Don't forget the 青龍:
Very often, the dragons in Asia are described as consisted of several parts, belonging to different animals.
The body is the one of the snake, covered with scales like those of the carp. Legs are similar to those of the tiger, ended by the claws of the eagle. The shape of the head is the one of the dromedary and it has a pair of horns of deer or sometimes antelope; he always wears mustaches and goatee, very long.
Frequently, besides horns, two antennas decorate the head. Eyes can be the ones of the hare and the ears those of the bull. The neck is often provided with mane as the lion, it sometimes concerns it elbows. In Vietnam, the 龍 possesses a crest of 81 scales.
The legs of the Asian dragon are provided with a definite number of claws. This number, from 3 to 5, is an indicator of the "rank" that the dragon occupies at his fellow creature's. Indeed, the dragon in 5 claws, is considered as the most powerful.
Only the Emperor of China could use this emblem, as well as his family. That is why any element of garment, furniture or architecture struck by the dragon in 5 claws was attributed to the imperial family and respected as it is. The big noble persons and the mandarins were able to use in turn this emblem according to relation with the power.
In Korea and in Indonesia, we find generally only dragons in 4 fingers. Those provide with three fingers are more common in Japan.
In China, the color of dragons is important and determines at the same moment their environment, their powers and their rank.
So the yellow color is alloted to the Emperor of China. It indicates the highlight of the power and the divinity. Only the emperor can regenerate the cosmic and social order, and the dragon is his intermediary with the sky, the immortal. This quasi-divine quality given to the yellow color comes maybe from the legend which tells that a yellow dragon came out of the water to bow to Fu Hsi, the legendary emperor, and that he handed him the knowledge of the writing.
The green color of the dragon indicates is it, the rise of the yang, the revival of the vegetation. To Song, it is the liver.
King of the dragons of east waters, the North, south and western is called tang Dog, his color is red-blood and he is 900 feet long. The blood of dragons has the essential colors of the sky and the earth: yellow and black.
Dragons are bound to the liquid element. In Asia, numerous temples in which they are displayed are situated in border of lakes, rivers and stream. Every water source, pond or arm of the sea possesses its dragon, the spirit of the place, that it is advisable to win by offerings.
Their power averts the drought by bringing the rain (thanks to the brightness of the sacred pearl of which he is the guard) or by creating springs. The rite of Qiu consists for the farmers to make a dragon of paper on a wooden armature and to arrange it in a dried up river bed. Priests recite invocations and imitate the rumbling of the thunder thanks to drums so that the king-dragon releases the water of heavens. This king-dragon, master of the sky, is represented spitting the fire, he can bring down lightning, flashes of lighting and thunderstorms. He is a symbol of fertility, for the earth as for the women. On the contrary, he can ease the floods.
If he is ascending with his mouth spitting of the foliage, he symbolizes the revival of the life under the shape of the spring. Represented devouring the sun or the moon, the dragon is the symbol of eclipses, which sit in his head and his tail. Some authors counted 4 types of dragons Long in China:
>Tien long, celestial dragons, guards of the houses of the Gods and Immortals
>Shen long, the dragons spirits, which control the wind and the rain
>Ti long, the dragons of the earth, controlling streams and seas of the world
>Fou tsang long, dragons of the underground world, guards of precious metals and gemstones, but also buried treasures.
A traditional representation of the dragon in Tao is the one with the sacred pearl, that he holds in the mouth, under the chin or between claws. The sacred pearl is kept by the dragon in a palace situated at the bottom of seas. This pearl symbolizes the creation, contains the wisdom and the knowledge and the dragon which holds it mean the cosmic energy and the movement. It also fulfills all the wishes, it is for that reason that it is severely defended.
Years under the sign of the dragon are considered in Asia as convenient to the business, to the personal realization. Generally this sign is beneficial, it chases away the evil spirits. In Vietnam, the new year always begins with the dance of the unicorn, which is in fact an immense dragon made of colored or painted cloth, shaken by several carriers hidden under him. If the dragon comes to cross in a house or a business, prosperity, luck are insured for the coming year.