The dragon is the 5th animal on the Chinese Zodiac calendar. Although it is a mythical creature, the dragon Zodiac sign is arguably the most desirable among the 12 animals. It is considered an imperial and sacred animal, and is most often associated with power, strength, wealth, and divine destiny.
Dragons have been historically associated with Chinese emperors. During certain ancient periods, only the imperial family got to wear attire adorned with dragons. Some Chinese dynasties even designed the dragons so that only the emperor had robes with 5-clawed dragons. The emperor’s sons and other nobility could only wear dragons with fewer claw fingers.
In the modern day, the dragon continues to be a celebrated symbol. In fact, many Chinese families time their pregnancies so that their babies can be born during the dragon year. It is actually not uncommon to see a rise in newborns every 12-year cycle on the year of the dragon.
Apart from its imperial lineage, the dragon is also famously used by 2 biggest martial art action stars: Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. Bruce Lee’s Chinese stage is literally “Lee Little Dragon”, as it is customary to put family name first in Chinese. Similarly, Jackie Chan’s Chinese stage name is “Chan Dragon”, even though he picked a different “Chan” character than his original name to give it more style. Bruce and Jackie’s skills and memorable names helped them achieve international stardom.
Chinese Tattoo Character for Dragon
The Chinese character for dragon is sophisticated and instantly recognizable. It has a sense of prestige that is unmatched by other characters. The same dragon character is also used to refer to dinosaurs and dragons in European mythology. So it doesn’t matter if you are a martial artist or a Game of Thrones fan, the dragon character can be interpreted liberally to match your interests and personality. Therefore, you don’t have to be born on a dragon year to enjoy the symbolic significance possessed by the Chinese dragon character.
The simplest tattoo concept for Chinese dragon character would be the character all by itself:
Alternatively, there are many descriptions in front of the dragon character to specify the type of dragon. Some of them are described in traditional Chinese legends, which are perfectly tattoo friendly. Here are some of the named dragons:
Named Chinese Dragon Tattoos
Dragon Chinese Tattoo Warning!
Do not attempt to make up your own dragon, such as “hot dragon”. It will make you look ridiculous, and not in a good way. One exception would be “little dragon”, which plays on both junior status (little in Chinese carries the meaning of being the younger, junior member) and kung fu lengend Bruce Lee. If you are a little brother or the right hand man to an influential figure, a “little dragon” tattoo would be fitting: