What is the relationship between Chinese dragons and Western dragons? What are the similarities and differences between Chinese and Western dragons?

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For friends who are very interested in Chinese dragons and Western dragons, the editor of chinastory.com brings detailed articles for your reference.

Dragon is a familiar image for everyone, but if you describe the specific appearance of dragon, maybe everyone will be different. This is because there are too many “Dragons” in the world. There are dragons in Western fairy tales, dragons in European heraldry, dragons in Mesopotamia, Central Asia and even Central America, let alone Chinese dragons. Then the question arises. What does it matter to these dragons? What are the similarities and differences between Chinese and Western dragons?


Speaking of the shape of the Chinese dragon, it is undoubtedly the closest to the real snake, so many scholars believe that the image of the Dragon evolved from the snake. A survey shows that nearly 40% of modern people have a natural fear of snakes, so some people speculate that people worshipped flexible and small snakes in ancient times, but they have the ability to make people instantly deadly, so they have a sense of awe for snakes. The evidence of this statement is that Fuxi Nuwa, the “God of creation” in China, is the image of the head snake god.

As for the formation process of the “dragon totem”, it is widely said that it originated from the “Busan coincidence” of the Yellow Emperor. After defeating Chiyou and unifying the Central Plains, the Yellow Emperor combined some elements from the totems of the original tribes to form the image of the dragon. Mr. Wen Yiduo also believes that a tribe whose totem is the snake unified the tribes and created a dragon that integrates the totem characteristics of other tribes on the basis of its own totem.


In China, the image of the dragon has been undergoing minor changes. In the Ming Dynasty, the dragon became the exclusive use of the royal family. The term “descendants of the dragon” appeared only during the May 4th movement. In English, Chinese and Western dragons are translated as “dragon”, but because Western dragons generally symbolize evil, some linguists suggest translating “Chinese dragon” into “Loong” or “Chinese dragon”.

Ancient Greek culture has a far-reaching impact on Western culture, and “dragon” and “giant snake” in Greek are the same words. In Greek mythology, there is a hydra called “Hydra”. Some literary works will also paint it as the image of nine dragon heads. It was finally killed by the greatest hero Heracles. Therefore, in the west, there has always been a tradition of “the brave fighting the dragon”. Evil dragons generally exist to set off the bravery of warriors.


If Greek mythology is only a fuse, then the spread of Christianity and the Bible will make the evil image of the dragon in the West forever difficult to turn over. In the Bible, the dragon is the ancient snake, and the ancient snake is the embodiment of Satan, the “first villain”, so the dragon is equal to evil. Like gold and silver treasures, tyranny, strong revenge, these characteristics account for almost all the so-called “seven sins” in the west, and all art works also take the image of ugly dragons for granted.

Matteo Ricci first translated “Jiao” into “dragon” and “dragon” into “a big worm like a snake”. It is said that it takes 500 years for a dragon to become a dragon, while foreigners are completely confused. Later, they used the term “dragon” to collectively refer to all animals that look like dragons in China. So the Chinese dragon is also regarded as an evil and cruel animal in the west, which is why there are even kites among the five mascots of the Beijing Olympic Games, but there is no dragon.

Compared with Western dragons and Chinese dragons, their biggest difference lies in the Dragon wings like bat wings. If the Chinese dragon is completely a “saved” image, then in reality, there is an animal named flying lizard, which is almost exactly the same as the Western dragon, but it is only a reduced version. Although these little guys can’t fly like real dragons, they are highly skilled gliders. They can advance 60 meters and fall only two meters, which is basically no different from flying. Disclaimer: the above content originates from the network, and the copyright belongs to the original author. Please inform us if your original copyright is infringed, and we will delete the relevant content as soon as possible.

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