Chinese dragon
Overview
Chinese dragons are legendary creatures in Chinese mythology
Chinese mythology
Chinese mythology is a collection of cultural history, folktales, and religions that have been passed down in oral or written tradition. These include creation myths and legends and myths concerning the founding of Chinese culture and the Chinese state...

 and folklore
Chinese folklore
Chinese folklore includes songs, dances, puppetry, and tales. It often tells stories of human nature, historical or legendary events, love, and the supernatural, or stories explaining natural phenomena and distinctive landmarks.-Folktales:...

, with mythic counterparts among Japanese
Japanese dragon
Japanese dragons are diverse legendary creatures in Japanese mythology and folklore. Japanese dragon myths amalgamate native legends with imported stories about dragons from China, Korea and India. The style of the dragon was heavily influenced by the Chinese dragon...

, Korean
Korean dragon
Korean dragons are legendary creatures in Korean mythology and folklore.The style of the dragon was heavily influenced by the Chinese dragon. Although generally comparable with Chinese dragons in appearance and symbolic significance, Korean dragons have unique culture-specific properties that...

, Vietnamese
Vietnamese dragon
Vietnamese dragons are symbolic creatures in the folklore and mythology of Vietnam. According to an ancient creation myth, the Vietnamese people are descended from a dragon and a fairy....

, Bhutanese
Druk
The Druk is the "Thunder Dragon" of Bhutanese mythology and a Bhutanese national symbol. A druk appears on the Bhutanese Flag, holding jewels to represent wealth. In the Dzongkha language, Bhutan is called Druk Yul, or Land of Druk, and Bhutanese leaders are called Druk Gyalpo, Dragon Kings...

, Western and Turkic dragons. In Chinese art
Chinese art
Chinese art is visual art that, whether ancient or modern, originated in or is practiced in China or by Chinese artists or performers. Early so-called "stone age art" dates back to 10,000 BC, mostly consisting of simple pottery and sculptures. This early period was followed by a series of art...

, dragon
Dragon
A dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that feature in the myths of many cultures. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern...

s are typically portrayed as long, scaled, serpentine creatures with four legs. In yin and yang
Yin and yang
In Asian philosophy, the concept of yin yang , which is often referred to in the West as "yin and yang", is used to describe how polar opposites or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn. Opposites thus only...

 terminology, a dragon is yang and complements a yin fenghuang
Fenghuang
Fenghuang are mythological birds of East Asia that reign over all other birds. The males are called Feng and the females Huang. In modern times, however, such a distinction of gender is often no longer made and the Feng and Huang are blurred into a single feminine entity so that the bird can be...

 ("Chinese phoenix").

In contrast to European dragon
European dragon
European dragons are legendary creatures in folklore and mythology among the overlapping cultures of Europe.In European folklore, a dragon is a serpentine legendary creature. The Latin word draco, as in constellation Draco, comes directly from Greek δράκων,...

s, which are considered evil, Chinese dragons traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, hurricane, and floods.
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Chinese dragons are legendary creatures in Chinese mythology
Chinese mythology
Chinese mythology is a collection of cultural history, folktales, and religions that have been passed down in oral or written tradition. These include creation myths and legends and myths concerning the founding of Chinese culture and the Chinese state...

 and folklore
Chinese folklore
Chinese folklore includes songs, dances, puppetry, and tales. It often tells stories of human nature, historical or legendary events, love, and the supernatural, or stories explaining natural phenomena and distinctive landmarks.-Folktales:...

, with mythic counterparts among Japanese
Japanese dragon
Japanese dragons are diverse legendary creatures in Japanese mythology and folklore. Japanese dragon myths amalgamate native legends with imported stories about dragons from China, Korea and India. The style of the dragon was heavily influenced by the Chinese dragon...

, Korean
Korean dragon
Korean dragons are legendary creatures in Korean mythology and folklore.The style of the dragon was heavily influenced by the Chinese dragon. Although generally comparable with Chinese dragons in appearance and symbolic significance, Korean dragons have unique culture-specific properties that...

, Vietnamese
Vietnamese dragon
Vietnamese dragons are symbolic creatures in the folklore and mythology of Vietnam. According to an ancient creation myth, the Vietnamese people are descended from a dragon and a fairy....

, Bhutanese
Druk
The Druk is the "Thunder Dragon" of Bhutanese mythology and a Bhutanese national symbol. A druk appears on the Bhutanese Flag, holding jewels to represent wealth. In the Dzongkha language, Bhutan is called Druk Yul, or Land of Druk, and Bhutanese leaders are called Druk Gyalpo, Dragon Kings...

, Western and Turkic dragons. In Chinese art
Chinese art
Chinese art is visual art that, whether ancient or modern, originated in or is practiced in China or by Chinese artists or performers. Early so-called "stone age art" dates back to 10,000 BC, mostly consisting of simple pottery and sculptures. This early period was followed by a series of art...

, dragon
Dragon
A dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that feature in the myths of many cultures. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern...

s are typically portrayed as long, scaled, serpentine creatures with four legs. In yin and yang
Yin and yang
In Asian philosophy, the concept of yin yang , which is often referred to in the West as "yin and yang", is used to describe how polar opposites or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn. Opposites thus only...

 terminology, a dragon is yang and complements a yin fenghuang
Fenghuang
Fenghuang are mythological birds of East Asia that reign over all other birds. The males are called Feng and the females Huang. In modern times, however, such a distinction of gender is often no longer made and the Feng and Huang are blurred into a single feminine entity so that the bird can be...

 ("Chinese phoenix").

In contrast to European dragon
European dragon
European dragons are legendary creatures in folklore and mythology among the overlapping cultures of Europe.In European folklore, a dragon is a serpentine legendary creature. The Latin word draco, as in constellation Draco, comes directly from Greek δράκων,...

s, which are considered evil, Chinese dragons traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, hurricane, and floods. The dragon is also a symbol of power, strength, and good luck. With this, the Emperor of China usually uses the dragon as a symbol of his imperial power.

In Chinese daily language, excellent and outstanding people are compared to the dragon while incapable people with no achievements are compared with other, disesteemed creatures, such as the worm. A number of Chinese proverb
Proverb
A proverb is a simple and concrete saying popularly known and repeated, which expresses a truth, based on common sense or the practical experience of humanity. They are often metaphorical. A proverb that describes a basic rule of conduct may also be known as a maxim...

s and idiom
Idiom
Idiom is an expression, word, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is comprehended in regard to a common use of that expression that is separate from the literal meaning or definition of the words of which it is made...

s feature references to the dragon, for example: "Hoping one's son will become a dragon" (望子成龍, i.e. be as a dragon).

Symbolic value

Historically, the dragon was the symbol
Symbol
A symbol is something which represents an idea, a physical entity or a process but is distinct from it. The purpose of a symbol is to communicate meaning. For example, a red octagon may be a symbol for "STOP". On a map, a picture of a tent might represent a campsite. Numerals are symbols for...

 of the Emperor of China
Emperor of China
The Emperor of China refers to any sovereign of Imperial China reigning between the founding of Qin Dynasty of China, united by the King of Qin in 221 BCE, and the fall of Yuan Shikai's Empire of China in 1916. When referred to as the Son of Heaven , a title that predates the Qin unification, the...

. In the Zhou Dynasty
Zhou Dynasty
The Zhou Dynasty was a Chinese dynasty that followed the Shang Dynasty and preceded the Qin Dynasty. Although the Zhou Dynasty lasted longer than any other dynasty in Chinese history, the actual political and military control of China by the Ji family lasted only until 771 BC, a period known as...

, the 5-clawed dragon was assigned to the Son of Heaven, the 4-clawed dragon to the nobles (zhuhou, seigneur), and the 3-clawed dragon to the ministers (daifu). In the Qin Dynasty
Qin Dynasty
The Qin Dynasty was the first imperial dynasty of China, lasting from 221 to 207 BC. The Qin state derived its name from its heartland of Qin, in modern-day Shaanxi. The strength of the Qin state was greatly increased by the legalist reforms of Shang Yang in the 4th century BC, during the Warring...

, the 5-clawed dragon was assigned to represent the Emperor while the 4-clawed and 3-clawed dragons were assigned to the commoners. The dragon in the Qin Dynasty
Qin Dynasty
The Qin Dynasty was the first imperial dynasty of China, lasting from 221 to 207 BC. The Qin state derived its name from its heartland of Qin, in modern-day Shaanxi. The strength of the Qin state was greatly increased by the legalist reforms of Shang Yang in the 4th century BC, during the Warring...

 appeared on national flags.

