It is amazing to note the disparity that exists between the western interpretation of the dragon and the Chinese. The western world takes the fire breathing dragon at its face value which makes it a rather evil and fear inspiring creature. In China however the dragon is a symbol of good luck and good virtues like brevity, courage and benevolence.
The dragon is a prominent feature in many Asian cultures but nowhere is it as popular as it is in China. Throughout the history of China however the dragon has been portrayed as a positive character that is intelligent as well as kind. There are many superstitious beliefs associated with the image of the dragon but what is more interesting is the physical appearance of this mythical character which has been dreamed into life.
The dragon is no earthly creature and this is common knowledge. Anyone who believes otherwise needs to see a psychiatrist. Even the Chinese admit that it is a mythical character that has long been part of Chinese mythology.
This however raises the question of where the dragon gets its physical features from. The head and face of the dragon are unlike any other animal on planet Earth yet the dragon bears many features in common with other animals. In truth the image of the dragon was conceived by taking different elements from different animals and composing a whole new creature.
The inspiration behind the dragon
The traditional Chinese dragon is believed to be composed of a variety of different elements from various animals. The head of the dragon is that of a camel where those big eyes have been taken from the rabbit. The horns on the head belong to a stag whereas the dragon takes its ears from the cow. When you observe the long neck it reminds you of the body of a snake and the scaly texture is inspired by fish. Underneath the dragon sports the belly from a frog and the claws of a hawk coming out from the palm of a tiger.
In addition to the above mentioned features the dragon has whiskers as well as a beard. Although the dragon features big cow like ears it is considered to be deprived of the sense of hearing. Just like the physical features of the dragon have been extracted from various different animals the dragon is also believed to have extra ordinary abilities. It can swim underwater if that be the need or walk on the land comfortably. Alternatively the dragon can also soar through the skies.
Over the years the Chinese have developed various crafts based on the dragon themes. These crafts are most commonly used during festive seasons and as souvenirs by tourists. One of the most popular versions is the dragon puppet featured in the Chinese New Year.
You will also be able to find DIY Chinese dragon head designs that are popularly used as decoration items. The locals also use it to ward off evil. There are many variations of dragon DIY crafts that children can also enjoy.