Chinese Dragon and Chinese Language

Chinese dragon and Chinese language

The divine Dragon is created and worshipped by Chinese people, and it is also considerately endowed with metaphorical meanings, which indicate people’s wishes and dreams. The unmatched dragon is not only a symbol of China, and also a symbolic language sign which is used in plentiful conventional idioms, proverbs and allegorical sayings, enriches Chinese language and culture, and has heavy influences on people’s thinking mode. And dragon has been given special meanings of good luck, success, fortune, well-being and authority, which are coded into Chinese language through mainly two kinds of rhetoric- simile and metaphor. 

Blessing from Dragon

Since  dragon is powerful and there is nothing it can’t do, people are certainly craving for it and want to be just like a dragon. Parents always have a hope that their children will be successful and would like to give children names containing the Chinese word of dragon (long), such as the Chinese name of Jackie Chan-Cheng Long, which has a literal meaning of being a dragon. This psychological phenomenon, is summarized by an idiom: wang zi cheng long(望子成龙)- hoping that the descendants  become a dragon, successful people. As for good luck, there is an idiom, long feng cheng xiang(龙凤呈祥)-dragon and phoenix bring good and lucky things. Through it, people wish things go well as expected. 

Selected as a member of Chinese zodiac, dragon is deeply combined with Chinese people’s life and Chinese language and culture, and it is well-known at home and abroad. The attributes of dragon can be decoded through dragon years, and in a dragon year, people will recall dragon’s stories and explain them to children, and give blessings related with dragon. Those stories and blessings tell the origin, status, and anything about dragon. In Chinese Spring Festival, people would give blessing to each other, and some blessings come from the zodiac year. If it is a dragon year, and the blessings are relative to dragon, which are widely welcomed. Here is a brief introduction of several blessings.


Er long teng fei(二龙腾飞)-Two dragons soar into the sky, is used to describe the speed of development is fast, and implies a blessing: wish you be successful at the top speed.
Long teng si hai(龙腾四海) has a literal meaning as that dragon conquers all oceans, and it has an implied meaning as a blessing-wish you be excellent and outstanding in all fields.
Yu yue long men(鱼跃龙门) indicates that fish leap through the dragon door, and the story after the successful leap tells that the fish transforms into a dragon. As a blessing, it gives a wish of success in career or cause, or a wish of status promotion. 
Sheng long huo hu(生龙活虎) denotes that a person lives like an alive dragon and like an alive tiger, which wishes people are healthy, energetic, powerful, vigorous and strong.

Idioms and Dragon's Attributes

Chinese dragon and Chinese language
 

Dragon has attributes as strong, powerful, rare and successful, which can be told from the following idioms.
Xiang long fu hu(降龙伏虎) means: to defeat dragons and tigers, and then it is used to describe that a person is so mighty that he or she can defeat strong opponents or overcome difficulties. 
Long teng hu yue(龙腾虎跃)-flying like a dragon, leaping like a tiger, describes a person’s tremendous endeavors, which is also the Chinese name of a Chinese film-Fearless Hyena.
Lin feng long gui(麟凤龙龟) -kylin, phoenix, tortoise and dragon, describes the scarceness of something or refers to someone who is respectful and noble(notes: kylin, phoenix, tortoise and dragon are kings of their species, respected as the Chinese Four Symbols).
Wo hu cang long(卧虎藏龙)-croughing tiger, hidden dragon, refers to the hidden talents, or elites, and this idiom is also the name of a Chinese film.

 
Dragon is a royal symbol, and the Emperor is the embodiment of dragon, which makes dragon referred as the Emperor, then lots of words and idioms about dragon and the Emperor have been created. The clothes wore by the Emperor are called Dragon Robe, and the throne is called Dragon Throne. The following explains some idioms about dragon and the Emperor.


Long yan da nu(龙颜大怒) tells that the dragon shows an angry face, and it is used to describe that the emperor gets angry.
Long chu feng zhong(龙雏凤种) describes the offspring of dragon and phoenix, which is used to specially refer to the descendants of the Emperor.
Long yu shang bin(龙驭上宾) writes the dragon flies to the heaven, which is a metaphor to tell the death of the Emperor.
Fei long zai tian(飞龙在天) has the meaning that the flying dragon is in the sky, while it metaphorically refers that the Emperor is in office and runs the country.

Anecdotes and Dragon

Chinese dragon and Chinese language

Hua long dian jing(画龙点睛)-a wall painting of dragons is finished by the last painting of their eyes, is used to describe that the important sentences make an article vivid, and it comes from a funny story. An artist, named Zhang zengyao, draws four dragons without eyes in the An Le Temple, Nanjing. When asked the reason, he said the dragons would fly away if they have their eyes painted, but listeners do not buy the reason, think he is arrogant and absurd, and ask him to paint the eyes. After he draws eyes for two dragons, all of a sudden,  thunder and lightning break the wall, and the two dragons with eyes fly away, while the other two dragons without eyes are still on the wall.


Ye gong hao long(叶公好龙)-Lord Ye is obsessed with the dragon, is used to mock that a person do not really like something, and it also has a story. Lord Ye is so fond of dragons that drawings and carvings of dragons are everywhere in his house, engraved in beams, pillars, walls, etc.  His love to dragons is known by the real dragon who decides to pay a visit to his house, but the appearance of the real dragon frightens Lord Ye who runs away.

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