The dragon is an imaginary divine animal of ancient China. It is believed to have a snake body and tail, lizard legs, eagle paws, deer horns and fish scales, with a beard at the mouth corners and a pearl under the forehead. In Chinese mythology, the dragon changes from time to time, controls the cloud and rain, and benefits everything in the world. Chinese people call themselves "descendants of the dragon", because they regard the dragon as a symbol of dignity. In ancient times, the dragon was not what they look today. Its image was gradually evolved with the long history.
In the remote past, most natural phenomena seemed inexplicable to people. Therefore, an imaginary animal with the great power of wind, rain and thunder became the totem of a nation. The dragon was an animal in people's imagination with the features of ferocious animals in the forest, fish swimming in the river, birds flying in the sky and many others. So, the image of the dragon gradually took shape and it was regarded as the king of animals and a divine creature capable of doing anything.
The early form of the dragon germinated in the Neolithic Age and the first actual dragon image was discovered in a tomb of the primitive society. It was created with shells in the shape of a lizard. The color of the bold image was simple and elegant.
The jade dragon excavated from a tomb of the Hongshan Culture of the Neolithic Age is called "the first dragon of China". Shaped like a "C", the jade dragon has a head similar to that of a pig. Some guess that the original image of a dragon was somewhat like a pig. So the jade dragon is also called "pig dragon".
The image of the dragon keeps changing, but the spirit forges ahead with the Chinese nation. The dragon was endowed with power in the Shang and Zhou Dynasties, and broadmindedness in the Han and Tang Dynasties. It was highly respected as the "Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove" in the Wei and Jin Dynasties. And it was depicted as a wild horse galloping on the grassland in the Liao and Jing Dynasties. The dragon used to be an extremely sacred symbol of monarchical power and nobility. But now, it has come to the ordinary people, serving as a favored mythological image to all. The dragon has now become the symbol of China.