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Chinese Dragon Culture

 

Dragons are deeply rooted in the Chinese culture. The Chinese often consider themselves, 'the descendants of the dragon.'

Nobody really knows where the dragon comes from. The dragon looks like a combination of many animals. For the Chinese people, Dragons were described visually as a composite of parts from nine animals: The horns of a deer; the head of a camel; the eyes of a devil; the neck of a snake; the abdomen of a large cockle; the scales of a carp; the claws of an eagle; the paws of a tiger; and the ears of an ox. The Chinese word for Dragon is spelled out in roman characters as either lung or long. In China, the Dragon was credited with having great powers that allowed them to make rain and to control floods (by striking the river with its tail, causing it to open and thus divert the floodwaters) also Dragons are credited for transportation of humans to the celestial realms after death. Also, in China, Dragons are symbols of the natural world, adaptability, and transformation. When two dragons are placed together but turned away, they symbolize eternity via the famous Yin-Yang.

Chinese emperors think they are the real dragons and the sons of heaven. Thus the beds they sleep on are called the dragon beds, the throne called the dragon seat, and the emperor's ceremonial dresses called the dragon robes.

In the minds of the early Chinese people, the dragon was a god that embodied the will and ideals of the Chinese people. It is said that the dragon is a large-scaled reptile, which can become dark or bright, large or small, long or short, and can fly into the sky in the spring and live under the water in the fall. It seems that the dragon is capable of doing almost anything.Traditionally the dragons are considered as the governors of rainfalls in Chinese culture. They have the power to decide where and when to have rain. They believe the kings of the water dragons live in the dragon palaces under the oceans. The Chinese sign for the dragon appears during the Yin and Shang dynasties (from the 16th to the 11th century BC, the period of the earliest Chinese hieroglyphs), between inscriptions on bones and turtle shields. These inscriptions depicted a horned reptile, teeth, scales and sometimes paws as well.

In ancient China nobody had any doubts about the existence of dragons. People showed great respect for any dragon depicted in pictures, carvings and writings, and as a result the dragon became the symbol of Chinese nation. All people in china, including the emperor, prostrated themselves before the image of a dragon with reverence and awe. As a result, this unreal animal became the spiritual sustenance for a nation: firstly, as the totem of a tribe and then as the symbol of the nation. Eventually it became the sign on the national flag of the last feudal dynasty, the Qing Dynasty. The chinese people regard themselves as descendants of the dragon.

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