Chinese Dragon Tattoos
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The dragon has long represented mystery and power in China.
In general, Chinese dragon tattoos represent:
- Good luck
There are many types of Chinese dragons, amongst them:
- The horned dragon: the wearer chooses to be mighty in their actions or words.
- The earth dragon: rules the earth and sends a message of connection to the earth or land.
- The yellow dragon: a hornless dragon known for scholarly knowledge.
- The celestial dragon: protects the Gods. Many people with strong spiritual beliefs choose the celestial dragon to share those beliefs and confirm their own spiritual path. It's one of the most popular tattoo dragons.
Some characteristics of Chinese dragons:
- Its body is covered in scales (117 to be precise).
- They have a snake-like appearance.
- They have 4 legs with 5 claws on each leg. Earlier versions first had 3 and later 4 claws or toes.
- Dragons are associated with water, they can control the weather and bring rain.
- They often have a flaming pearl under its chin.
- Most of them don't have wings (although they can fly).
- Chinese dragons (and dragons in general) have supernatural powers.
The Dragon in Chinese Mythology
Simplified Chinese Symbol for Dragon
Traditional Chinese Symbol for Dragon
In Chinese mythology, dragons fulfilled a myriad of functions and your Chinese dragon tattoo can be chosen for one of these meanings:
- To the Chinese, the dragon is the lord of the four elements (earth, air, fire and water) and of the four directions (north, east, south, west). As such, a Chinese dragon design can remind us we are part of nature and our environment.
- In Chinese mythology, the dragon could shape-shift into other creatures, for instance in a human, a silkworm or the entire universe. Sometimes other creatures were changed into a dragon to reward them for their good deeds. In this light, a Chinese dragon tattoo can be a symbol for a positive change in your life.
- Dragons were also present in ancient Buddhist stories. In these stories, dragons were protectors of the Buddha and helped him to defeat evil spirits. That's why until today dragons are used in temple art, such as statues, carvings or paintings.
Dragons have a yang (male) nature and are associated with the number 9, a lucky number in China because it is the biggest possible single number.
Here's the top 3 of dragon tattoo placements:
- Most often a dragon tattoo 'winds' itself up a person’s arm (or leg) and ends on the chest (see pic below). This is a natural placement for Asian dragon tattoos, being long and snake-like. An added benefit of such a placement is that it enhances your muscles and makes you look stronger.
- The upper back is also a popular spot, the dragon's head extending over the shoulder to the chest.
- For women, the most popular spot for a dragon tattoo is the side of the body.
Dragons in Chinese designs are often combined with a tiger or phoenix, usually in a fighting pose. In such designs, the dragon symbolizes the positive force and the tiger or phoenix the negative or destructive force.
The Dragon Sign In The Chinese Zodiac
According to the Chinese zodiac system, you are a dragon if you are born in the year 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000 or 2012.
People born in the year of the dragon are said to have the following attributes:
- Strong and powerful
Chinese Dragon Gallery
Here are some more pics and designs: