Undoubtedly, the classic Chinese tattoos have a somewhat unique attraction that can be appreciated very easily, irrespective of the fact that very few people who adorn these tattoos fully understand their subtle meanings.
Why a Chinese Dragon?
When you are getting a tattoo, aesthetics should be your primary concern, and the Chinese dragon has this and a lot more. These tattoos are indeed well-suited for every purpose. While inking has always been looked upon as a unique work of art, whether good or bad, these tattoos add to the essence.
For many centuries now, the Chinese dragon has symbolized mystery and power. Depicted in thousands of legends, both Eastern as well as Western, the dragon has indeed provoked man to not only fear it, but to worship it as well. In medieval Europe, it was looked upon as a fire-breathing, bloodthirsty figure. Its ferociousness and malevolence struck terror in every person. However, going east towards Asia, the opposite was believed. In Asia, the mighty dragon was looked upon as a mythical beast and was celebrated by all for its intelligence, benevolence, and good will. Today, it has become a common symbol amongst many of the Far Eastern cultures.
Symbolism and Meanings
Most Chinese people are affectionately known as the lung de chuan ren or the 'descendants of the dragon'. There are seven distinct species of these dragons. They are as follows.
- The Horned Dragon, who is looked upon as the mightiest of all.
- The Celestial Dragon, who protects the Gods and supports Heaven.
- The Earth Dragon, who rules Mother Earth.
- The Spiritual Dragon, who controls the rain and wind.
- The Treasure Dragon, who is considered to be the keeper of precious gems and metals.
- The Winged Dragon, who is the only type to have wings.
- The Coiling Dragon, who lives within the oceans.
- The Yellow Dragon, who is hornless and is famous for its scholarly importance and knowledge.
Dragons are often viewed as defenders of treasures and homes, and some tattoo designs are amongst the most colorful you will ever see. Many times, you will find people with a dragon inked all across their backs or extending all the way down their arms. A tiny design tattooed on a woman's ankle won't have that big an impact as would a man with a dragon inked all across his back.
Of all the mythical beings that are known, the Chinese dragon is by and large the most universal, and is usually prominently featured in many different cultures, as it represents the different elements and the four points of a compass. In china, it would symbolize Water, Sky, Earth, and the Underworld. In terms of culture, it is indeed a far-ranging character whose bad temper should perhaps be interpreted as being amoral, neither good nor bad. Nature not only nurtures, it has the ability to destroy as well, and this is the same for the dragon. Rain, floods, lightning, comets - all the uncertainty and chaos of the universe is represented in the symbol of the dragon.
Designs to Try
The image of the dragon has always been imagined as a fire-breathing creature. Those are fire dragons. There are water dragons as well that cause the springs to bubble up and sometimes drown people. Whatever may be the type of tattoo you choose, dragons are powerful and are sometimes balanced with other designs like the yin and yang.
The fire dragon tattoo conjures images of conquering all things, while the water dragon represents repressed feelings and emotions and fear. Find out the true meaning of each dragon before you go ahead and get a tattoo if the symbolism is important to you.
Equally important is the tattoo artist. Choose the best and most reputed tattoo artist before you make your final decision. The art of drawing tattoos is indeed a complicated one and you don't want any amateur artist doing yours. Your tattoo shouldn't come across as ridiculous-looking.
As with most artistic styles and cultural trends, the art of tattooing and tattoos has long since endured various different cycles of popularity - waxing and waning with each passing season. However, the Chinese dragon is one design has lasted the years and is still one of the most popular tattoo styles.