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Dragon Tattoo

What you need to know about Chinese Dragon Tattoos

Dragons are one of the most popular mythological creatures found among cultures throughout the world, appearing in legends throughout Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. Different culture’s myths surrounding dragons depict these noble creatures in various ways, with some being touted as fearsome fire-breathing beasts, while others represent them as wise protectors of the realm. In the tattoo world, dragons originating from Chinese mythology are some of the most popular subjects for truly breathtaking works of art. In this guide, we’ll help you explore the deeper meaning behind these majestic beasts, their symbolism and why they are an impressive and impactful tattoo full of imagery and context.

What does a Chinese dragon symbolize?

Unlike the winged creatures in European mythology, Chinese dragons appear visually to more serpent-like in nature, and are often depicted as winged creatures winding through the clouds. The Chinese dragon is considered to most often represent protection, power, wisdom, and good luck or fortune. In ancient Chinese culture, dragons held a godlike position as they were believed to control both water and rain. During the monsoon season, offerings were made to these noble creatures in order to ensure a fruitful harvest. Chinese Dragon Back Piece

What are the 9 Chinese Dragons?

There are nine types of dragons associated with ancient Chinese mythology. These include:
  • The horned dragon: often thought to be the most powerful Chinese dragon.
  • The celestial dragon: the protector of the gods and heavens, also known as Shen-lung.
  • The winged dragon: a dragon associated with rains and floods.
  • The spiritual dragon: spiritual dragons control the wind and rain.
  • The dragon of the rivers and seas: often also called Ti-lung.
  • The treasure dragon: the protector of gems and other precious elements.
  • The coiling dragon: a lake dragon which has yet to ascend to heaven.
  • The yellow dragon: a hornless dragon who symbolizes the emperor.
  • The dragon kings: there are four dragon kings, each one presiding over one of the four seas in the east, west, north, and south of China.
There are also nine dragon sons known as Pulao, Qiuniu, Chiwen, Yazi, Fuxi, Chaofeng, Suanmi, Baxia, and Bian. All of the nine dragon sons are depicted differently and used as ornaments in China according to their nature. Chinese Dragon Tattoo

Our Favourite Tattoo Aftercare

After Inked

After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer delivers effective skin moisturization and helps to preserve the colours of your tattoos. There's no petroleum so it won't stick to or stain your clothes. This moisturizing skin lotion, enriched with Grape Seed Oil, can also be used on any permanent makeup procedure on lips, brows, eye liner, and areola, as well as an after-laser tattoo removal moisturizing lotion. After Inked is Dermatologist tested, non-allergenic and non-irritating.

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PurSan Aftercare is a specially formulated Vegan skin cleanser used to clean and moisturize as part of an aftercare regimen for fresh tattoos and piercings. It revitalizes, refreshes and purifies skin without drying it out. Gentle yet effective, PurSan contains no parabens, fragrances, colourants or alcohol. Chloroxylenol (PCMX) is a proven antimicrobial ingredient shown to be effective against bacteria and viruses without burning or irritating the skin. Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (Hypromellose) is an ultra-high grade lubricant ideal for sensitive skin.

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What colour is a Chinese dragon?

Chinese dragons can be depicted in several colours depending on their role and the symbolism behind them. The most common colours for Chinese dragons are blue, green, red, gold, purple, black, and white. Below, we will explore a few of the most popular Chinese dragon colours and what they mean.

What does a black dragon symbolize?

Black dragons in Chinese myth are often depicted with a white dragon counterpart, as black and white are key colours on the Chinese spectrum symbolizing the balance of yin and yang. The black dragon symbolizes black yin, which stands for negative, passive, and female energy. While the white dragon represents the white yang of positive, active, and masculine energy. Black dragons are also associated with winter and the north. The black dragon is known for its power and vengeance.

What does a golden dragon mean?

Golden or yellow dragons are often thought to be the most revered of all their kin because they represent the imperial family and the emperor. Thecolour yellow represents warmth, reliability, and solidity. Golden dragons are often used to reign in the New Year in Chinese New Years’ celebrations and are recognized symbols of compassion, wisdom, and wealth.

What does a purple dragon symbolize?

Since purple is a combination of red and blue, purple dragons symbolize a balance between the characteristics of these two colours. The red symbolizes passion while the blue symbolizes reason. In Feng Shui, purple symbolizes spiritual healing and awareness. Purple has also been a colour closely associated with royalty amongst many cultures. This likely stems from the fact that purple dye was once quite difficult to produce, therefore it was expensive and often reserved for the wealthier classes. Dragon Sleeve Tattoo

Can Chinese dragons breathe fire?

Unlike the dragons in European folklore, Chinese dragons are not often seen depicted breathing fire. The Chinese dragons are more often associated with water than the fire of their European counterparts, and while there have been instances in mythology of Chinese dragons breathing fire, it is often the result of a punishment sent from the heavens and is quite rare. You will, however, see depictions of Chinese dragons breathing clouds or wind.

Are you Ready to Explore Chinese Dragon Designs to find your Very Own Tattoo?

If you live in or around the Toronto, Mississauga, Markham or Kitsilano Vancouver area, stop by or give us a call to set up an appointment today. At Chronic Ink Tattoo, our talented artists are experienced in designing Chinese Dragon tattoos that are beautifully impressive and symbolic.

If you have other questions feel free to stop into our Toronto, Mississauga, Markham, or Kisilano Vancouver location for a consultation today.

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Tattoo Locations

Downtown Toronto

378 Yonge Street, 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario M5B 1S6 Directions

Midtown Toronto

252 Eglinton Ave East, 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario M4P 1K2 Directions


7381 Kennedy Road, Unit #105, Markham, Ontario L3R 5B5 Directions

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