Fun facts about Dragons
Are Dragons real?
Some would say yes, they have seen one, some would say no, just a myth.
The story of dragons has permeated nearly every country and continent on the planet and has become deeply rooted in folk lore and fable.
To try and explore the origin of every Dragon story would take a lifetime so on these pages we will just explore a few.
At the bottom of the page there are multiple links to a wealth of resources on dragons.
History The word ‘dragon’ first appeared in 13th century England, derived from an old french word, which in turn was from the Latin, word ‘Draconem’ meaning huge serpent, but most religions and myths have serpent-like creatures in their mythology long before this. In Chinese dragon (the 龍 is relating to lung / long / serpent. Dragons feature heavily in Chinese mythology, the dragon is one of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac, the next year of the dragon is in 2024
Interestingly many Chinese dragons are associated with controlling the weather, particularly rain, or the sea. The modern sporting activity of Dragon boat racing is a reminder of distant religious ceremonies, and mythical creatures.
Modern western film and pop culture has its fair share of dragons, from Hobbit, the giant Smaug to the Game of Thrones dragons. Most of these come from Medieval incarnations, in that they are monsters, to be overcome, and more likely associated with fire than water. In Western cultures the obvious inspiration is St George and the Medieval quests… Surprisingly we found that St George was actually born in Turkey around AD 300, a christian soldier, he never gave up his faith, even though he was tortured by the Romans, and eventually killed for it. He was made a christian saint and interest in story surged in the middle ages when the legend of dragon slaying, and princess rescue was associated with the saint. In 1344 Edward III created the Order of the Garter, and St George was named as their patron saint the flag of St. George and the crusaders the red cross on white background is of course the English flag.
The practice of using dragons on flags comes from the Persians around the time of the Romans, they used a tall stick / standard called a Vexillo with a monsters head and a silk tail (like a wind sock). When rushing into battle the noise of the silk in the wind was supposed to frighten the enemy. Across Europe the practice of going into battle under the dragon was used in the middle ages.
Henry VIII used it, as a nod to his welsh history, in the 17th century, and in 1801 it was recognised as the official badge of wales.
People born in the year of the dragon are thought to be strong, career focussed, and fair leaders. Ancient Asian cultures have many manifestations of dragons, but they are generally seen as 4 legged, intelligent serpent-like creatures. It is believed that large ancient crocodiles like the 30 feet long Machimosaurus, lead to these myths.