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Chinese Dragon and Lion

Since China's most primitive times, the Dragon has been seen as the most wonderful and auspicious of creatures, capable of granting great fortune. Portrayals of Dragons have changed as time went by, seeing them become more and more mythical and magnificent each generation. In Chinese art, dragons are typically portrayed as long, scaled, serpentine creatures with four legs. In contrast to European dragons that are considered evil, Chinese dragons traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall,and floods. Historically, the dragon was the symbol of the Emperor of China. A different number of the dragon is a symbol of the status differently. Many Chinese people often use the term "Descendants of the Dragon" as a sign of ethnic identity, as part of a trend started in the 1970s when different Asian nationalities were looking for animal symbols for representations.The wolf was used among the Mongols, the monkey among Tibetans. In Chinese culture

today, it is mostly used for decorative purposes. It is a taboo to disfigure a depiction of a dragon; for example, an advertisement campaign commissioned by Nike, which featured the American basketball player LeBron James slaying a dragon (as well as beating up an old Kung Fu master), was immediately banned by the Chinese government after public outcry over disrespect. Chinese guardian lions, also called Fu (Foo) Lions, lions of Buddha, or sometimes stone lions in Chinese art, are a common representation of the lion in pre-modern China, which is believed to have powerful mythic protective powers that has traditionally stood in front of Chinese Imperial palaces, temples, emperors' tombs, government offices, and the homes of government officials and the wealthy from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), until the end of the empire in 1911.Lions of Fo are always created in

pairs, with the male playing with a ball and the female with a cub. They occur in many types of Chinese pottery and in Western imitations.Pairs of Chinese guardian lions, also called Chinese stone lions are still common decorative and symbolic elements at the entrances to restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and other structures, with one sitting on each side of the entrance, in China and in other places around the world where the Chinese people have immigrated and settled, especially in local Chinatowns.In Tibet, the guardian lion is known as a Snow Lion and similar to Japanese shishi. In Myanmar they are called Chinthe and gave their name to the World War II Chindit soldiers.

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