This article will explore the differences between Viking dragons and Chinese dragons from cultural, historical, and artistic perspectives.
The Viking dragon is a significant symbol in Viking culture, representing strength and majesty. The Vikings were an ancient people located in Northern Europe, with cultural centers in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. In Viking mythology, the dragon is a mysterious and powerful creature symbolizing strength and authority. The image of the Viking dragon is often associated with themes of war, wealth, and power, reflecting the courage and wisdom of the Vikings.
The Chinese dragon, on the other hand, is an important symbol in Chinese culture, representing auspiciousness and imperial authority. In ancient Chinese mythology, the dragon is a mystical creature capable of controlling weather and rainfall. The image of the Chinese dragon is often linked to concepts of auspiciousness, longevity, and imperial power, making it a significant element in Chinese culture.
The Viking dragon originated from Viking myth and legend, serving as a vital symbol in Viking culture. Among the Vikings, the dragon held special significance, embodying power, majesty, and mystery. Viking dragons were often depicted on ships and weaponry, seeking blessings of strength and authority.
The Chinese dragon traces its origins back to ancient Chinese myth and legend, becoming an integral part of Chinese culture. In ancient Chinese culture, the dragon was seen as a mystical creature capable of controlling weather and rainfall. The image of the Chinese dragon is commonly associated with imperial power, authority, and auspiciousness, playing a pivotal role in Chinese cultural narratives.
The Viking dragon holds a significant place in Viking art, often depicted on ships and weaponry. Viking dragon images typically feature sharp claws, teeth, and scales, emphasizing the creature’s majesty and strength.
Chinese dragons find widespread representation in various forms of Chinese art, including architecture, painting, and ceramics. The image of the Chinese dragon often features a horse-like head and a serpent-like body adorned with fish scales, highlighting the dragon’s mystical and commanding nature.
In conclusion, the differences between Viking dragons and Chinese dragons are evident in their cultural backgrounds, historical origins, and artistic portrayals. While both cultural symbols hold substantial significance, they represent distinct sets of cultural values and aesthetics. Through the exploration of Viking and Chinese dragons, this article provides insight into the unique characteristics and values of different cultures.
Dragons play important roles in both the Eastern and Western myths. As one of the representative images of God in the human world, dragon bears spiritual beliefs in the Eastern and Western culture.
In China, dragon is the god of wind and rain. While in the West world, the Celts and Vikings worshipped dragon the same way as Chinese, regarded it as their national symbols and eudemons. One of the Celts’ descendants, the Welsh, even added dragon image to their national flag.
There were many different kinds of dragons in Viking culture, they might have long horns, caribou horns, goat horns or ox horns. There were also sea dragons, flying dragons and dragons with two heads. We can even find fire dragons, but mostly the dragons in Viking culture were lizard-like dragons with long horns. Vikings liked to drew dragon marks on their shields and clothes. They believed these marks would bring them strength and power.
The dragon image was widely used on the Viking-age nautical equipments. Also, extensive use of dragon patterns can be found on Vikings ships. Just like the saying goes, “In the eyes of Danes, dragon is both the king and the eudemon. Especially, the dragon would protect those Vikings at sea and bring them home safe and sound.” It seems that China shares something in common with Denmark. What’s more, Viking ship was a very important part of Viking culture, the same as its equivalent in Chinese culture.
In China, dragon is a snake-like creature and totem made up of various animals. In the myths and legends, dragon controls rain and wind, it is not of high status among deities but is always used as the symbol of emperor. Chinese people even call themselves descendants of the dragon. Dragon is an auspicious sign in China, and also the eudemon of China, which coincides with the dragon in Viking culture in some ways.
On the Dragon Boat Festival in China, usually a traditional game called dragon boat race will be held. What’s interesting is, similar to Viking dragon ship, Chinese dragon boat also has a dragon head at the bow. The Vikings seem to have similar traditions.
During the Tang and Song dynasties, Chinese began to sail out and explore the vast ocean, just at the same period where the Vikings stormed the Europe. Have they ever met each other? It’s still a mystery.