The dragon is sometimes used in the West as a national emblem
National emblem
A national emblem symbolically represents a nation. Most national emblems originate in the natural world, such as animals or birds, but another object may serve. National emblems may appear on many things such as the national flag, coat of arms, or other patriotic materials...

 of China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. However, this usage within both the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 and the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 on Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 as the symbol of nation is not common. Instead, it is generally used as the symbol of culture. In Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

, the dragon is part of the design of Brand Hong Kong
Brand Hong Kong
Brand Hong Kong, or , was launched in 2001 as a government program designed to promote Hong Kong as "Asia’s World City". In 2010, following a major review and public engagement exercise, BrandHK was updated, incorporating changes to its visual identity, core values, attributes and brand...

, a symbol used to promote Hong Kong as an international brand name.

In European-influenced cultures, the dragon has aggressive, war
War
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

like connotations and it is conjectured that the Chinese government
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 wishes to avoid using it as a symbol, but most Chinese disagree with this decision. Westerners only sometimes confuse the disposition of the benevolent Chinese dragon with the aggressive Western dragon.

Sometimes Chinese people
Chinese people
The term Chinese people may refer to any of the following:*People with Han Chinese ethnicity ....

 use the term "Descendants of the Dragon
Han Chinese
Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to China and are the largest single ethnic group in the world.Han Chinese constitute about 92% of the population of the People's Republic of China , 98% of the population of the Republic of China , 78% of the population of Singapore, and about 20% of the...

" as a sign of ethnic identity, as part of a trend started in the 1970s when different Asian nationalities were looking for animal symbols for representations. The wolf
Gray Wolf
The gray wolf , also known as the wolf, is the largest extant wild member of the Canidae family...

 was used among the Mongols
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

, the monkey
Monkey
A monkey is a primate, either an Old World monkey or a New World monkey. There are about 260 known living species of monkey. Many are arboreal, although there are species that live primarily on the ground, such as baboons. Monkeys are generally considered to be intelligent. Unlike apes, monkeys...

 among Tibetans.

In Chinese culture today, the dragon is mostly used for decorative purposes. It is a taboo
Taboo
A taboo is a strong social prohibition relating to any area of human activity or social custom that is sacred and or forbidden based on moral judgment, religious beliefs and or scientific consensus. Breaking the taboo is usually considered objectionable or abhorrent by society...

 to disfigure a depiction of a dragon; for example, an advertisement campaign commissioned by Nike
Nike, Inc.
Nike, Inc. is a major publicly traded sportswear and equipment supplier based in the United States. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, which is part of the Portland metropolitan area...

, which featured the American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 player LeBron James
LeBron James
LeBron Raymone James is an American professional basketball player for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association . Nicknamed "King James", he was a three-time "Mr. Basketball" of Ohio in high school, and was highly promoted in the national media as a future NBA superstar while a...

 slaying a dragon (as well as beating up an old Kung Fu master), was immediately banned by the Chinese government
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 after public outcry over disrespect.

cryptozoology

It should be noted that even in the past century humans claim to see dragons.

In August 1944, hundreds of people from Chenjiayuanzi Village in Fuyu County, south of the Songhuajiang River, surrounded a black animal by the riverbank. Yen Dianyuan, an eyewitness, said that the animal was about 7 meters long and looked like a lizard
Lizard
Lizards are a widespread group of squamate reptiles, with nearly 3800 species, ranging across all continents except Antarctica as well as most oceanic island chains...

. Its face was almost the same as that of the dragons in classical paintings, with seven or eight thick hard whiskers. The upper body was over one-third meter in diameter. Its four paws went deep into the sand. Crocodile
Crocodile
A crocodile is any species belonging to the family Crocodylidae . The term can also be used more loosely to include all extant members of the order Crocodilia: i.e...

-like scales covered its whole body.

On Aug. 4, 2000, there was a downpour over Heishanzi Village in China, and afterward the village was covered by a layer of hot steam. All of a sudden, thick clouds came down from the sky and rolled along above the ground. The people in the village were so scared, for they had never seen this kind of weather before. They stayed inside with all the doors and windows shut.

A young man went outside to see what was going on. Soon he was outside his village, and suddenly he was stunned by the sight of two dragon-like animals, one black and one white, lying on the ground in front of him. He saw that the horns, scales, paws, and tails of the animals were exactly the same as those from the traditional dragon paintings except that their whiskers were shorter. He turned around and ran toward the village as fast as he could, shouting, “Come see the dragons; come see the dragons that have fallen from the sky!”

The news quickly spread through the entire region. Police, government officials, and scholars went to Heishanzi Village to investigate. Police officers dispersed the crowd and left several people assigned to guard the animals.

Later, a gust of wind made the dark clouds roll up and down. When it passed, the white animal had disappeared from under the watchful eyes of the guards. The officials were unable to explain the disappearance, and they were equally frustrated about the black one still on the ground.

A farmer said, “I heard that something like this happened several years ago, and people poured water on the dragons to make them return home.” He asked a few young villagers to fetch several mats and they erected a shelter for the animal. They then hauled water in wheelbarrows to the site and sprayed it on the mats so that the water could drip down on the animal from the mats. As of December 2000, the animal was still alive.

As the sky was getting dark in the evening at 6:10 p.m. on Sept. 18, 2000, in Wusong City, Jilin Province, a beam of unusual light shot from the northwest sky above the city, and it soon became brighter and multicolored. Then, a dragon-like creature appeared. Its mouth, whiskers, paws, and scales could all be seen clearly. The dragon was visible for more than 20 minutes. The bright light eventually dimmed to dark red before it slowly disappeared.

Regional variations across Asia

While depictions of the dragon in art and literature are largely consistent throughout the cultures in which it is found, there are some regional differences. The remainder of this article deals with aspects common across cultures, as well as features peculiar to cultural China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

.

For more information on peculiarities in the depiction of the dragon in other Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

n cultures, see:
  • Druk
    Druk
    The Druk is the "Thunder Dragon" of Bhutanese mythology and a Bhutanese national symbol. A druk appears on the Bhutanese Flag, holding jewels to represent wealth. In the Dzongkha language, Bhutan is called Druk Yul, or Land of Druk, and Bhutanese leaders are called Druk Gyalpo, Dragon Kings...

    , the Thunder Dragon of Bhutanese mythology
  • Japanese dragon
    Japanese dragon
    Japanese dragons are diverse legendary creatures in Japanese mythology and folklore. Japanese dragon myths amalgamate native legends with imported stories about dragons from China, Korea and India. The style of the dragon was heavily influenced by the Chinese dragon...

  • Korean dragon
    Korean dragon
    Korean dragons are legendary creatures in Korean mythology and folklore.The style of the dragon was heavily influenced by the Chinese dragon. Although generally comparable with Chinese dragons in appearance and symbolic significance, Korean dragons have unique culture-specific properties that...

  • Nāga
    Naga
    Naga or NAGA may refer to:* Nāga, a group of serpent deities in Hindu and Buddhist mythology.-People:* Nayan / Nayar/Nair people of Kerala Society* Naga people, a diverse ethnic identity in Northeast India...

     (or Naga), a Hindu or Buddhist deity often depicted as a king cobra
  • Vietnamese dragon
    Vietnamese dragon
    Vietnamese dragons are symbolic creatures in the folklore and mythology of Vietnam. According to an ancient creation myth, the Vietnamese people are descended from a dragon and a fairy....

  • Nepalese dragon as depicted with Bahirav

Origin

The origin of the Chinese dragon is not certain. The presence of dragon in Chinese culture can dates back several thousands of years with the discovery of a dragon statue dating back to the fifth millennium BC from the Yangshao culture
Yangshao culture
The Yangshao culture was a Neolithic culture that existed extensively along the central Yellow River in China. The Yangshao culture is dated from around 5000 BC to 3000 BC. The culture is named after Yangshao, the first excavated representative village of this culture, which was discovered in 1921...

 in Henan in 1987, and jade badges of rank in coiled form have been excavated from the Hongshan culture
Hongshan culture
The Hongshan culture was a Neolithic culture in northeastern China. Hongshan sites have been found in an area stretching from Inner Mongolia to Liaoning, and dated from about 4700 BC to 2900 BC....

 circa 4700-2900 BC.

