The Chinese refer to their most celebrated mythical animal as 'Lung' or Long', and this animal is the centre of all Chinese festivals, including the acclaimed New Year. The supreme love and respect the dragon gets from the Chinese people are because they believe the creature control rainfall and floods. The dragon statue is so prominent in Chinese culture that Western Chinatowns include its imagery in their decor as the animal itself is associated with Chinese architecture. However, it would be wrong to reduce this classic creature to just a lucky charm for the Chinese, as its legacy extends beyond that.
What Does the Dragon Represent to the Chinese?
The dragon is a massive symbol of power, good fortune, prosperity, and wealth. Some of China's largest statues, monuments, and buildings are dedicated to the dragon as a sign of sincere respect. The mythical animal indeed makes up a good part of the nation's folklore and mythology. Even the Chinese zodiac consists of several stories involving the dragon that is still enchanting to listen to today. According to legend, the Emperor in Ancient China was the only person given divine permission to wear robes, including dragon imagery. Due to this practice, the dragon quickly became a symbol of imperialism and royalty, and later Emperors continued the tradition.
Several animals inspire a dragon's features, and the dragon is said to be a mixture of the crocodile for its scales and jaw. For its horns, the dragon is compared to deers. A dragon's wings, on the other hand, are taken from birds, though much larger. The dragon's wings give it unconventional power over all other animals, and thus, it is feared in Chinese mythology. As rain is seen as a blessing to the Chinese, the dragon's ability to bring rains to drought-stricken lands earns its worship from the Chinese. The people also build shrines and temples for this purpose, and sacrifices are made to the animal.
The Chinese claim to be descendants of the dragon, so they believe that those blessed with certain traits are most likely to be helped by the dragon's forces. Yellow or gold is the most common colour used to decorate dragon costumes and statues. The colour represents nobility and regal features, and when paired with blue, it shows the dragon as a benevolent and peaceful creature eager to help its people. The dragon zodiac is the most popular from the Chinese calendar, and it is considered incredibly lucky to be born in the year of the dragon. Government buildings in China often have their interiors decorated with dragon statues in various colours. Red dragon sculptures signify good luck and prosperity, which are desirable traits to surround yourself with.
The Significance of Dragon Statues in China
Dragon sculptures are integral to Feng Shui practices, as the art instructs its followers to place dragon imagery around their houses. The West depicts dragons as vile, ruthless creatures that cause mass destruction. This portrayal is strikingly different from the Chinese, which shows the dragon as a friendly, loving, and protective animal. A dragon statue contains strong Yang energy, according to Feng Shui. This is the male energy responsible for ambition, mental peace, and comfortable sleep. However, having too many dragon statues in your house may surround you with an excess of Yang energy and make you restless and irritable. Feng Shui implores you to find the balance between Yin and Yang, as only that will lead to good fortune.
The Chinese dragon is associated with heroism and bravery, as it often guards treasure in myths and fights valiantly against enemies. People in Ancient China relied on dragon statues and art pieces to protect themselves against evil forces. Through the art of Feng Shui, this practice is regenerated. A dragon's energy is timeless, and it will guard you against threats and danger just as it did with the Ancient Chinese. The dragon is a divine, and righteous creature, any statue dedicated to the animal, symbolizes wisdom and strength. If you want to enhance the guarding properties of dragon statues, look for a pair of them that you can place outside the entrance to your house. Dragon sculptures are particularly suited for the outdoors, and decorating your garden or lawn with such pieces is very popular in the West.
The dragon symbolizes both Yin and Yang when placed in pairs, thus demonstrating the duality of life and a balance between positive and negative forces. The Chinese strongly believe Yin and Yang control the happenings in the universe, and they rely on a balance between them to establish peace and good fortune. This belief means that the dragon signifies both good and evil and can attain maximum advantage from both. Making space for dragon statues inside or outside your house implies that you respect the animal and do your best to honour it. This act brings goodness, intelligence, and blessings.
Modern dragon statues are less extravagant than those of traditional China. These statues are often crafted from resin, ceramic, or a mixture of bronze and copper. The pose and colour of a dragon sculpture are exceedingly important, as each variation can mean something different. Miniature dragon statues in emerald represent fertility and the unavoidable cycle of life. These statues help maintain ties with your family and bring you closer to your spouse or children. Dragon sculptures containing hints of black and white signify rebirth and supernatural power. These pieces are often connected with the Chinese moon goddess and bring order and integrity to your household. It is important not to place a dragon statue in the direction of a wall or corner as it may be disrespectful to the mythical animal. The statue should look over the room and be visible at all times. East Asia inhibits a strong culture of placing dragon statues outside the home to bring in dignity and good luck. However, keeping them inside the house is no less favourable, and the dragon's iconic symbolism is powerful wherever it is placed.