A dragon is a large magical legendary creature that appears in the folklore of multiple cultures worldwide. Beliefs about dragons vary considerably through regions, but dragons in Western cultures since the High Middle Ages have often been depicted as winged, horned, and capable of breathing fire. Dragons in eastern cultures are usually depicted as wingless, four-legged, serpentine creatures with above-average intelligence. Commonalities between dragons' traits are often a hybridization of feline, reptilian, mammal, and avian features. Scholars believe vast extinct or migrating crocodiles bear the closest resemblance, especially when encountered in forested or swampy areas, and are most likely the template of modern Asian dragon imagery.
Chinese mythology is mythology that has been passed down in oral form or recorded in literature throughout the area now known as Greater China. Chinese mythology includes many varied myths from regional and cultural traditions. Much of the mythology involves exciting stories full of fantastic people and beings, the use of magical powers, often taking place in an exotic mythological place or time. Like many mythologies, Chinese mythology has in the past been believed to be, at least in part, a factual recording of history. Along with Chinese folklore, Chinese mythology forms an important part of Chinese folk religion and Taoism, especially older popular forms of it. Many stories regarding characters and events of the distant past have a double tradition: ones which present a more historicized or euhemerized version and ones which present a more mythological version.
Fènghuáng are mythological birds found in Sinospheric mythology that reign over all other birds. The males were originally called fèng and the females huáng, but this distinction of gender is often no longer made and they are blurred into a single feminine entity so that the bird can be paired with the Chinese dragon, which is traditionally deemed male.
In Chinese mythology, Longmu, transliterated as Lung Mo in Cantonese, was a Chinese woman who was deified as a goddess after raising five infant dragons. Longmu and her dragons developed a strong bond for each other and have thus become an example of filial devotion and parental love, an important virtue in Chinese culture.
Yinglong is a winged dragon and rain deity in ancient Chinese mythology.
Japanese dragons are diverse legendary creatures in Japanese mythology and folklore. Japanese dragon myths amalgamate native legends with imported stories about dragons from China, Korea and the Indian subcontinent. The style and appearance of the dragon was heavily influenced by the Chinese dragon, especially the three-clawed long (龍) dragons which were introduced in Japan from China in ancient times. Like these other East Asian dragons, most Japanese ones are water deities or kami associated with rainfall and bodies of water, and are typically depicted as large, wingless, serpentine creatures with clawed feet.
Vietnamese dragons are symbolic creatures in Vietnamese folklore and mythology. According to an ancient origin myth, the Vietnamese people are descended from a dragon and a fairy. The dragon was symbolic of bringing rain, essential for agriculture. It represents the emperor, the prosperity and power of the nation. Similar to the Chinese dragon, the Vietnamese dragon is the symbol of yang, representing the universe, life, existence, and growth.
The Yellow Dragon (simplified Chinese: 黄龙; traditional Chinese: 黃龍; pinyin: Huánglóng; Cantonese Yale: Wong4 Lung4 is the zoomorphic incarnation of the Yellow Emperor of the center of the universe in Chinese religion and mythology.
Chinese culture attaches certain values to colours, like which colours are considered auspicious (吉利) or inauspicious (不利). The Chinese word for "colour" is yánsè (顏色). In Classical Chinese, the character sè (色) more accurately meant "colour in the face", or "emotion". It was generally used alone and often implied sexual desire or desirability. During the Tang dynasty, the word yánsè came to mean 'all colour'. A Chinese idiom with the meaning "many colours" or "multi-coloured", Wǔyánliùsè (五顏六色), can also mean 'colours' in general.
Chiwen is a Chinese dragon, and in Chinese mythology is one of the nine sons of the dragon. He is depicted in imperial roof decorations and other ornamental motifs in traditional Chinese architecture and art.
Teng or Tengshe is a flying dragon in Chinese mythology.
The flag of the Qing dynasty was an emblem adopted in the late 19th century featuring the Azure Dragon on a plain yellow field with the red flaming pearl in the upper left corner. It became the first national flag of China and is usually referred to as the "Yellow Dragon Flag".
Dragon robes, also known as gunlongpao or longpao for short, is a form of everyday clothing which had a Chinese dragon, called long (龍), as the main decoration; it was worn by the emperors of China. Dragon robes were also adopted by the rulers of neighbouring countries, such as Korea, Vietnam, and the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Much traditional Chinese art was made for the imperial court, often to be then redistributed as gifts. As well as Chinese painting, sculpture and Chinese calligraphy, there are a great range of what may be called decorative or applied arts. Chinese fine art is distinguished from Chinese folk art, which differs in its style and purpose. This article gives an overview of the many different applied arts of China.
