Eastern Dragons Differ From Western Dragons

23 January, 2012 at 07:20 | Posted in China, Chinese culture | 5 Comments
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Times Staff

In both the East and the West, the dragon is often associated with fantasy and mythical realms. Yet the outer appearances and common perceptions of the dragon differ greatly in these two parts of the world.

In China, as well as in South Asia, the dragon is commonly the symbol of nobility, solemnness, holiness, and good fortune. Throughout the history of China, Korea, and Japan, the dragon (or the concept of the dragon) has been a part of people’s daily lives. The dragon has existed wherever Chinese culture existed, and the Chinese eventually began calling themselves the descendants of the dragon.

Despite the differences between the Eastern and Western dragons, they are both intimately connected to people’s beliefs.

The Eastern dragon is portrayed as an auspicious creature with magical power that coexists in heaven with gods. When Buddhists or Taoists achieve perfection,they ascend to heaven by riding an Eastern dragon.

In Western culture, the dragon represents evil and darkness. Unlike the celestial image of the Eastern dragon, the Western dragon has sharp teeth and strong legs. It is said to bring harm, suffering, and fear to human beings.

The Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament, speaks about the devil, Satan, taking the form of a red dragon and fighting Archangel Michael. Satan, the deceiver of the world, was defeated and cast to the earth.

via Eastern Dragons Differ From Western Dragons | Culture | China | Epoch Times



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  1. Very interesting – maybe overstating the differences a little – this year in China it is a water dragon (which tempers the fire a little!)

    • Yes that’s true. In my Swedish blog I have an article about that.
      Translation: Water-Dragon (born in 1952 and 2012)
      Water has a calming effect on the dragon’s fearless temperament. Water makes it easier for the dragon to control their enthusiasm. Unlike the other dragons, who want to be in the limelight, water-dragon has easier to take a step back and reevaluate the situation. Therefore, they take smart decisions and can meet people face to face. But they can do wrong if they do not do research or do not finish one project before starting a new one.

      • I think I need too add a bit more water to my decision making this year too!

  2. Interesting post. I was just talking about this with one of my friends the other day, and how dragons are portrayed in Western movies.



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