Dec 30, 2020

The Meaning of the Dragon Symbol in Chinese Culture

By Jennifer Holland | A Super Chineasian

Dragons in Chinese culture symbolize great power, good luck and strength. They represent power and authority, particularly control over typhoons, water, rainfall and floods. Emperors were assumed to have descended from the dragons. That is why, out of the twelve zodiac signs, the Dragon is the most popular one. 

IMAGE: https://unsplash.com/photos/c_wXQt8rBwE

It is so popular that people even today plan their children’s birth in these years of the Dragon for good fortune. Ps. the next year of the Dragon is 2024. Children born in the year of the Dragon are thought to be good leaders and very fortunate in life. 

For the Chinese, there is more to the Dragon than just breathing fire. They see it as a spiritual creature of good luck and prosperity and rain and deity that brings forth harmony.

The origins 

Dragons are an essential aspect of Chinese culture. If you are interested in Chinese culture and read books or study Chinese with apps, you will see the Dragon in pictures, festivals and the characters that derive their meanings and sounds from the Dragon. It is essential to understand the language’s culture to understand why the Dragon is vital to the Chinese. 

IMAGE: https://unsplash.com/photos/pkffh9_djUA

Dragons are a part of the Chinese Zodiac made up of 12 years with twelve creatures with corresponding personality features. They include mouse, Dragon, dog, tiger, horse, goat, ox, pig, monkey, rooster, snake and rabbit.

In the fifth year of the Chinese zodiac, the Dragon, according to a myth, the Jade Emperor declared that order would be determined exactly by the order they came to attend his function. Everyone thought the mighty Dragon would arrive first, but he came after Rat, Ox, Tiger and Rabbit. The Dragon was late because he halted to make rain for a village that was suffering from drought. The Jade Emperor was impressed and gave him the 5th position in the rankings.

What it signifies 

The Dragon is believed by the Chinese to present power and valiancy, excellence and determination, dignity and divinity. A dragon is believed to have the powers to overcome obstacles to see success. He is spirited, confident, enthusiastic, intelligent and determined.

IMAGE: https://unsplash.com/photos/TJGBeuf0K68

They are a sign of royalty and wealth. Chinese Emperors in the past were believed to be the reincarnation of the mighty dragons. Liu Bang, the Han dynasty founder, thought that he was convinced when his mother dreamt of a dragon. 

According to a history writing, the Dragon was an imperial symbol during the Tang Dynasty. The emperor and high officials wore robes with dragons on them. Some dragons were reserved for the emperor only.

The beliefs

The Chinese people believe to be the descendants of the mighty Dragon. Chinese people think that Yandi, a famous tribal leader with telepathy with a mighty dragon. Yandi allied with Huangdi, a great tribal leader, together with the Dragon’s help, opened to the intro of the Chinese civilization. Yandi and Huangdi are considered ancestors of the Chinese people. 

Dragons are used in many celebrations. Dragon dances are performed at the Chinese New Year. The Dragon spans up to 70 meters constructed with bamboo covered with shiny fabric held up by dancers. 

IMAGE: https://pixabay.com/photos/paris-france-chinese-new-year-93535/

Chinese people believe that dragons bring good luck. The longer the dance, the more they receive for the new year. The Dragon is also used during Chinese boat racing, where boats are decorated like a Chinese dragon. This festival attracts many people that love the custom. 

Conclusion

The Chinese Dragon is a beautiful, wise and friendly being and not like the western Dragon, which is associated with evil and destruction. The Chinese Dragon is loved and worshipped by all. It has shrines and temples dedicated to this purpose. In return, the Chinese people believe that the dragon showers rain, good luck and prosperity. That is why even today, after thousands of years of passing down myths and traditions, the Dragon is still incorporated in their everyday life, celebrations and even businesses of the Chinese people.

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By Jennifer Holland | A Super Chineasian

Jennifer Holland is a professional writer with 3 years of experience working for a college paper writing service and helping students with their academic work that includes thesis, term papers, essays and proofreading homework. Owing to her work ethics and astounding writing skills, she is regarded as the best in her field.

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