The coiled snake or dragon form played an important role in early Chinese culture. The character for "dragon" in the earliest Chinese writing
Chinese character
Chinese characters are logograms used in the writing of Chinese and Japanese , less frequently Korean , formerly Vietnamese , or other languages...

 has a similar coiled form, as do later jade dragon amulets from the Shang period.

Ancient Chinese referred to unearthed dinosaur
Dinosaur
Dinosaurs are a diverse group of animals of the clade and superorder Dinosauria. They were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for over 160 million years, from the late Triassic period until the end of the Cretaceous , when the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event led to the extinction of...

 bone
Bone
Bones are rigid organs that constitute part of the endoskeleton of vertebrates. They support, and protect the various organs of the body, produce red and white blood cells and store minerals. Bone tissue is a type of dense connective tissue...

s as dragon bones and documented them as such. For example, Chang Qu
Chang Qu
Chang Qu was a 4th century Chinese historian who wrote the Chronicles of Huayang or Records of the States South of Mount Hua, the oldest extant regional history of China.-References:...

 in 300 BC documents the discovery of "dragon bones" in Sichuan
Sichuan
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

. The modern Chinese word for dinosaur is konglong (恐龍, meaning "terrible dragon"), and villagers in central China have long unearthed fossilized "dragon bones" for use in traditional medicines, a practice that continues today.

The binomial name for a variety of dinosaur discovered in China, Mei long, in Chinese (寐 mèi and 龙 lóng) means "sleeping dragon." Fossilized remains of Mei long have been found in China in a sleeping and coiled form, with the dinosaur nestling its snout beneath one of its forelimbs while encircling its tail around its entire body.

Some have further suggested that the Chinese dragon form comes from stylized depictions of existing animals, such as snakes, fish, or crocodiles. A view advocated by He Xin is that the early dragon depicted a species of crocodile, specifically, Crocodylus porosus, the saltwater crocodile, which is the largest living reptile, and once ranged into China during ancient times. The crocodile is known to be able to accurately sense changes in air pressure, and be able to sense coming rain. This may have been the origin of the dragon's mythical attributes in controlling the weather, especially the rain. The association with the crocodile is also supported by the view in ancient times that large crocodiles are a variety of dragon. For example, in the Story of Zhou Chu, about the life of a Jin Dynasty
Jìn Dynasty (265-420)
The Jìn Dynasty , was a dynasty in Chinese history, lasting between the years 265 and 420 AD. There are two main divisions in the history of the Dynasty, the first being Western Jin and the second Eastern Jin...

 warrior, he is said to have killed a "dragon" that infested the waters of his home village, which appears to have been a crocodile.

Some scholars believe that the Chinese dragon form originated from totem
Totem
A totem is a stipulated ancestor of a group of people, such as a family, clan, group, lineage, or tribe.Totems support larger groups than the individual person. In kinship and descent, if the apical ancestor of a clan is nonhuman, it is called a totem...

s of different tribes in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, as a merger of totems of various tribes consequential to tribal mergers. Legendary figures like Nüwa
Nüwa
Nüwa is a goddess in ancient Chinese mythology best known for creating mankind and repairing the wall of heaven.-Primary sources:...

 (女媧) and Fuxi (伏羲) are depicted as having snake bodies. Some scholars have noted that a myth arose that the first legendary Emperor of China
Emperor of China
The Emperor of China refers to any sovereign of Imperial China reigning between the founding of Qin Dynasty of China, united by the King of Qin in 221 BCE, and the fall of Yuan Shikai's Empire of China in 1916. When referred to as the Son of Heaven , a title that predates the Qin unification, the...

, Huangdi (黃帝, Yellow Emperor) used a snake for his coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

. According to the myth, every time he conquered another tribe, he incorporated his defeated enemy's emblem into his own, thus explains why the dragon appears to have features of various animals.

Mythical creature

From its origins as totems or the stylized depiction of natural creatures, the Chinese dragon evolved to become a mythical animal. The Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 scholar Wang Fu
Wang Fu (philosopher)
Wang Fu , which endorsed the Confucian model of government.-Further reading:* Ann Behnke Kinney. The Art of the Han Essay: Wang Fu's Ch'ien-Fu Lun. Phoenix: Arizona State University Center for Asian Research, 1990. ISBN 0-939252-23-6...

 recorded Chinese myths that long dragons had nine anatomical resemblances.
The people paint the dragon's shape with a horse
Horse
The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today...

's head and a snake
Snake
Snakes are elongate, legless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes that can be distinguished from legless lizards by their lack of eyelids and external ears. Like all squamates, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales...

's tail. Further, there are expressions as 'three joints' and 'nine resemblances' (of the dragon), to wit: from head
Head
In anatomy, the head of an animal is the rostral part that usually comprises the brain, eyes, ears, nose and mouth . Some very simple animals may not have a head, but many bilaterally symmetric forms do....

 to shoulder
Shoulder
The human shoulder is made up of three bones: the clavicle , the scapula , and the humerus as well as associated muscles, ligaments and tendons. The articulations between the bones of the shoulder make up the shoulder joints. The major joint of the shoulder is the glenohumeral joint, which...

, from shoulder to breast, from breast
Breast
The breast is the upper ventral region of the torso of a primate, in left and right sides, which in a female contains the mammary gland that secretes milk used to feed infants.Both men and women develop breasts from the same embryological tissues...

 to tail
Tail
The tail is the section at the rear end of an animal's body; in general, the term refers to a distinct, flexible appendage to the torso. It is the part of the body that corresponds roughly to the sacrum and coccyx in mammals, reptiles, and birds...

. These are the joints; as to the nine resemblances, they are the following: his horns resemble those of a stag
STAG
STAG: A Test of Love is a reality TV show hosted by Tommy Habeeb. Each episode profiles an engaged couple a week or two before their wedding. The cameras then follow the groom on his bachelor party...

, his head that of a camel
Camel
A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as humps on its back. There are two species of camels: the dromedary or Arabian camel has a single hump, and the bactrian has two humps. Dromedaries are native to the dry desert areas of West Asia,...

, his eyes those of a demon
Demon
call - 1347 531 7769 for more infoIn Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian demonology, a demon is considered an "unclean spirit" which may cause demonic possession, to be addressed with an act of exorcism...

, his neck that of a snake, his belly that of a clam
Clam
The word "clam" can be applied to freshwater mussels, and other freshwater bivalves, as well as marine bivalves.In the United States, "clam" can be used in several different ways: one, as a general term covering all bivalve molluscs...

 (shen
Shen (clam-monster)
In Chinese mythology, the shen or chen is a shapeshifting dragon or sea monster believed to create mirages.-Meanings:Chinese classic texts use the word shen to mean "a large shellfish" that was associated with funerals and "an aquatic monster" that could change its shape, which was later...

, 蜃), his scales those of a carp
Carp
Carp are various species of oily freshwater fish of the family Cyprinidae, a very large group of fish native to Europe and Asia. The cypriniformes are traditionally grouped with the Characiformes, Siluriformes and Gymnotiformes to create the superorder Ostariophysi, since these groups have certain...

, his claws those of an eagle
Eagle
Eagles are members of the bird family Accipitridae, and belong to several genera which are not necessarily closely related to each other. Most of the more than 60 species occur in Eurasia and Africa. Outside this area, just two species can be found in the United States and Canada, nine more in...

, his soles those of a tiger
Tiger
The tiger is the largest cat species, reaching a total body length of up to and weighing up to . Their most recognizable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with lighter underparts...

, his ears those of a cow. Upon his head he has a thing like a broad eminence (a big lump), called [chimu] (尺木). If a dragon has no [chimu], he cannot ascend to the sky.


Further sources give variant lists of the nine animal resemblances. Sinologist Henri Doré lists these characteristics of an authentic dragon: "The horns of a deer
Deer
Deer are the ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. Species in the Cervidae family include white-tailed deer, elk, moose, red deer, reindeer, fallow deer, roe deer and chital. Male deer of all species and female reindeer grow and shed new antlers each year...

. The head of a camel. A demon's eyes. The neck of a snake. A tortoise
Tortoise
Tortoises are a family of land-dwelling reptiles of the order of turtles . Like their marine cousins, the sea turtles, tortoises are shielded from predators by a shell. The top part of the shell is the carapace, the underside is the plastron, and the two are connected by the bridge. The tortoise...

