Dragon. Shanghai. Flowers over the city by Andrey Soldatenko © The dragon is a symbol of power, strength, and good luck. Next year - year of Dragon in eastern zodiac.
This dragon is the only mythical creature. The dragon is a mythic animal that can be both visible or invisible, large or small, long or short, and possesses the ability to fly skyward during the spring equinox or fall downward to the rivers during the autumn equinox. In the 2000 year-old reference book, The Classics of Mountains and Seas, the dragon is an ancient animal that has combined physical characteristics from many animals. The Chinese dragon has features taken from nine distinct animals as recorded in Compendium of Materia Medica written during the Ming Dynasty. Early Chinese created the dragon by borrowing the best features in form and appearance from local animals and combining them in their imaginations. In ancient times, when natural phenomena such as rain and thunder could not be explained, the totem spirit, the dragon, created by the Chinese which was said to be the source of the wind, rain, thunder and lightning, was believed to embody the magnitude of the mountains, and to posses the ability to swim the waters and soar through the skies. Its complex structure and incredible abilities enabled the dragon to rank at the top of all animals and to become an almighty god of the people. In Romance of the Three Kingdoms, in conversation between Cao Cao and Liu Bei about their heroes, the two main characters came to the conclusion: “The dragon can both expand and contract itself, and it can surge above or and lie beneath the water’s surface. Enlarged, it creates clouds and spews mist. Contracted, it can veil its scaly form from view. Aloft it prances triumphantly in the upper realms of the heavens. Under the water’s surface, it lurks among the breaking waves. Now in the fullness of spring, it takes up the season, like men who wish to fulfill an ambition to dominate the length and breadth of the land. In this respect the dragon can well be compared to the heroes of our age".