Chinese Tattoos - Meaning of Chinese Dragon Tattoos
By Declan O Reilly
Chinese Tattoos have always been hugely popular. At one stage they were the realm of criminals and the mafia. Now it seems even Hollywood celebrities seem to have caught on to the mystery and allure of the Far East. While it is undeniable that classic Chinese tattoos have an attraction which can easily be appreciated regardless of whether one can understand the often subtle meanings or not.
Aesthetics should be the primary consideration when getting tattooed, and Chinese characters are very well suited to this purpose. While tattoos have always been conversation pieces, Chinese tattoos add another element, since the typical viewer will probably ask you the meaning, which allows the wearer to not only translate the characters, but to explain the story behind the decision to make such a lasting statement.
Meaning is an important question however and for this reason can make Chinese tattoos date very quickly. Often it is not quite what the wearer was told by the tattooist at the tattoo shop or the meaning can become irrelevant after a few years.
Hopefully the person being tattooed has done his or her research and consulted with a native Chinese speaker about the meaning before being inked. Some non Chinese speakers have unwittingly tattooed their bodies with Chinese symbols which when translated become meaningless.
The most common Chinese tattoos are ones that are supposed to represent ideas and qualities like love or strength. Keep in mind that the concepts are aimed at English speakers, and on that level "peace, love and happiness" are easily understandable.
But before you run off to the studio to get one done you should do your research. Selecting a Chinese tattoos deserves careful study and attention. It should have less to do with style and more to do with your character, work, and values. It's permanent, so it's a pretty important decision in your life. In the end, it is important to choose something of lasting appeal not something faddish.
For centuries, the Chinese dragon has been a symbol of power and mystery. Depicted in countless legends, both Eastern and Western, the dragon has provoked man to fear and worship it. In medieval Europe, it was a bloodthirsty, fire-breathing figure. Its malevolence and ferociousness struck terror in all. However, in Asia, it is the contrary. The mighty dragon is a mythical beast long celebrated for its benevolence, intelligence and good will. The Chinese dragon has been a common symbol of identity for Far Eastern cultures.
In fact, Chinese people all over the world are affectionately known as “lung de chuan ren”, or the "descendants of the dragon”. There are several distinct species of Chinese dragons. The Horned Dragon is considered to be the mightiest. The Celestial Dragon supports the heavens and protects the Gods. The Earth Dragon rules all of the earth. The Spiritual Dragon controls the wind and rain. The Treasure Dragon is the keeper of precious metals and gems. The Winged Dragon is the only dragon with wings. The Coiling Dragon dwells in the ocean. The Yellow Dragon is a hornless dragon known for its scholarly knowledge.