Worship the Chinese Loong

Dragon cultures exit in both the Eastern and Western world, though the mythical animal looks and symbolizes significantly different in the two opposite world. The Chinese Dragon, which has got a more specific name "Loong" — a word created on the base of the pronunciation of its counterpart character in Chinese — is a deified animal worshipped by the Chinese people from the time immemorial. It is deeply rooted in Chinese culture, being generally regarded as benevolent, powerful, worshipful and lucky. The Chinese often consider themselves 'the descendants of the dragon.'

The legendary creature looks like a combination of many animals. For the Chinese people, Dragons were described visually as a composite of parts from nine animals: The horns of a deer; the head of a camel; the eyes of a devil; the neck of a snake; the abdomen of a large cockle; the scales of a carp; the claws of an eagle; the paws of a tiger; and the ears of an ox.

In the minds of the early Chinese people, the dragon was a god that embodied the will and ideals of the Chinese people. It is said that the dragon is a large-scaled reptile, which can become dark or bright, large or small, long or short, and can fly into the sky in the spring and live under the water in the fall. It seems that the dragon is capable of doing almost anything. Traditionally the dragons are considered as the governors of rainfalls in Chinese culture. They have the power to decide where and when to have rain. They believe the kings of the water dragons live in the dragon palaces under the oceans.

In ancient China nobody had any doubts about the existence of dragons. People showed great respect for any dragon depicted in pictures, carvings and writings, and as a result the dragon became the symbol of Chinese nation. All people in china, including the emperor, prostrated themselves before the image of a dragon with reverence and awe. As a result, this unreal animal became the spiritual sustenance for a nation: firstly, as the totem of a tribe and then as the symbol of the nation.

Chinese emperors think they are the real dragons and the sons of the heaven. Thus the beds they sleep on are called the dragon beds, the throne called the dragon seat, and the emperor's ceremonial dresses called the dragon robes. Also dragons can be seen on the buildings in the imperial palace. Dragon screens are an important part of this dragon culture. The dragon is a symbol of imperial power.

The dragon also plays an important part in Chinese Festivals. The dragon dance has a long history, which was already a popular event during the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD). The Dragon Boat Festival is almost purely dragon-related festival, which becomes popular international events now.

Dragon is also one of the twelve zodiac signs. Since it represents royalty, if someone is born under the sign of the dragon, he or she is apt to be regal, possess strong leadership qualities, have a large ego, and can be somewhat tyrannical.

Source: http://chineseculture.about.com/