Chinese Dragon

A Chinese dragon is a myth that was highly regarded in ancient China. In China, the dragon was a very important symbol used in representation of power, strength and good luck by people associated with these traits or the ones who needed luck.

When drawing a symbol of a Chinese Dragon, nine entities associated with the animal had to be captured. These parts were a camel’s head, scales similar to those of a carp fish, horns of a deer, eyes of a hare, ears of a cow, a snake-like neck, a clam’s belly, paws similar to those of a tiger and eagle claws. In representing power and strength, there was a slight difference between dragon symbols used by emperors and all other symbols. The symbol used by an emperor had five claws whereas the others had four claws.

An interesting fact about the belief of Chinese dragons and their parts is the conciseness of these parts. For example, it was believed that the dragons had 117 carp fish scales, which included 81 positive scales and 36 negative scales.

In addition to physical attributes of the dragons, the Chinese people also associated some characters with the dragons. Initially, the major characters associated with the dragons were benevolence and wisdom. However, this belief changed with time when Buddhists argued that some dragons were actually malevolent. The Buddhists argued that the malevolent dragons were responsible of some pretty bad floods that had hit China in the ancient times.

Even though a Chinese dragon had to have specific different body parts, there were actually four different types of the dragons. The celestial dragon protected the areas where gods were believed to live. The spiritual dragon’s purpose was to control both wind and rain. The earth dragon had the role of controlling rivers and other water bodies on the surface of the earth. Then the underworld dragon lived below the surface of the earth as it protected minerals, precious metals and gems.

Due to these believes the Chinese communities, especially the ones that lived near a body of water such a river or a lake, had dedicated temples for the dragons. In the event of a drought, leaders of those communities would offer sacrifices and perform religious rites at the temple. These efforts were meant to please the water dragons in order for them to send rain and end the existing drought.

It is clear that the Chinese Dragon was a very strong myth. At some points it even formed a religious belief. The respect accorded to these dragons was also immense because its representation had to be flawless and the country’s leaders used the Chinese Dragon symbol as well.

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