's viscera. A hawk
Hawk
The term hawk can be used in several ways:* In strict usage in Australia and Africa, to mean any of the species in the subfamily Accipitrinae, which comprises the genera Accipiter, Micronisus, Melierax, Urotriorchis and Megatriorchis. The large and widespread Accipiter genus includes goshawks,...

's claws. The palms of a tiger. A cow's ears. And it hears through its horns, its ears being deprived of all power of hearing." He notes that, "Others state it has a rabbit
Rabbit
Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found in several parts of the world...

's eyes, a frog
Frog
Frogs are amphibians in the order Anura , formerly referred to as Salientia . Most frogs are characterized by a short body, webbed digits , protruding eyes and the absence of a tail...

's belly, a carp's scales." The anatomy of other legendary creatures, including the chimera
Chimera (mythology)
The Chimera or Chimaera was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing female creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, composed of the parts of multiple animals: upon the body of a lioness with a tail that ended in a snake's head, the head of a goat arose on her back at the center of her...

 and manticore
Manticore
The manticore is a legendary creature similar to the Egyptian sphinx. It has the body of a red lion, a human head with three rows of sharp teeth , and a trumpet-like voice. Other aspects of the creature vary from story to story. It may be horned, winged, or both...

, is similarly amalgamated from fierce animals.

Chinese dragons were considered to be physically concise. Of the 117 scales, 81 are of the yang essence (positive) while 36 are of the yin essence (negative). Initially, the dragon was benevolent but the Buddhists introduced the concept of malevolent influence among some dragons. Just as water destroys, they said, so can some dragons destroy via floods, tidal waves and storms. They suggested that some of the worst floods were believed to have been the result of a mortal upsetting a dragon.

Many pictures of oriental dragons show a flaming pearl
Pearl
A pearl is a hard object produced within the soft tissue of a living shelled mollusk. Just like the shell of a mollusk, a pearl is made up of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but many other...

 under their chin. The pearl is associated with wealth, good luck, and prosperity.

Chinese dragons are occasionally depicted with bat
Bat
Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera "hand" and pteron "wing") whose forelimbs form webbed wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. By contrast, other mammals said to fly, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums, and colugos, glide rather than fly,...

-like wings growing out of the front limbs, but most do not have wings, as their ability to fly (and control rain/water, etc.) are mystical and not seen as a result of their physical attributes.

This description accords with the artistic depictions of the dragon down to the present day. The dragon has also acquired an almost unlimited range of supernatural powers. It is said to be able to disguise itself as a silkworm, or become as large as our entire universe. It can fly among the clouds or hide in water (according to the Guanzi). It can form clouds, can turn into water, can change color as an ability to blend in with their surroundings, as an effective form of camouflage or glow in the dark (according to the Shuowen Jiezi
Shuowen Jiezi
The Shuōwén Jiězì was an early 2nd century CE Chinese dictionary from the Han Dynasty. Although not the first comprehensive Chinese character dictionary , it was still the first to analyze the structure of the characters and to give the rationale behind them , as well as the first to use the...

).

In many other countries, folktales speak of the dragon having all the attributes of the other 11 creatures of the zodiac, this includes the whiskers of the rat
Rat
Rats are various medium-sized, long-tailed rodents of the superfamily Muroidea. "True rats" are members of the genus Rattus, the most important of which to humans are the black rat, Rattus rattus, and the brown rat, Rattus norvegicus...

, the face
Face
The face is a central sense organ complex, for those animals that have one, normally on the ventral surface of the head, and can, depending on the definition in the human case, include the hair, forehead, eyebrow, eyelashes, eyes, nose, ears, cheeks, mouth, lips, philtrum, temple, teeth, skin, and...

 and horns of an ox
Ox
An ox , also known as a bullock in Australia, New Zealand and India, is a bovine trained as a draft animal. Oxen are commonly castrated adult male cattle; castration makes the animals more tractable...

, claws and teeth of a tiger, belly of a rabbit, body of a snake, legs of a horse, the beard
Beard
A beard is the collection of hair that grows on the chin, cheeks and neck of human beings. Usually, only pubescent or adult males are able to grow beards. However, women with hirsutism may develop a beard...

 of a goat
Goat
The domestic goat is a subspecies of goat domesticated from the wild goat of southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. The goat is a member of the Bovidae family and is closely related to the sheep as both are in the goat-antelope subfamily Caprinae. There are over three hundred distinct breeds of...

, wit(or brain) of a monkey, crest of a rooster
Rooster
A rooster, also known as a cockerel, cock or chanticleer, is a male chicken with the female being called a hen. Immature male chickens of less than a year's age are called cockerels...

, ears of a dog
Dog
The domestic dog is a domesticated form of the gray wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The term is used for both feral and pet varieties. The dog may have been the first animal to be domesticated, and has been the most widely kept working, hunting, and companion animal in...

, the snout
Snout
The snout, or muzzle, is the protruding portion of an animal's face, consisting of its nose, mouth, and jaw.-Terminology:The term "muzzle", used as a noun, can be ambiguous...

 of a pig
Pig
A pig is any of the animals in the genus Sus, within the Suidae family of even-toed ungulates. Pigs include the domestic pig, its ancestor the wild boar, and several other wild relatives...

.

In some circles, it is considered bad luck to depict a dragon facing downwards, as it is seen as disrespectful to place a dragon in such manner that it cannot ascend to the sky. Also, depictions of dragons in tattoos are prevailent as they are symbols of strength and power, especially criminal organisations where dragons hold a meaning all on their own. As such, it is believed that one must be fierce and strong enough, hence earning the right to wear the dragon on his skin, lest his luck be consumed by the dragon.

Ruler of weather and water

Chinese dragons are strongly associated with water in popular belief. They are believed to be the rulers of moving bodies of water, such as waterfalls, rivers, or seas. They can show themselves as water spouts (tornado
Tornado
A tornado is a violent, dangerous, rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. They are often referred to as a twister or a cyclone, although the word cyclone is used in meteorology in a wider...

 or twister over water). In this capacity as the rulers of water and weather, the dragon is more anthropomorphic in form, often depicted as a humanoid, dressed in a king's costume, but with a dragon head wearing a king's headdress.

There are four major Dragon Kings, representing each of the four seas: the East Sea (corresponding to the East China Sea
East China Sea
The East China Sea is a marginal sea east of China. It is a part of the Pacific Ocean and covers an area of 1,249,000 km² or 750,000 square miles.-Geography:...

), the South Sea (corresponding to the South China Sea
South China Sea
The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Singapore and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around...

), the West Sea (sometimes seen as the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

 and beyond), and the North Sea (sometimes seen as Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal is the world's oldest at 30 million years old and deepest lake with an average depth of 744.4 metres.Located in the south of the Russian region of Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast, it is the most voluminous freshwater lake in the...

).

Because of this association, they are seen as "in charge" of water-related weather phenomenon. In premodern times, many Chinese villages (especially those close to rivers and seas) had temples dedicated to their local "dragon king". In times of drought or flooding, it was customary for the local gentry and government officials to lead the community in offering sacrifices and conducting other religious rites to appease the dragon, either to ask for rain or a cessation thereof.

The King of Wu-Yue
Wuyue
Kingdom of Wuyue , 907-978, was a small independent coastal kingdom founded during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms of Chinese history. It was ruled by the Qian family, which remains widespread in the kingdom's former territory.-Founding:...

 in the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period was often known as the "Dragon King
Dragon King
The four Dragon Kings are, in Chinese mythology, the divine rulers of the four seas . Although Dragon Kings appear in their true forms as dragons, they have the ability to shapeshift into human form...

" or the "Sea Dragon King" because of his extensive hydro-engineering schemes which "tamed" the sea.

Symbol of imperial authority

According to Chinese legend, both Chinese primogenitors, the earliest Emperors, Yandi and Huangdi, were closely related to 'Long' (Chinese Dragon). At the end of his reign, the first legendary Emperor, Huangdi, was said to have been immortalized into a dragon that resembled his emblem, and ascended to Heaven. The other legendary Emperor, Huangdi's brother, Yandi was born by his mother's telepathy with a mythic dragon. Since the Chinese consider Huangdi and Yandi as their ancestors, they sometimes refer to themselves as "the descendants of the dragon". This legend also contributed towards the use of the Chinese dragon as a symbol of imperial power.

