Photographer's Note

The Chinese dragon or Long (Traditional:龍; Simplifed:龙; pinyin: lóng; Cantonese Yale: lùhng; Hokkien: leng; Japanese: ryū; Korean: yong; Hangul: 용; Vietnamese: rồng) is a mythical creature. It is also often translated as "Oriental Dragon" because it also appears in other East Asian cultures. Usually depicted as a long, snake-like creature with numerous claws, it has long been a potent symbol of auspicious power in Chinese folklore and art. It is also the embodiment of the concept of yang and associated with the weather as the bringer of rain and water in general.

The dragon is sometimes viewed in the West as a national emblem of China. However, this usage within both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China on Taiwan is extremely rare. Firstly, this is because the dragon was the sign of the Emperor, and was on the national flag of the late Qing dynasty. These monarchist connotations run counter to recent Chinese ideologies. Secondly, the dragon has aggressive, warlike connotations which Chinese governments wish to avoid. It is for the latter reason that the giant panda is far more often used within China as a national emblem than the Chinese dragon.

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Additional Photos by Nivas Ramanathan (nivas37) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 98 W: 26 N: 140] (662)
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