafts, jewelry, porcelain, paintings, embroideries, to name a few!
- in poetry, legends and folklore, or in the Chinese Zodiac... It is considered a great honor to be born in the Year of the Dragon.
Are you a Dragon? Learn more about the Chinese Zodiac here.
Distinctive features of Chinese Dragons
Since the Dragon is a creature from Chinese mythology and not a real animal, it adopts characteristics from several animals.
In Chinese culture the dragon has:
The body of a serpent
The claws of an eagle
The legs of a tiger
The whiskers of a catfish
The antlers of a deer
The scales of a fish
About the Dragon and Phoenix
Often we find dragons together with the Chinese Phoenix. The Phoenix is also a creature from Chinese mythology and symbolizes good luck, peace, kindness and glory.
The Chinese considered the Dragon the male element, and the Phoenix, the female element. Together, they both symbolize the union of yin and yang, and a happy marriage.
More on Chinese Dragons
More Chinese New Year Traditions and Celebrations
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