The dragon, especially yellow or golden dragons with five claws on each foot, was a symbol for the emperor in many Chinese dynasties. The imperial throne was called the Dragon Throne. During the late Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

, the dragon was even adopted as the national flag. The dragon is featured in the carvings on the steps of imperial palaces and tombs, such as the Forbidden City
Forbidden City
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum...

 in Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

.

In some Chinese legends, an Emperor might be born with a birthmark
Birthmark
A birthmark is a benign irregularity on the skin which is present at birth or appears shortly after birth, usually in the first month. They can occur anywhere on the skin. Birthmarks are caused by overgrowth of blood vessels, melanocytes, smooth muscle, fat, fibroblasts, or...

 in the shape of a dragon. For example, one legend tells the tale of a peasant born with a dragon birthmark who eventually overthrows the existing dynasty and founds a new one; another legend might tell of the prince in hiding from his enemies who is identified by his dragon birthmark.

In contrast, the Empress of China was often identified with the Fenghuang
Fenghuang
Fenghuang are mythological birds of East Asia that reign over all other birds. The males are called Feng and the females Huang. In modern times, however, such a distinction of gender is often no longer made and the Feng and Huang are blurred into a single feminine entity so that the bird can be...

.

Modern belief

In modern times, belief in the dragon appears to be sporadic at best. There appear to be very few who would see the dragon as a literally real creature. The worship of the Dragon King
Dragon King
The four Dragon Kings are, in Chinese mythology, the divine rulers of the four seas . Although Dragon Kings appear in their true forms as dragons, they have the ability to shapeshift into human form...

s as rulers of water and weather continues in many areas, and is deeply ingrained in Chinese cultural traditions such as Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year – often called Chinese Lunar New Year although it actually is lunisolar – is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is an all East and South-East-Asia celebration...

 celebrations.

Depictions of the dragon

Neolithic depictions

Dragons or dragon-like depictions have been found extensively in neolithic-period archaeological sites throughout China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. The earliest depiction of dragons was found at Xinglongwa culture
Xinglongwa culture
The Xinglongwa culture was a Neolithic culture in northeastern China, found mainly around the Inner Mongolia-Liaoning border. Xinglongwa pottery was primarily cylindrical, and baked at low temperatures....

 sites. Yangshao culture
Yangshao culture
The Yangshao culture was a Neolithic culture that existed extensively along the central Yellow River in China. The Yangshao culture is dated from around 5000 BC to 3000 BC. The culture is named after Yangshao, the first excavated representative village of this culture, which was discovered in 1921...

 sites in Xi'an
Xi'an
Xi'an is the capital of the Shaanxi province, and a sub-provincial city in the People's Republic of China. One of the oldest cities in China, with more than 3,100 years of history, the city was known as Chang'an before the Ming Dynasty...

 have produced clay pots with dragon motifs. The Liangzhu culture
Liangzhu culture
The Liangzhu culture was the last Neolithic jade culture in the Yangtze River Delta of China. Its area of influence extended from around Lake Tai north to Nanjing and the Chang Jiang, east to Shanghai and the sea, and south to Hangzhou...

 also produced dragon-like patterns. The Hongshan culture
Hongshan culture
The Hongshan culture was a Neolithic culture in northeastern China. Hongshan sites have been found in an area stretching from Inner Mongolia to Liaoning, and dated from about 4700 BC to 2900 BC....

 sites in present-day Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

 produced jade dragon amulets in the form of pig dragon
Pig dragon
A pig dragon or zhulong is a type of jade artifact from neolithic China. Zhulong are zoomorphic forms with a pig-like head and elongated limbless body coiled around to the head and described as "suggestively fetal"...

s.

One such early form was the pig dragon
Pig dragon
A pig dragon or zhulong is a type of jade artifact from neolithic China. Zhulong are zoomorphic forms with a pig-like head and elongated limbless body coiled around to the head and described as "suggestively fetal"...

. It is a coiled, elongated creature with a head resembling a boar
Boar
Wild boar, also wild pig, is a species of the pig genus Sus, part of the biological family Suidae. The species includes many subspecies. It is the wild ancestor of the domestic pig, an animal with which it freely hybridises...

. The character for "dragon" in the earliest Chinese writing
Chinese character
Chinese characters are logograms used in the writing of Chinese and Japanese , less frequently Korean , formerly Vietnamese , or other languages...

 has a similar coiled form, as do later jade
Jade
Jade is an ornamental stone.The term jade is applied to two different metamorphic rocks that are made up of different silicate minerals:...

 dragon amulet
Amulet
An amulet, similar to a talisman , is any object intended to bring good luck or protection to its owner.Potential amulets include gems, especially engraved gems, statues, coins, drawings, pendants, rings, plants and animals; even words said in certain occasions—for example: vade retro satana—, to...

s from the Shang
Shang Dynasty
The Shang Dynasty or Yin Dynasty was, according to traditional sources, the second Chinese dynasty, after the Xia. They ruled in the northeastern regions of the area known as "China proper" in the Yellow River valley...

 period.

Classical depictions

Chinese literature and myths refer to many dragons besides the famous long. The linguist Michael Carr analyzed over 100 ancient dragon names attested in Chinese classic texts
Chinese classic texts
Chinese classic texts, or Chinese canonical texts, today often refer to the pre-Qin Chinese texts, especially the Neo-Confucian titles of Four Books and Five Classics , a selection of short books and chapters from the voluminous collection called the Thirteen Classics. All of these pre-Qin texts...

. Many such Chinese names derive from the suffix
Suffix
In linguistics, a suffix is an affix which is placed after the stem of a word. Common examples are case endings, which indicate the grammatical case of nouns or adjectives, and verb endings, which form the conjugation of verbs...

 -long:
  • Tianlong
    Tianlong
    Tianlong is a flying dragon in Chinese mythology, a star in Chinese astrology, and a proper name.-Word:The term tianlong combines tian 天 "heaven" and long 龍 "dragon"...

    , celestial dragon that guards heavenly palaces and pulls divine chariots; also a name for Draco (constellation)
    Draco (constellation)
    Draco is a constellation in the far northern sky. Its name is Latin for dragon. Draco is circumpolar for many observers in the northern hemisphere...

  • Shenlong
    Shenlong
    Shenlong, also Shen-lung, is a spiritual dragon from Chinese mythology who is the master of storms and also a bringer of rain. He is of equal significance like Tianlong, the celestial dragon....

    , thunder god that controls the weather, appearance of a human head, dragon's body, and drum-like stomach
  • Fucanglong
    Fucanglong
    In Chinese mythology the Fucanglong or Fu-ts'ang-Lung are the Chinese underworld dragons which guard buried treasures, both natural and man-made. Volcanoes are said to be created when they burst out of the ground to report to heaven....

    , underworld guardian of precious metals and jewels, associated with volcanoes
  • Dilong
    Dilong
    Dilong Ward is one of the sixteen wards of Mokokchung town. It is located in the lower slope of the town and forms the Northern part of Mokokchung....

    , controller of rivers and seas; also a name for earthworm
    Earthworm
    Earthworm is the common name for the largest members of Oligochaeta in the phylum Annelida. In classical systems they were placed in the order Opisthopora, on the basis of the male pores opening posterior to the female pores, even though the internal male segments are anterior to the female...

  • Yinglong
    Yinglong
    Yinglong is a winged dragon and rain deity in ancient Chinese mythology.-Name:This legendary creature's name yinglong combines 4th-tone yìng 應 "respond; correspond; answer; reply; agree; comply; consent; promise; adapt; apply" and lóng 龍 "Chinese dragon"...

    , winged dragon associated with rains and floods, used by Huangdi to kill Chi You
    Chi You
    Chi You was a tribal leader of the ancient nine Li tribe . He is best known as the tyrant who fought against the then-future Yellow Emperor during the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors era in Chinese mythology. For the Hmong people, Chi You was a sagacious mythical king...

  • Jiaolong
    Jiaolong
    Jiaolong or jiao is a polysemous aquatic dragon in Chinese mythology. Edward H. Schafer describes the jiao.Spiritually akin to the crocodile, and perhaps originally the same reptile, was a mysterious creature capable of many forms called the chiao . Most often it was regarded as a kind of lung – a...

    , hornless or scaled dragon, leader of all aquatic animals
  • Panlong
    Panlong
    This article is about the mythical creature. For the district in Yunnan, please see Panlong District. For the town in Burma, please see Panglong....