Cranes are an important motif in Chinese mythology. There are various myths involving cranes, and in Chinese mythology cranes are generally symbolically connected with the idea of longevity. In China, the crane mythology is associated with the divine bird worship in the animal totemism; cranes have a spiritual meaning where they are a form of divine bird which travels between heaven and man's world. Cranes regularly appear in Chinese arts such as paintings, tapestry, and decorative arts; they are also often depicted carrying the souls of the deceased to heaven. The crane is the second most important bird after the fenghuang, the symbol of the empress, in China.
Mangfu, also known as mangpao, huayi, and python robe, sometimes referred as dragon robe although they are different garments, in English, is a type of paofu, a robe, in hanfu. The mangfu falls under the broad category of mangyi, where the mangfu is considered as being the classic form of mangyi. The mangfu was characterized by the use of a python embroidery called mang although the python embroidery is not a python snake as defined in the English dictionary but a four-clawed Chinese dragon-like creature. The mangfu was derived from the longpao in order to differentiate monarchs and subjects; i.e. only the Emperor is allowed to wear the long, five-clawed dragon, while his subjects wears mang. The mangfu was worn in the Ming and Qing dynasties. They had special status among the Chinese court clothing as they were only second to the longpao. Moreover, their use were restricted, and they were part of a special category of clothing known as cifu, which could only be awarded by the Chinese Emperor in the Ming and Qing dynasties, becoming "a sign of imperial favour". People who were bestowed with mangfu could not exchange it with or gifted it to other people. They were worn by members of the imperial family below of crown prince, by military and civil officials, and by Official wives. As an official clothing, the mangfu were worn by officials during celebration occasions and ceremonial events. They could also be bestowed by the Emperor to people who performed extraordinary services to the empire as rewards, to the members of the Grand Secretariat and to prominent Daoist patriarchs, imperial physicians, tributary countries and local chiefs whose loyalty were considered crucial to secure the borders. The mangfu is also used as a form of xifu, theatrical costume, in Chinese opera, where it is typically found in the form of a round-necked robe, known as yuanlingpao. In Beijing opera, the mangfu used as xifu is known as Mang.
Qizhuang, also known as Manfu and commonly inappropriately referred as Manchu clothing in English, is the traditional clothing of the Manchu people. Qizhuang in the broad sense refers to the clothing system of the Manchu people, which includes their whole system of attire used for different occasions with varying degrees of formality. The term qizhuang can also be used to refer to a type of informal dress worn by Manchu women known as chenyi, which is a one-piece long robe with no slits on either sides. In the Manchu tradition, the outerwear of both men and women includes a full-length robe with a jacket or a vest while short coats and trousers are worn as inner garments.
Lishui or shuijiao is a set of parallel diagonal, multicoloured sea-waves/line patterns. It originated in China where it was used by the Qing dynasty court prior to the mid-18th century. Lishui represents the deep sea under which the ocean surges and waves; it is therefore typically topped with "still water", which is represented by concentric semicircle patterns which runs horizontally. Lishui was used to decorate garments, including the bottom hem and cuffs of some of the court clothing of the Qing dynasty. It could be used to decorate as wedding dress items. It is also used to decorate Chinese opera costumes, typically on the bottom hem of the costumes. It was also adopted in some court clothing of the Nguyen dynasty in Vietnam under the influence of the Qing dynasty.
Chinese auspicious ornaments in textile and clothing refers to any form of Chinese auspicious ornaments, which are used to decorate various forms of Chinese textile and clothing, fashion accessories, and footwear in China since the ancient times. Chinese auspicious ornaments form part of Chinese culture and hold symbolic meanings. In ancient China, auspicious ornaments were often either embroidered or woven into textile and clothing. They are also used on religious and ritual clothing and in Xifu, Chinese opera costumes. Auspicious symbols and motifs continue to be used in present day China in industries, such as home textiles and clothing; they are also used in modern design packaging and interior design. Some of these Chinese auspicious ornaments were also culturally appropriated by European countries during the era of Chinoiserie, where they became decorative patterns on fashionable chinoiserie fashion and textiles.