The Chinese dragon (Lung) was a divine bringer of rain, necessary for the good of the people. Throughout Chinese history the dragon has been equated with weather. It is said that some of the worst floodings were caused when a mortal has upset a dragon. Legend says that they could cause a drought by gathering up all the water of a district in baskets, or they could eclipse the sun. The dragon was also a symbol of the emperor whose wisdom and divine power assured the well-being of his subjects. Many legends draw connections between the dragon and the emperor. Some emperors claimed to have descended from the dragon.
Chinese dragons of myth could make themselves as large as the universe or as small as a silkworm. They could also change color and disappear in a flash. They rise to the skies in the spring and plunge into the waters in the autumn.
The Dragon ("Long") is a fabulous beast with the head of a camel, horns of a deer, eyes of a fish, ears of a buffalo, body and neck of a snake, scales of a carp, claws of an eagle, and feet of a tiger. A long barb hangs on each side of its mouth, and a jewel adorns its tongue. Long has a crest of 81 scales running down the length of its backbone. It can live in the sky, the water, or underground. It is immortal and does not reproduce. The "Giao Long", which are half lizard half snakes automatically become dragons after a thousand years.
The dragon is a symbol of power and nobility to the Vietnamese. The dragon was the special symbol of the emperors, who was considered to be the son of Heaven. A five clawed dragon was found on the official dress of the emperor, and the four clawed dragon decorated the official dress of high dignitaries of the Royal Court.
The dragon is known in many other parts
of the world. Hanoi was once known as the Dragon City. In Iceland, the
god Loki has associations with a female dragon. In the British Isles there
are dragon caves and dragon haunted lochs. In Hawaii, all the dragons are
believed descended from the mother goddess Mo-o-inanea, the 'self-reliant