The Art of the Chinese Dragon: Powerful Symbol
The Chinese dragon is the powerful and benevolent symbol in Chinese culture, with a supposed control over the watery phenomenon, for example: invoking rain during a drought. Dragons are everywhere in China: in legends, festivals, astrology, art, names, and idioms. Dragons are seen as lucky and good, very different from the evil, dangerous, and fire-breathing dragons of most Western stories.
Dragons are found in many aspects of Chinese culture, from legends about Chinese ancestry to modern pets, from festival events to astrology and idioms. It is said that thousands of years ago, Yandi (a legendary tribal leader) was born by telepathy from his mother with a powerful dragon. With the help of the dragon, and allied with Huangdi (a legendary tribal leader), they opened the prelude to Chinese civilization; then Yandi and Huangdi were considered ancestors of the Chinese people. Over time, the Chinese refer to themselves as the descendants of Yandi and Huangdi, as well as the descendants of the Chinese dragon.
The dragon has been transformed from an imaginary prodigy to a pet from ancient times to the present. It represents the relentless and pioneering spirit of the Chinese people. The dragon is not only prevalent in China, it is also very popular with Chinese living abroad; It has become the symbol of China and Chinese culture. This Dragon is associated with festivities and celebrations: The Dragon Dance: it is performed in many celebrations, for example in the Chinese New Year. In general, there is a long dragon, stretching up to 70 meters, built with bamboo hoops covered with shiny fabric and held by dancers.
Dragon Boat Race: The dragon boat is decorated as a Chinese dragon. This activity generally attracts many people to appreciate the custom during the traditional Dragon Boat Festival.
The 9 Types of Chinese Dragons
According to Chinese myths, the dragon has nine children with different characters, and their images are widely used in architectural decoration, especially in imperial palaces. The nine sons are often used in building decorations and sculptures.
- Bixi (赑 屃 Bìxì / bee-sshee /) - eldest son, shaped like a turtle with sharp teeth, fond of carrying heavy objects; often in tombs / monuments
- Qiuniu (囚 牛 Qiúniú / chyoh-nyoh /) - scaly yellow dragon, likes and excels in music; often adorns musical instruments
- Yazi (睚眦 Yázì / yaa-dzrr /) - belly of a snake and head of a leopard, interested in fighting / killing; often decorates sword hilts
- Chaofeng (嘲 风 Cháofēng / chaoww-fnng /) - instinctively adventurous; often adorns the palace roof ridges
- Pulao (蒲 牢 Púláo / poo-laoww /) - known for loud crying; often on bell handles
- Chiwen (螭 吻 chīwěn / chrr-wnn /) - lives in the sea, with a harsh voice, delights in devouring creatures; often at the ends of the palace ridge
- Bi'an (狴 犴 Bì'àn / bee-an /) - likes fights, often found by prison doors
- Suanni (狻猊 Suānní / swann-nee /) - in the form of a lion, delights to sit cross-legged and smell the incense; often on Buddhist temple incense burners and seats
- Fuxi (负 屃 Fùxì / foo-sshee /) - the youngest son of Chinese dragons; often on stone tablets