Whenever you hear the word “China” or “Chinese,” Dragons and Martial Arts come to mind immediately. Dragons are a big part of Chinese culture. And China has a very rich history of martial arts too. I am a fan of art and paintings. I love oil paintings, especially Chinese oil paintings. I don’t know what kind of enchantment it has upon me. But I just lose myself in the sheer amount of creativity and emotion created by the artist. That’s the thing about art. It doesn’t matter if it’s the best-looking painting in the entire world. What matters is how you feel when you look at the painting. Anyway, as I was saying about the Chinese oil paintings, the mythological dragons, and the awesome martial arts, the latter two are very important in the Chinese culture. First, let’s talk about dragons.
The Nine Dragons
Chinese mythology has nine different dragons in total. All of them are different from one another. They all have different characteristics, powers, and objectives. Some of them may control the wind, some the rain, another the river-flow, another controls time, and one even protects the precious stones underground like golds and pearls and stuff. Chinese dragons have always fascinated me. The western dragon or the kind of dragon that is portrayed in our side of the world spits fire, kills people, eats animals, burns crops, etc. as we see in movies or TV shows like Game of Thrones, is so much different from its Chinese counterpart. The Chinese dragon is an aquatic creature, and it lives underwater. So, it doesn’t spit fire, doesn’t destroy crops, doesn’t kill people, doesn’t have wings. But it can still fly using its magical powers. And it’s also considered as a very kind and wise creature. The Chinese people keep symbols of these dragons believing that these will bring good fortune and power.
Dragons in Chinese Culture
The Chinese dragons can be seen depicted as sculptures in temples, tour areas, and other high profile places and are painted by artists. But naturally, I like the oil paintings the most. These paintings look so much more life-like than what we see on TV. The emperors and kings of the Chinese dynasty used to wear the symbol of the dragon on their armor or crown as an indication of power and kindness. But commoners weren’t allowed to wear this kind of symbol. They would also have these big dragon statues around the emperor’s courtroom. There is a dance called the Dragon Dance, which is performed at the Chinese New Year Festival and other festivals. Basically, some people wear a big dragon costume and dance around as one unified dragon. Apart from this festival, they use dragon symbols on almost all kinds of occasions. Like, they use the symbol of a Red Dragon at weddings because it’s the symbol of good fortune. By having this symbol at a wedding, the Chinese people believe that this will bring good fortune for the newlyweds. They even have a festival called the “Dragon Boat Festival.” So, it is safe to say that dragons are a pretty big part of the Chinese culture.