The Grandeur Of The Ancient Chinese Dragon Symbol

The grandeur of the ancient Chinese dragon symbol is explained here.

Dragons are said to be evil and diabolical creatures. In Christian symbology, a dragon is seen defeated by the archangel Michael, whereas in myths and fairy tales dragons are killed and slain by the hero of the story. In China however, this mythological symbol dates back to 3000 BC and stands for happiness, immortality, procreation, fertility and activity.

Dragons were believed to ward off evil spirits. Take a look at a Chinese city and you'll see dragons decorating ancient monuments and buildings, sometimes playing with a pearl or thunder-ball. One can also see dragons on the garments of ancient Chinese generals. The Emperor alone had nine of them on his brocade.

From the Han dynasty and on (206 BC - 220 AD) dragons took a symbolic meaning based on their colours. Chinese dragons were often red or gold, turquoise or white. The turquoise dragon was the symbol of the Emperor, the East, the rising sun, the rain as well as the fifth element of the Chinese zodiac. The white dragon on the other hand stood for the West and death.

According to Chinese mythology, dragons lived under the surface of the Earth and only visited the world in the second month of the Chinese calendar to cause rain and thunder. They looked like snakes and had no wings. Each one of its four short legs had five toes, unlike the Korean one, which had four and the Japanese one, which had three. The five-toed dragons symbolized power and in China these dragons were called "Lung".

There exist four major categories of Lung. A) Tien-Lung, the Celestial Dragon which protects the House of Gods, B) Shen-Lung, the Spiritual Dragon in control of the wind and the air, C) Ti-Lung, the Earth Dragon in control of the rivers and all the water on Earth and D) Fut's-Lung, The Underworld Dragon which guards the precious metals and gems.

So Chinese dragons, unlike European legends, stand for good deeds and can often be seen parading in Chinese festivals. The Chinese New Year's Day or the Chinese Spring Festival as it is better known, for example, takes place in January or February, depending on the lunar calendar, and the Chinese dragon is seen parading in the streets. It's the biggest celebration of the year. It's a chance for families to gather from all parts of China. Chinese wear their new clothes and pay a visit to friends and family wishing everybody "a Great New Year, Happiness and Fortune." And then springtime comes.

The Day of the Lanterns is another celebration where dragons are seen parading. It takes place the 15th day of the first lunar month. Hundreds of lanterns are put on display and Chinese eat rice and pasta, which symbolize happiness in life. Finally, there is also the celebration of autumn when Chinese make a sacrifice to the Moon, which is most beautiful this time of they year. It takes place the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. Chinese dragons mean no harm and are often compared to the country itself.

© High Speed Ventures 2011