In western countries, “Dragon” is regarded as evil animal. But Chinese Dragon is different in shape, behavior and symbolism.
According to archaeological finds, the earliest image of a dragon in China appeared over 5000 years ago.
Around 4000-2000 BC, there were many tribes in the current China territory. Every tribe was with its totem, such as fish, deer, ox, snake… After one tribe conquered another tribe, the new tribe combined their totems to become a new totem. Gradually a new totem, called dragon, appeared. This mythical animal is with the head of horse, antlers of deer, eyes of ox, claws of chicken, body of snake, tail o flion and sales of carp. The dragon was first used as a totem symbol in the Xia dynasty (2070-1600 BC), the first dynasty in China. People’s belief in the dragon has been handed down from generation to generation.
People began to relate the emperors and kings with the dragon in Zhou dynasty (1600-1046 BC), but only from Tang dynasty (618-907 AD) that the dragon became the symbol of emperors and imperial courts.
Almost all pictures of Chinese dragons show them playing with a flaming pearl. It is the pearl that gives them power and allows them to ascend to heaven.