Chinese dragons are a powerful and benevolent symbol in Chinese culture. Dragons symbolize positive characteristics like luck and goodness.

 In ancient China, agriculture production was dependent on rainfall. To pray for good fortune, people would offer sacrifices to the dragon in the spring. 

Some people believed dragons could protect their lands and harvest from flood damage. 

Yet the western stories often portrayed dragons as dangerous and evil. The western dragon looks like a lizard with sharp teeth and large wings. Whereas the Chinese dragon looks like a snake with a long body and sharp claws.

Over time, dragon worship developed into the dragon dance. Nowadays we can see Chinese dragon dances at various celebrations. 

Generally there is a long dragon dance costume made of materials like grass, bamboo, paper and cloth. Odd numbers of the dragon’s joints are auspicious. 

As a result, people often make 9-jointed, 11- jointed or even 29-jointed dragons. The dragon body is woven in a round shape of thin bamboo strips, segment by segment, and covered with a huge red cloth.



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Abigail Heng