With the start of the Chinese New Year, there’s bound to bea few more dragon sightings over the next 15 days – especially since it is the year of the dragon.
For those who follow the Chinese zodiac, dragons are a bigdeal. Known as the most noble animal symbol representing the Chinese emperors,dragons are thought to be born leaders and masters of ceremonies. And becauseof this, every Chinese parent is hoping to have a dragon child.
But for monster hunters – and trapped fairy tale princesses– the dragon is much more feared than revered. And a worthy Prince must slaythe beast if he hopes to win the heart of his beloved bride. No easy task.
Often depicted as reptilian with a giant lizard-like bodyand a forked tongue, the most-popular dragons have large eyes, scaly, featheredbodies, and the ability to breathe fire. These fire-breathers, known as FireDrake, make frequent appearances in literature. In addition to Puff the MagicDragon (who lived by the sea), you may be aware of Smaug, the last of the fire-breathingdragons in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, or Norbert, the green Fire Drakehatched by Hagrid, the groundskeeper of Hogwart’s College in the Harry Potterbooks.
Of course, as with most legendary creatures, these beastiestake on a different form depending on were they’re from. Chinese Dragonsresemble large snakes. European Dragons have bat-type wings growing from theirbacks. And in the New Testament, the Devil himself morphed into a red dragonwith seven heads and ten horns for his battle with Archangel Michael.
Regardless of culture, the Dragon is steeped in lore, itsexistence foretelling everything from power to prosperity. Keep your eyes open– this is the dragon’s year.
Survival Tip: Getthee to a sword shop and then watch ThePrincess Bride. A few times. Wesley may not have to do battle with adragon, but his sword-wielding techniques are legendary.