Chinese Dragon Tattoo Designs and Meanings
By Graeme Wheeler
It is believed that the mythical creature developed its appearance from the totem poles of many different tribes in China. As the tribes merged, the different attributes of the dragon's appearance took shape. The Chinese dragon is believed to have evolved over time to incorporate the features of 9 animals to become the mythical creature it is today. These features include the:
• Horns of a deer
• Head of a camel
• Eyes of a demon
• Neck of a snake
• Stomach of a clam
• Scales of a carp fish
• Claws of an eagle
• Soles of a tiger
• Ears of a cow
Combine these features together and you have the Chinese Dragon, a very popular tattoo design over the ages and evermore so now.
It is common for many oriental pictures of the Chinese dragon to show a pearl or thunder-ball under its chin - representing good luck and wisdom. Some pictures also show Chinese dragons with bat wings, although dragons are able to fly without wings.
Chinese Dragon Tattoo Meanings
The Chinese dragon tattoo is centuries old which adds to its appeal and mystic. It is a symbol of mystery and power, wisdom and good will. These dragons are considered good luck and are linked heavily with the number nine, as there are nine sections to the dragon. Qualities include loyalty courage and strength.
The Chinese Dragon is a divine mythical creature that warded off bad spirits. They have a strong link with authority in China. The Chinese proclaim themselves "Long De Chuan Ren" or descendents of the dragon because when the first Emperor Huang Di died, (considered by the Chinese as their ancestor) legend has it that he turned into a dragon and rose to heaven. This lead to the Chinese dragon becoming a symbol of imperial authority and power. The five toed Chinese dragon was reserved for the emperor alone. Peasants wearing such a symbol would be put to death.
These creatures have 117 scales, 81 of these scales are yang (positive) and 36 are yin (negative), so the dragon is yang creature.
The legend states that dragons originated in China and spread throughout the region, getting as far as Japan. The Chinese dragons have five toes, the Korean dragons have four toes and as you get further away, such as Japan, the dragons have three toes. It was not possible for dragons to go any further than Japan and lose any more toes.
Chinese dragons are believed to have a controlling force over water, such as seas, rivers waterfalls and the like. Water spouts are associated with dragons rising. When droughts or floods occur, it was common for sacrifices to be offered to the dragons to appease them. Legend has it that dragons have the ability to burst clouds and bring down the rain. If they are angry, they can cause floods.
The beauty of the design, combined with the stunning red, black and green colors make the Chinese Dragon tattoo design very popular.
Did you know that one out of every five people regret their tattoo design, according to a recent Harris Poll. If you are thinking of getting a tattoo, don't make these common mistakes - with this free tattoo guide and a review of the top online tattoo galleries.