Sample Paper on Dragons at China Qing Dynasty to 21st century

Dragons at China, Qing Dynasty to 21st century

In China, dragon has been an instrumental part of the culture. Originally, it was thought to be a spiritual being until its image became more vivid in the Zhou dynasty (Balmer, Illia and Brena 63). This paper takes a historical overview of the Chinese dragon with a view of establishing its different meanings and how they have changed over time.

To start with, Chinese dragon is depicted as a combination of number of animals. This dragon has a neck of a snake, its eyes are of the devil, its abdomen is of a rooster, its claws are of an eagle and its paws are of tiger. The dragon was thought to be living underwater. Accordingly, they were associated with wetlands, clouds and rain (Thorbjarnarson, Xiaoming and George 56). During the Qing Dynasty, dragon was a symbol of authority. It was also a symbol of strength and fertility. In this respect, emperors in Qin dynasty considered themselves the real dragons, and in some instances, they considered themselves the sons of heavens. In line with this practice, emperors’ beds were known as dragon beds, their thrones were known as dragon thrones or simply dragon seats while their ceremonial dresses were known as dragon robes. Apart from this, emperors in this dynasty considered their sons to be the seeds of dragons.

Just like the calligraphy that had nine animals, the dragon’s robe that was worn by emperors during the Qing dynasty, had nine images of animals. The said robe symbolized power and authority. Accordingly, only emperors and those in power wore these robes. As a symbol of authority, emperor’s robes had five paws, and to distinguish them from the ones worn by vassals, those worn by vassals had four paws. During this dynasty, dragon was considered to have power over the rain, floods and hurricane. As a result, as a symbol of strength and power, dragons were found on national flag during the Qin dynasty (Balmer, Illia and Brena 63).

On the other hand, during the recent times, the perception and meaning of dragon has changed in China. Accordingly, rather than considering dragons as symbols of power and authority, today Chinese people consider dragons to be symbols of luck and happiness. With regard to luck, number nine is considered a symbol of luck in China. The dragon has nine different images of animals that symbolize the nine children of the dragon. In line with these nine animals, Chinese people interpret dragon to be a symbol of luck. On the other hand, apart from depicting dragon as a source of luck, Chinese people also depict dragon as a source of wisdom (Thorbjarnarson, Xiaoming and George 56). They also associate dragons with generosity. As a source of happiness, Chinese consider dragon to be a symbol of courage and self-confidence. In this respect, they claim that it instills them with power than enables them to be happy.

To a great extent, these different meanings relate to the various attributes of the dragon. The good fortune comes from the nine images of the dragon while the power and authority come from the dragon’s energy. On the other hand, the power that the dragon possesses enables it to release water and bring prosperity. Consequently, although the meaning of Chinese dragon has been changing with time, it has been linked to its inherent animal images.


Work cited

Balmer, John, Illia Laura, and Brena Almudena. Contemporary Perspectives on Corporate Marketing: Contemplating Corporate Branding, Marketing and Communications in the 21st Century. New York: Routledge 2013

Thorbjarnarson, John, Xiaoming Wang, and George Schaller. The Chinese Alligator: Ecology, Behavior, Conservation, and Culture. Baltimore, Md: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010. Print.