In Asia, the mighty dragon
is a mythical beast long celebrated for its benevolence, intelligence and good will. The dragon has been a common symbol of identity for East Asian cultures.
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Dragon Gifts Symbolism
Gifts in for form of dragons have special symbolic meaning in Chinese and Japanese culture. In early China, the dragon was a symbol of the imperial hierarchy. At the end of Huang Di's reign, the first legendary Emperor, was been immortalized into a dragon that resembled his symbol, and ascended to Heaven. Huang Di was considered by the Chinese as their ancestor so they sometimes refer themselves as "the descendants of the dragon." This myth also made some contribution to the use of the Chinese dragon as a symbol of imperial power. In many Chinese dynasties, the yellow or golden dragons with five claws on each foot, was a symbol for the emperor. They called the imperial throne as the "Dragon Throne."
Chinese legend considered the dragon as originated from China before it scattered throughout Asia, where there are other related yet different cultural presentations of the dragon. The Chinese dragon
is one of the most wonderful legendary creatures that have been a famous part of a number of East Asian cultures. The usual physical form of the dragon is portrayed as long and scaly with snake like features but with four legs and five claws on each foot.
There are endless tales of dragons in European mythology. The word dragon originated for two separate Greek words which are "a huge serpent" and "I see clearly." Dragons have wings in European traditions which allow them to fly freely above. With this, dragons can be considered to symbolize the capacity to see the "big picture" as well as the capacity to see far off danger or future conditions.
In many other cultures dragons represents the original forces in nature and the universe. They have the ability to alternately breathe fire, poison or ice. These abilities only show that they can be both creators and destroyers. Fire provides life and sometimes death while ice and poison give out death.
In the Orient, dragons are associated with wisdom and longevity. They acquire some type of magic or supernatural power. Chinese dragons tend to be compassionate while European dragons are often wicked.
Asian dragons are often connected with water in some way. Particularly, Japanese dragons are usually depicted as huge water serpents. For early Jewish, dragons are considered as sea-monsters.
It captured the imagination of man and some theorists believe that dragon legends started from the ancient people who were looking for large skeletons of dinosaurs.
China has greatly tried to disassociate itself from the dragon symbol due to its bad political connotations related with it. The Chinese wanted to replace the image of the dragon into a softer symbol because of its threatening war like image in the eyes of the west. The giant panda took the place of the dragon which is now taken as the emblem of China.
Other Chinese people are still very fond of the Chinese dragon symbol. Its symbol still occupies a special place in modern Chinese society. Nowadays, it is used exclusively for decorative purposes such as in tattoos, T-shirts and posters. The symbol of the dragon can be seen throughout the streets of China.