The image of the red Chinese dragon is most frequently noticed in Chinese restaurants all around the world. As it is red is considered to be an appetizing color hence it is commonly used in Chinese restaurants.
The image of the dragon has long been a potent and popular symbol of the Chinese culture. With the two elements combined Chinese restaurants seek to give you a flavor of the country even before you start to dine. Historically the red dragon has played a very important role in the country. The Chinese consider themselves to be descendants of the dragon. At one point in time the emperor was believed to be a human incarnation of the dragon.
The emperor’s insignia featured the red dragon with five toes. No one but the emperor was allowed to have the red dragon with five toes. The general public could make use of the image but it had to have only four toes.
Anyone who dared to display the image of the five toed red dragon without receiving any such authority to do so by the government would be severely punished.
All those who were granted the privilege to carry the five toed image of the red dragon were given a safe passage wherever they went. They were even honored and shown hospitality by the general public irrespective of where they were. Such was the place of the five toed red Chinese dragon once upon a time.
The Dragon in History
The dragon has always occupied a highly revered position in Chinese culture. The masses would walk up to rivers and lakes where it was believed that dragons resided. They would light incense and throw in little chits with their names and prayers in order to reach the dragon. The wealthy amongst them would even throw in gold and silver such was the faith of the people in the dragon.
The poor people of the country would make offerings of food that included roasted swallows and lotus flowers. In fact the dragons were believed to be very fond of roasted swallows and people who had eaten roasted swallows would actually fear being swallowed up by the dragon if they went boating upon the river.
The red Chinese dragon often comes across as an angry, evil and violent character. As it is the face of the dragon is not considered to be something you would find to be cute and cuddly. When coupled with the color red the dragon’s features became even more profound and the entire image looks evil in nature.
For the Chinese however the red dragon is not even inclined towards evil. It is considered to be a symbol of might and power but it does not posses any evil characteristics whatsoever. On the contrary it is known to possess many virtuous characteristics in the eyes of the Chinese public who hold the mythical creature in high esteem.