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About Chinese Dragon

Chinese dragon has a horse head and a snake's body. It has four jaws. Chinese dragons are divided into Heavenly Dragons, Earthly Dragons and Dragons in water.

The most well-known dragons are the Four Sea Dragon Kings governing the east, south, west, north side of the sea. These Four Sea Dragon Kings are in charge of creating clouds and rains for human world. Chinese people do not call water faucet as something like valve, but as "Water Dragon Head".

Two dragons playing pearl, Nine Dragon Wall, Bei-hai Park, Beijing
"Two dragons playing pearl" as part of the Nine Dragon Wall, Bei-hai Park, Beijing. (Click to see big picture.)

Dragon is regarded as a symbol of the Chinese nation and can be found everywhere in Chinese culture including literature, paintings, architecture, furniture, clothes etc.

Chinese Dragon vs. Western Dragon

western dragon
Dragon in western culture is a totally different kind of being from Chinese dragon.

Actually the original word "dragon" in western culture refers to a totally different creature. It has a thin neck, a big dinosaurs-like body and a pair of featherless wings. It can spray fire from its mouth. The dragon in western culture is a kind of evil animal in hell. So when mentioning Chinese "dragon", it may cause an impression of something bad in western people's point of view. This is caused by the cultural difference.

There are numerous paradises in the universe. People of different nations on the earth are actually from different paradises in the universe. Different peoples' different ways of clothes, food, architecture, music etc actually came from their different celestial cultures in heaven. In western people's paradise, there are some unique animals that cannot be found in oriental culture. For example, in western culture there is a kind of creature having a human being's upper body and a horse's lower body. Vice versa, Chinese Dragon is a kind of animal in oriental culture that you cannot find in western culture.

Chinese Story on dragons - "Point the eyes after painting dragons"

Two dragons playing pearl, Nine Dragon Wall, Bei-hai Park, Beijing
The traditional Chinese character for dragon.

This story about dragon was recorded in a Tang Dynasty book "Record of Famous Paintings in different dynasties".

During the period of South-North Dynasties (420-589A.D.), there was a famous painter Zhang Seng-yao. He was asked to paint dragons for the An-le Temple of Jinling City. He painted four dragons on the wall but did not paint their eyes. He said if he painted the eyes they would fly away. People regarded what he said absurd and deliberately asked him to paint the eyes. So he painted eyes for two of the dragons. After a while, clouds and thunder broke the wall and the two dragons flew up to sky riding clouds. The other two dragons without eyes are still left.

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