Dragons and Such

Revelation 12:3 “Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. (NIV)thumb_IMG_0201_1024thumb_DSC_0140_1024

The Empress Summer Palace outside of Beijing has a large man-made lake and island. The thresholds into the living quarters are all raised several inches and you must step over them, not on them. They serve to keep evil spirits out of the home.thumb_IMG_0181_1024

There was a full size boat made of marble where the Empress sat with a huge mirror on one side, so she could look at the lake without the people looking at her directly. A Buddhist Temple raised on the highest hill with traditional Chinese roof architecture was a colorful and active display of spiritual guidance. The roofline was traditional, up pointed rooflines to deflect the evil spirits.


The archways leading to the temple entrance were covered with 14,000 hand painted pictures.thumb_IMG_0206_1024

People wanted to take pictures with us, including a small boy who was dressed very colorfully in silk running suit with red, yellow, blue and white patterns, a shaved head and long braided ponytail. There was a group of citizens and a band having a sing along under a pavilion. Even though we could not understand the words, we saw the joy. They were enjoying an Easter Sunday with their family, even if there are not very many Christians in this country.thumb_IMG_0185_1024

Mythical dragon-like and phoenix-like creatures lined the entrance to the compound.   The boats you can rent all have dragons on the front with yellow scales painted on the sides. The dragon’s mouth is opened with fangs and long red tongues. Their eyes are hidden beneath a yellow bumpy head.   Their nostrils are raised and are painted white and blue with dark black around their outside. Their horns are knobby and sit above white delicate ears. Flames of white and blue are used to represent hair or scales. These creatures are everywhere in China.

What do dragons mean to the Chinese? What mythical creatures are you drawn to? Have you ever thought about why dragons are in every culture?  



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