    , lake dragon that has not ascended to heaven
  • Huanglong
    Huang Long (mythology)
    Huang Long or 黄竜 is a hornless dragon who once emerged from the River Luo and presented the legendary Emperor Fu Xi with the elements of writing. According to legend, when it appeared before Fu Xi, it filled a hole in the sky made by the monster Gong Gong...

    , hornless dragon symbolizing the emperor
  • Feilong
    Feilong (mythology)
    Feilong is a winged legendary creature that flies among clouds in Chinese mythology. The proper name Feilong applies to people, fictional characters, places, martial art techniques, military weapons, and a pterosaur.-Word:...

    , winged dragon that rides on clouds and mist; also a name for pterosaur
    Pterosaur
    Pterosaurs were flying reptiles of the clade or order Pterosauria. They existed from the late Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous Period . Pterosaurs are the earliest vertebrates known to have evolved powered flight...

     (compare Feilong
    Feilong
    A Feilong is a jumping kick where two kicks are executed. It is quite common in multiple martial arts disciplines as well as tricking. Because it is not as advanced as other tricks, it is considered by some to be a basic trick...

     kick and Fei Long character)
  • Qinglong , the animal associated with the East in the Chinese Four Symbols
    Four Symbols (Chinese constellation)
    The Four Symbols are four mythological creatures in the Chinese constellations. They are:*Azure Dragon of the East *Vermilion Bird of the South *White Tiger of the West *Black Tortoise of the North...

    , mythological creatures in the Chinese constellations
  • Qiulong
    Qiulong
    Qiulong or qiu was a Chinese dragon that is contradictorily defined as "horned dragon" and "hornless dragon".-Name:This Chinese dragon name can be pronounced qiu or jiu and written 虯 or 虬.-Characters:...

    , contradictorily defined as both "horned dragon" and "hornless dragon"
  • Chilong
    Chi (mythology)
    Chi means either "a hornless dragon" or "a mountain demon" in Chinese mythology. Hornless dragons were a common motif in ancient Chinese art, and the chiwen 螭吻 Chi means either "a hornless dragon" or "a mountain demon" (namely, chimei 螭魅) in Chinese mythology. Hornless dragons were a common...

    , a hornless dragon or mountain demon

Fewer Chinese dragon names derive from the prefix long-:
  • Longwang
    Dragon King
    The four Dragon Kings are, in Chinese mythology, the divine rulers of the four seas . Although Dragon Kings appear in their true forms as dragons, they have the ability to shapeshift into human form...

    divine rulers of the Four Seas
  • Longma
    Longma
    Longma was a fabled winged horse with dragon scales in Chinese mythology. Seeing a longma was an omen of a legendary sage-ruler, particularly one of the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors.-Name:...

    , emerged from the Luo River and revealed Bagua (concept)
    Bagua (concept)
    The bagua are eight diagrams used in Taoist cosmology to represent the fundamental principles of reality, seen as a range of eight interrelated concepts. Each consists of three lines, each line either "broken" or "unbroken," representing yin or yang, respectively...

     to Fu Xi


Some additional Chinese dragons are not named with long 龍, for instance,
  • Hong
    Hong (rainbow-dragon)
    Hong or jiang is a two-headed dragon in Chinese mythology, comparable with rainbow serpent legends in diverse cultures and mythologies.-Chinese "rainbow" names:...

     , a two-headed dragon or rainbow serpent
    Rainbow Serpent
    The Rainbow Serpent is a common motif in the art and mythology of Aboriginal Australia. It is named for the snake-like meandering of water across a landscape and the colour spectrum caused when sunlight strikes water at an appropriate angle relative to the observer.The Rainbow Serpent is seen as...

  • Shen
    Shen (clam-monster)
    In Chinese mythology, the shen or chen is a shapeshifting dragon or sea monster believed to create mirages.-Meanings:Chinese classic texts use the word shen to mean "a large shellfish" that was associated with funerals and "an aquatic monster" that could change its shape, which was later...

     , a shapeshifting
    Shapeshifting
    Shapeshifting is a common theme in mythology, folklore, and fairy tales. It is also found in epic poems, science fiction literature, fantasy literature, children's literature, Shakespearean comedy, ballet, film, television, comics, and video games...

     dragon or sea monster
    Sea monster
    Sea monsters are sea-dwelling mythical or legendary creatures, often believed to be of immense size.Marine monsters can take many forms, including sea dragons, sea serpents, or multi-armed beasts. They can be slimy or scaly and are often pictured threatening ships or spouting jets of water...

     believed to create mirage
    Mirage
    A mirage is a naturally occurring optical phenomenon in which light rays are bent to produce a displaced image of distant objects or the sky. The word comes to English via the French mirage, from the Latin mirare, meaning "to look at, to wonder at"...

    s
  • Bashe
    Bashe
    Bashe was a python-like Chinese mythological giant snake that ate elephants.-Name:The term bashe compounds ba 巴 "a proper name; tip, tail; crust; greatly desire; cling to; be near" and she 蛇 "snake; serpent"....

    was a giant python-like dragon that ate elephants
  • Teng
    Teng (mythology)
    Teng or Tengshe is a flying dragon in Chinese mythology.-Names:This legendary creature's names include teng 螣 "a flying dragon" and tengshe 螣蛇 "flying-dragon snake" or 騰蛇 "soaring snake".-Teng:...

    or Tengshe is a flying dragon without legs


Chinese scholars have classified dragons in diverse systems. For instance, Emperor Huizong of Song canonized five colored dragons as "kings".
  • The Azure Dragon [Qinglong 青龍] spirits, most compassionate kings.
  • The Vermillion Dragon [Zhulong 朱龍] spirits, kings that bestow blessings on lakes.
  • The Yellow Dragon [Huanglong 黃龍] spirits, kings that favorably hear all petitions.
  • The White Dragon [Bailong 白龍] spirits, virtuous and pure kings.
  • The Black Dragon [Xuanlong 玄龍] spirits, kings dwelling in the depths of the mystic waters.

With the addition of the Yellow Dragon of the Center to Azure Dragon of the East, these Vermillion, White, and Black Dragons coordinate with the Four Symbols, including the Vermilion Bird of the South, White Tiger
White Tiger (Chinese constellation)
The White Tiger is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations. It is sometimes called the White Tiger of the West , and is known as Baihu in Chinese, Byakko in Japanese, Baekho in Korean and Bạch Hổ in Vietnamese...

 of the West, and Black Tortoise of the North.

Children of Dragon

Several Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

 texts list what were claimed as the Nine Offspring of the Dragon (龍生九子), and subsequently these feature prominently in popular Chinese stories and writings. The scholar Xie Zhaozhe (謝肇淛, 1567–1624) in his work Wu Za Zu (五雜俎, ca. 1592)
gives the following listing, as rendered by M.W. de Visser:
A well-known work of the end of the sixteenth century, the Wuzazu 五雜俎, informs us about the nine different young of the dragon, whose shapes are used as ornaments according to their nature. The [pulao
Pulao (dragon)
Pulao , known in some early sources also as tulao , is a small dragon. It is said to like to "roar", and therefore is traditionally depicted on top of bells in China, and used as the hook by which the bells are hung....

蒲牢], dragons which like to cry, are represented on the tops of bells, serving as handles. The [qiuniu 囚牛], which like music, are used to adorn musical instruments. The [chiwen
Chiwen
Chiwen is one of the Nine Young Dragons in Imperial roof decorations and an ornamental motif in traditional Chinese architecture and art.This Chinese dragon name chiwen 螭吻 compounds chi 螭 "hornless dragon; young dragon" and wen 吻 " mouth; lips; kiss"...

螭吻/鴟吻], which like swallowing, are placed on both ends of the ridgepoles of roofs (to swallow all evil influences). The [chaofeng 嘲風], lion-like beasts which like precipices, are placed on the four corners of roofs. The [yazi 睚眦/睚眥], which like to kill, serve as ornaments of sword-grips. The [bixi
Bixi (tortoise)
Bixi , also called guifu or baxia , is a stone tortoise, used as a pedestal for a stele or tablet. Tortoise-mounted stelae have been traditionally used in the funerary complexes of Chinese emperors and other dignitaries. Later, they have also been used to commemorate an important event, such as...

贔屭], which have the shape of the [chilong 螭龍], and are fond of literature, are represented on the sides of grave-monuments. The [bi'an 狴犴], which like litigation, are placed over prison gates (in order to keep guard). The [suanni 狻猊], which like to sit down, are represented upon the bases of Buddhist idols (under the Buddhas' or Bodhisattvas' feet). The [baxia 霸下], finally, big tortoises which like to carry heavy objects, are placed under grave-monuments.

