The Meaning of the Dragon Symbol in China

by John Chan

Dragon has always been a mysterious mythical creature which has been a part of life in eastern Asia. Actually it was adopted from the Chinese folk lore. Ancient dragon has been described and given a form of serpent with a scaly body except for the fact that unlike a serpent it has four legs and each foot has five claws.

In terms of its physical features the Chinese dragon is quite different from the traditional European dragon which also stands on four legs but is thought to have a negative connotation.

The Dragon Symbol

If you read through history you will find that Chinese dragon plays evil as well as positive role throughout the ancient history. The dragon symbol has eternally represented positive power which is evident from all the folk tales and artistic expressions that we have seen from China.

Dragons and Yang Energy

The Chinese dragon takes on different qualities which the Chinese people have credited to it. It is rarely known that the Chinese dragon is the male symbol representing yang. Then again it is taken as a symbol to bring rain and water where the people are doing agriculture for a living.

The Feminine Side of Dragons

A least known fact is that Chinese dragon has a female counter part. This not so well known creature is known as phoenix. As a matter of fact the westerners take it for granted that the Chinese dragon stands for China itself. This fact is not true at all.

Meaning of Dragon Symbol

You will find that in ancient Chinese history the dragon symbol was restricted to be used only by emperors. It is well known that the ordinary people were not allowed to use the Chinese dragon symbol during the rule of Yuan dynasty. Only during the Qing dynasty rule that the Chinese dragon was brought to be used on the national flag.

Modern Day Dragon Symbol

From a long time China has been trying very hard to persuade the west that the Dragon has no real implication in modern day China as they feel that the western people believe that the Chinese dragon represents a war like situation. Therefore they have been hunting for something less threatening and have come up with giant panda as their official symbol.

Respect and Identity

The Chinese Dragon remains in the hearts of the Chinese people with deep respect to the extent that many Chinese consider themselves to be the descendants of the Dragon for their ethnic identity. In fact you will notice that throughout the 1970s the nations had a tendency to identify themselves with some animals like Tibetans with monkeys and Mongols thought they descended from wolf.

The Chinese people still use the Chinese Dragon symbol a good deal even if it is not for religious purpose. The Chinese Dragon today has a particular use in China entirely for decoration. The use of Dragon on T-shirts or posters or tattoos or advertisement is a common sight throughout China.

About the Author:  Chinese dragon symbols are a good option for a tattoo. If you would like to read further on Chinese peace signs please follow the links.

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