- Slides: 12
Dragons are one of the first things that people think of when you ask them what they associate with China. Dragons are everywhere in Chinese art, history and culture. From dragon dances… To pottery…. . To food labels!
In Western myths and stories dragons are almost always evil creatures Like the one St George killed Or the ones in Harry Potter
But Chinese dragons, although they still look very fierce. . are usually stern but friendly guardians who bring protection and good luck!
According to tradition the dragon has: the head of a camel, the horns of a deer, the eyes of a demon, the ears of a cow, the neck of a snake, the belly of a clam, the scales of a carp, the claws of an eagle, the paws of a tiger.
Chinese Dragons are always associated with water So people who like to look for scientific explanations of things sometimes suggest that way, way back in time, the original dragon was in fact an ancestor of… …. . the Chinese alligator
But I prefer to believe they have been around since before the beginning of time…… …and you can read a story about how dragons created the four main river of China here
Dragon dances are performed by Chinese communities across the world on festival days, especially Chinese New Year The dragon is believed to bring prosperity, and good luck – originally to bring rain for good harvests. The best dragon dancers are skilled at martial arts because the moves of the dance are also combat moves! This is a Double Dragon Dance on National Day in Chongqing.
Most of all, dragons were associated with the Emperors and Empresses of China, who were said to sit on the Dragon Throne
You can tell an Imperial dragon by two things, apart, of course, from where you find them: The colour yellow And the number of claws it has; only an Imperial dragon can have five!
You may not believe in dragons now, but be in no doubt that when you go to China, wherever you are…
. …they are watching over you!