The dragon has long represented mystery and power in China. Although dragons often have been represented in a negative way, Asian dragon tattoos and particularly Chinese dragon tattoos represent:

  • Intelligence
  • Good luck
  • Strength
  • Health
  • Harmony
  • Benevolence

Dragons have a Yang (male) nature and are associated with the number 9, a lucky number in China because it is the biggest possible single number.

Chinese dragon tattoos can be chosen for their meaning:

  • A horned dragon tattoo: the wearer chooses to be mighty in their actions or words.
  • The earth dragon: rules the earth and sends a message of connection to the earth or land.
  • The yellow dragon: a hornless dragon known for scholarly knowledge.
  • The celestial dragon: protects the Gods. Many people with strong spiritual beliefs choose the celestial dragon to share those beliefs and confirm their own spiritual path. It’s one of the most popular tattoo dragons.

Some more characteristics of Chinese dragons:

  • Its body is covered in scales (117 to be precise)
  • Snake-like appearance
  • 4 legs with 5 claws on each leg. Earlier versions first had 3 and later 4 claws or toes.
  • Is associated with water, they can control the weather and bring rain.
  • Often has a flaming pearl under its chin.
  • Most of them don’t have wings (although they can fly).
  • Chinese dragons (and dragons in general) have supernatural powers.
  • They can shape-shift, for instance in a human or a silkworm or the entire universe.
  • The dragon is also one of the signs of the Chinese zodiac
  • The rival of the Chinese dragon is the tiger

Most Chinese dragon tattoos and other Asian dragon tattoos are done in color.  Often the dragon tattoo image ‘winds’ itself up a person’s arm or leg, dragons being long and snake-like.


On you can find free tattoo designs with dragons:

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