Further, the same author enumerates nine other kinds of dragons, which are represented as ornaments of different objects or buildings according to their liking prisons, water, the rank smell of newly caught fish or newly killed meat, wind and rain, ornaments, smoke, shutting the mouth (used for adorning key-holes), standing on steep places (placed on roofs), and fire.


The Sheng'an waiji (升庵外集) collection by the poet Yang Shen
Yang Shen
Yang Shen , son of Yang Tinghe, zi Yòngxiū , hao Shēng'ān , also hao Bonanshanren , Bonanshushi , was a poet in the Ming Dynasty....

 (楊慎, 1488–1559) gives different 5th and 9th names for the dragon's nine children: the taotie
Taotie
The Taotie is a motif commonly found on ritual bronze vessels from the Shang and Zhou Dynasty. The design typically consists of a zoomorphic mask, described as being frontal, bilaterally symmetrical, with a pair of raised eyes and typically no lower jaw area...

(饕餮), which loves to eat and is found on food-related wares, and the jiaotu (椒圖), which looks like a conch or clam, does not like to be disturbed, and is used on the front door or the doorstep. Yang's list is bixi, chiwen or cháofēng, pulao, bi'an, taotie, qiuniu, yazi, suanni, and jiaotu.

Oldest known attestation of the "children of the dragon" list is found in the Shuyuan Zaji (椒园杂记, Miscellaneous records from the bean garden) by Lu Rong
Lu Rong
Lu Rong was a Chinese scholar. He is also known under the courtesy name Wenliang and the pseudonym Shizhai .He earned his jinshi degree in 1466...

 (1436–1494); however, he noted that the list enumerates mere synonyms of various antiques, not children of a dragon.

Dragon toes

The first Ming Emperor copied the Yuan ruling and decreed that the dragon would be his emblem and that it would have five toes (or claws) The four-clawed dragon was typically for imperial nobility and certain high ranking officials. The three clawed dragon was used by lower ranks and the general public (widely seen on various Chinese goods in Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

). The Long, however, was only for select royalty closely associated with the Imperial family, usually in various symbolic colors, while it was a capital offense for anyone - other than the emperor himself - to ever use the completely gold-colored, five-clawed Long dragon motif
Motif (art)
In art, a motif is an element of a pattern, an image or part of one, or a theme. A motif may be repeated in a design or composition, often many times, or may just occur once in a work. A motif may be an element in the iconography of a particular subject or type of subject that is seen in other...

. Improper use of claw number and/or colors was considered treason, punishable by execution of the offender's entire clan. Since most East Asian nations at one point or another were considered Chinese tributaries, they were only allowed four-clawed dragons.

The five toes rule was first enforced in AD 1336 (Yuan
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

 the second year). "(For commoners) It is forbidden to wear any cloth with patterns of Qilin
Qilin
The Qilin is a mythical hooved Chinese chimerical creature known throughout various East Asian cultures, and is said to appear with the imminent arrival or passing of a wise sage or an illustrious ruler. It is a good omen that brings rui . It is often depicted with what looks like fire all over...

, Male Fenghuang
Fenghuang
Fenghuang are mythological birds of East Asia that reign over all other birds. The males are called Feng and the females Huang. In modern times, however, such a distinction of gender is often no longer made and the Feng and Huang are blurred into a single feminine entity so that the bird can be...

 (Chinese phoenix), White rabbit
Moon rabbit
The Moon rabbit, also called the Jade Rabbit, in folklore is a rabbit that lives on the moon, based on pareidolia that identifies the markings of the moon as a rabbit. The story exists in many cultures, particularly in East Asian folklore, where it is seen pounding in a mortar and pestle...

, Lingzhi
Lingzhi
The lingzhi mushroom or reishi mushroom encompasses several fungal species of the genus Ganoderma, and most commonly refers to the closely related species, Ganoderma lucidum and Ganoderma tsugae. G...

, Five-Toe Two-Horn Long, Eight Longs, Nine Longs, 'Ten thousand years
Ten thousand years
The use of the phrase "ten thousand years" in various East Asian languages originated in ancient China as an expression used to wish long life to the Emperor, and is typically translated as "long live" in English...

', Fortune-longevity
Fu Lu Shou
Fu Lu Shou refers to the concept of Good Fortune , Prosperity , and Longevity . This Taoist concept is thought to date back to the Ming Dynasty, when the Fu Star, Lu Star and Shou Star were considered to be personified deities of these attributes respectively...

 character and Golden Yellow etc." ("禁服麒麟、鸾凤、白兔、灵芝、双角五爪龙、八龙、九龙、万寿、福寿字、赭黄等服")

Number nine

The number nine is special in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 as it is the largest possible single digit, and Chinese dragons are frequently connected with it. For example, a Chinese dragon is normally described in terms of nine attributes and usually has 117 (9x13) scales - 81 (9x9) Yang and 36 (9x4) Yin.
This is also why there are nine forms of the dragon and the dragon has nine offspring (see Classical depictions above). The "Nine Dragon Wall" is a screen wall with images of nine different dragons, and is found in imperial Chinese palaces and gardens. As nine was considered the number of the emperor, only the most senior officials were allowed to wear nine dragons on their robes - and then only with the robe completely covered with surcoat
Surcoat
A surcoat was an outer garment commonly worn in the Middle Ages by both men and women. It can either refer to a coat worn over other garments or the outer garment of a person...

s. Lower-ranking officials had eight or five dragons on their robes, again covered with surcoats; even the emperor himself wore his dragon robe with one of its nine dragons hidden from view.

There are a number of places in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 called "Nine Dragons", the most famous being Kowloon
Kowloon
Kowloon is an urban area in Hong Kong comprising the Kowloon Peninsula and New Kowloon. It is bordered by the Lei Yue Mun strait in the east, Mei Foo Sun Chuen and Stonecutter's Island in the west, Tate's Cairn and Lion Rock in the north, and Victoria Harbour in the south. It had a population of...

 (in Cantonese) in Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

. The part of the Mekong
Mekong
The Mekong is a river that runs through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It is the world's 10th-longest river and the 7th-longest in Asia. Its estimated length is , and it drains an area of , discharging of water annually....

 in Vietnam is known as Cửu Long
Cuu Long
Cửu Long was a province in the Mekong Delta region of southern Vietnam. It was created in 1976 from the merger of Vinh Long Province and Vinh Binh Province...

, with the same meaning.

Chinese zodiac

The dragon is one of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac
Chinese zodiac
The Shēngxiào , better known in English as the Chinese Zodiac, is a scheme that relates each year to an animal and its reputed attributes, according to a 12-year mathematical cycle...

 which is used to designate years in the Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
The Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar, incorporating elements of a lunar calendar with those of a solar calendar. It is not exclusive to China, but followed by many other Asian cultures as well...

. It is thought that each animal is associated with certain personality traits. Dragon years are usually the most popular to have babies. There are more babies born in Dragon years than in any other animal years of the Zodiac.

Constellations

The Azure Dragon - Qing Long
Azure Dragon (Chinese constellation)
The Azure Dragon is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations. It represents the east and the spring season. It should not be confused with the mythological yellow dragon that is associated with the Emperor of China...

 - 青龍 is considered to be the primary of the four celestial guardians
Chinese constellation
Chinese constellations are the way the ancient Chinese grouped the stars. They are very different from the modern IAU recognized constellations. This is because the IAU was based on Greco-Roman astronomy instead of Chinese astronomy....

, the other three being the Zhu Que
Vermilion Bird (Chinese constellation)
The Vermilion bird is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations. According to Wu Xing, the Taoist five-elemental system, it represents the fire-element, the direction south, and the season summer correspondingly. Thus it is sometimes called the Vermilion bird of the South...

 - 朱雀 (Vermilion Bird), Bai Hu
White Tiger (Chinese constellation)
The White Tiger is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations. It is sometimes called the White Tiger of the West , and is known as Baihu in Chinese, Byakko in Japanese, Baekho in Korean and Bạch Hổ in Vietnamese...

 - 白虎 (White Tiger), Xuan Wu
Black Tortoise (Chinese constellation)
The Black Tortoise is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations. It is sometimes called the Black Warrior of the North , and is known as Xuanwu in Chinese, Genbu in Japanese, Hyeonmu in Korean and Huyền Vũ in Vietnamese. It represents the north and the winter season...

