If you like to go into tattoo parlors just to browse the patterns like I do, it’s impossible not to notice the prevalence of tattoo designs that involve a Chinese dragon. It’s easy to think it’s just because they are pretty. But if you looked deeper you would learn that these images date into ancient history in China and its culture and that the dragon is a powerful image to that ancient world.
In western lore, the dragon is most commonly associated with King Arthur’s times and our popular media has made dragons fun, silly and childlike. But in Chinese culture, dragons bear very deep spiritual and cultural meanings and the diversity and authority of dragons is rich with history and tradition.
While we in western cultures like to think we do not have a lot of mythological icons in our history, we really do. And we are the kind of people that love to observe the reverence and take part in the joy that ancient cultures such as exist in China have for a figure like the dragon. That is one great reason to think about getting a Chinese dragon tattoo. It comes with a lot of history and lore that make for great stories when people get curious about your tattoo.
Interestingly enough, while in our culture dragons are generally enemies for our wizards and knights to slay, in Chinese culture, the opposite is true. In that society, dragons are the protectors of children and those in need of a strong spiritual guardian similarly to how we see guardian angels in our culture. The role of the dragon in Chinese history goes as far back as the very first emperor or China, Huang Di. It is said that when he passed away, he actually became a dragon himself and flew into the heavens to become part of Chinese spiritual life forever. So it’s easy to see why the dragon has become so special to the Chinese people and that they love to celebrate that image in many ways in their art and festivals.
There are many different types of Chinese dragons to choose from when you decide to incorporate this powerful image into a tattoo. If the dragon figure has horns, that means it is powerful. A heavenly dragon is a protector where the spiritual dragon controls the rain and weather and the yellow dragon brings knowledge and wisdom. So you can incorporate a value you wish to enshrine in your tattoo with the appropriate Chinese dragon who rules that area of life.
In many cultures, powerful mythical creatures like the Chinese dragon have influence over weather events and freak occurrences in nature. It seems that the Chinese dragon in particular has a strong connection with different aspects of water. So within the context of Chinese culture, the dragon has a lot of control over the seas and rivers and even over waterfalls. Water spouts are often said to represent the surge of the great dragon from his lair. What a wonderful and exciting tattoo image that would make.
Because these artistic and colorful dragon images are so fascinating, they make great conversation starters when people get curious about your dragon tattoo. Take some time and shop well for the dragon image that fits your mood because you can find dragons in flight, in battle, in repose or even protecting or blessing little children. So because there are so many dragon tattoo designs out there, the odds are that when you pick yours, it will be unique to you and not often repeated.
When considering a Chinese dragon tattoo, it’s obvious because they are so artistic and gorgeous that you will want this tattoo to be in a place of honor such as your stomach, your calf, your back or your chest so it can be easily seen an admired. For the men, a Chinese dragon that is the perfect expression of strength and confidence is perfect. For the ladies, an elegant design that is as beautiful and artistic will assure that your dragon tattoo will also fit wonderfully with your fashion choices and give you great colors to coordinate with your outfits and accessories. This variety combined with the rich lore and history is without a doubt the reason that the Chinese dragon tattoo pattern has become one of the most popular forms of body art there is.