 - 玄武 (Black Tortoise-like creature). In this context, the Azure Dragon is associated with the East and the element of Wood.

Dragonboat racing

Main article Dragon boat
Dragon boat
A dragon boat is a human-powered watercraft traditionally made, in the Pearl River delta region of southern China - Guangdong Province, of teak wood to various designs and sizes. In other parts of China different woods are used to build these traditional watercraft...



At special festivals, especially the Duanwu Festival, dragon boat races are an important part of festivities. Typically, these are boats rowed by a team of up to 12 rowers, and with a carved dragon as the head of the boat. Dragon boat racing is also an important part of celebrations outside of China, such as at Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year – often called Chinese Lunar New Year although it actually is lunisolar – is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is an all East and South-East-Asia celebration...

.

Dragon dancing

Main article Dragon dance
Dragon dance
Dragon dance is a form of traditional dance and performance in Chinese culture. Like the lion dance it is most often seen in festive celebrations. Many Chinese people often use the term "Descendants of the Dragon" as a sign of ethnic identity, as part of a trend started in the 1970s. Another...



On auspicious occasions, including Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year – often called Chinese Lunar New Year although it actually is lunisolar – is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is an all East and South-East-Asia celebration...

 and the opening of shops and residences, festivities often include dancing with dragon puppets. These are "life sized" cloth-and-wood puppets manipulated by a team of people, supporting the dragon with poles. They perform choreographed moves to the accompaniment of drums and music.

Dragons and Nāgas

In many Buddhist countries, the concept of the nāga
Naga
Naga or NAGA may refer to:* Nāga, a group of serpent deities in Hindu and Buddhist mythology.-People:* Nayan / Nayar/Nair people of Kerala Society* Naga people, a diverse ethnic identity in Northeast India...

 has been merged with local traditions of great and wise serpents or dragons, as depicted in this stairway
Stairway
Stairway, staircase, stairwell, flight of stairs, or simply stairs are names for a construction designed to bridge a large vertical distance by dividing it into smaller vertical distances, called steps...

 image of a mufti-headed nāga emerging from the mouth of a Makara
Makara (Hindu mythology)
Makara is a sea-creature in Hindu mythology. It is generally depicted as half terrestrial animal and in hind part as aquatic animal, in the tail part, as a fish tail or also as seal...

 in the style of a Chinese dragon at Phra Maha Chedi
Stupa
A stupa is a mound-like structure containing Buddhist relics, typically the remains of Buddha, used by Buddhists as a place of worship....

 Chai Mongkol on the premises of Wat
Wat
A wat is a monastery temple in Cambodia, Thailand, or Laos. The word "wat" means "school".- Introduction :...

 Pha Namthip Thep Prasit Vararam in Thailand's Roi Et Province Nong Phok District.

Dragons and Tigers

Tigers have always been an eternal rival to the dragon, thus various artworks depict a dragon and tiger fighting an epic battle. A well used Chinese idiom to describe equal rivals (often in sports nowadays) is "Dragon versus Tiger". In Chinese martial arts
Chinese martial arts
Chinese martial arts, also referred to by the Mandarin Chinese term wushu and popularly as kung fu , are a number of fighting styles that have developed over the centuries in China. These fighting styles are often classified according to common traits, identified as "families" , "sects" or...

, "Dragon style" is used to describe styles of fighting based more on understanding movement, while "Tiger style" is based on brute strength and memorization of techniques.

Chinese dragons in popular culture

As a part of traditional folklore, dragons appear in a variety of mythological fiction. In the classical story Journey to the West
Journey to the West
Journey to the West is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. It was written by Wu Cheng'en in the 16th century. In English-speaking countries, the tale is also often known simply as Monkey. This was one title used for a popular, abridged translation by Arthur Waley...

, the son of the Dragon King
Dragon King
The four Dragon Kings are, in Chinese mythology, the divine rulers of the four seas . Although Dragon Kings appear in their true forms as dragons, they have the ability to shapeshift into human form...

 of the West was condemned to serve as a horse for the travellers because of his indiscretions at a party in the heavenly court. The Monkey King's cudgel
Gun (staff)
The Chinese word gun refers to a long Chinese staff weapon used in Chinese martial arts. It is known as one of the four major weapons, along with the qiang , dao , and the jian , called in this group "The Grandfather of all Weapons".-Variants:There are various kinds of gun, and they include the...

 Rú Yì Bàng was stolen from the Eastern (Donghai
Donghai (Chinese mythology)
East Sea is identified as the body of water east of the mainland, according to ancient Chinese geography. It contains modern day East China Sea as well as the Yellow Sea and Bohai Sea....

) Dragon King
Dragon King
The four Dragon Kings are, in Chinese mythology, the divine rulers of the four seas . Although Dragon Kings appear in their true forms as dragons, they have the ability to shapeshift into human form...

 áo guǎng. In Fengshen Yanyi
Fengshen Yanyi
Fengshen Bang, also known as Fengshen Yanyi in Chinese, and translated as The Investiture of the Gods or The Creation of the Gods, is one of the major vernacular Chinese epic novels written during the Ming Dynasty...

and other stories, Nezha
Nezha
Nezha may refer to:* Nezha , a feminine given name of Arabic origin, meaning virtuousness or a promenade* Nezha Bidouane , a Moroccan hurdler* Nezha , a deity in Chinese mythology...

, the boy hero, defeats the Dragon Kings and tames the seas. Chinese dragons also appear in innumerable Japanese anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 movies and TV shows, manga
Manga
Manga is the Japanese word for "comics" and consists of comics and print cartoons . In the West, the term "manga" has been appropriated to refer specifically to comics created in Japan, or by Japanese authors, in the Japanese language and conforming to the style developed in Japan in the late 19th...

, and in Western political cartoons as a personification of the People's Republic of China. The Chinese respect for dragons is emphasized in Naomi Novik
Naomi Novik
Naomi Novik is an American novelist. She is a first-generation American; her father is of Lithuanian Jewish ancestry, and her mother is an ethnic Pole. She studied English Literature at Brown University, and holds a Master's degree in Computer Science from Columbia University...

's Temeraire
Temeraire (series)
The Temeraire series of novels by Naomi Novik is composed of His Majesty's Dragon , Throne of Jade, Black Powder War, Empire of Ivory, Victory of Eagles, and Tongues of Serpents...

novels, where they were the first people to tame dragons and are treated as equals, intellectuals or even royalty, rather than beasts solely bred for war in the West.

See also

  • An Instinct for Dragons
    An Instinct for Dragons
    An Instinct for Dragons is a book by University of Central Florida anthropologist David E. Jones, which seeks to explain the alleged universality of dragon images in the folklore of human societies...

    , hypothesis about the origin of dragon myths.
  • Chinese mythology
    Chinese mythology
    Chinese mythology is a collection of cultural history, folktales, and religions that have been passed down in oral or written tradition. These include creation myths and legends and myths concerning the founding of Chinese culture and the Chinese state...

  • Culture of China
    Culture of China
    Chinese culture is one of the world's oldest and most complex. The area in which the culture is dominant covers a large geographical region in eastern Asia with customs and traditions varying greatly between towns, cities and provinces...

  • Dragon
    Dragon
    A dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that feature in the myths of many cultures. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern...

  • Dragon boat race
  • Dragon dance
    Dragon dance
    Dragon dance is a form of traditional dance and performance in Chinese culture. Like the lion dance it is most often seen in festive celebrations. Many Chinese people often use the term "Descendants of the Dragon" as a sign of ethnic identity, as part of a trend started in the 1970s. Another...


  • Fenghuang
    Fenghuang
    Fenghuang are mythological birds of East Asia that reign over all other birds. The males are called Feng and the females Huang. In modern times, however, such a distinction of gender is often no longer made and the Feng and Huang are blurred into a single feminine entity so that the bird can be...

     (Mythological bird)
  • List of dragons in mythology and folklore
  • Long Mu
    Long Mu
    In Chinese mythology, Long Mu or Mother of Dragons was a Chinese woman who was deified as a goddess after raising five infant dragons. Long Mu and her dragons developed a strong bond for each other, and have thus become an example of filial devotion and parental love, an important virtue in...

     (Dragon's Mother)
  • Radical 212
    Radical 212
    Radical 212, 龍, 龙, or 竜 meaning "dragon", is one of only two of the 214 Kangxi radicals that are composed of 16 strokes...



External links

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