The 9 Sons Of The Dragon
The Chinese dragon is one of the most important parts of Chinese tradition. Unlike dragons in the west, the Chinese dragons are benevolent and a symbol of power and good fortune. According to legend, the dragon has nine sons and each one is unique with its own appearance, characteristics, and duties. They are found in many different aspects of Chinese culture. As time has progressed, the dragon’s sons have evolved.
The eldest son of the dragon, Bixi has the body and shell of a tortoise with the head of a dragon. Ba Xia is capable of carrying incredibly heavy things. His image is usually carved as the base of stele and pillars.
The second son of the dragon, Chi Wen is in charge of rainfall. His image is seen on the ridges of buildings to protect the building from fire. Chi Wen can be seen on virtually every imperial building made of terracotta and colorfully glazed.
Added to bronze bells, Pu Lao is said to be fond of roaring. His image is can be seen on bells, drums and any musical instrument which produce loud tones. He is most commonly cast as the loop on top of bronze bells which the bells are hung from.
Bi An , the fourth son of the dragon is known for his fairness and impartiality. He is wise and can tell good from evil, and honesty from lies. He was normally part of the decorations of courts and prisons in ancient China. His images are ferocious and has the appearance of a tiger with very large fangs.
The dragon’s fifth son, Tao Tie loves to eat. He is often depicted on bronze food vessels. It is believed that by having his image on tableware, that your home will never be without food.
Believed to reside in lakes and pools, Gong Fu, the dragon’s sixth son loves water, Gong Fu’s image is usually carved into drains on bridges, and palace balustrades. It is believed he will fight against flooding and water disasters.
Bad tempered, powerful, and inclined to fighting, Ya Zi, the dragon’s seventh son, according to legend, is said to frequent battlefields and take part. His image is carved on edged weapons and it is believed that his image makes these weapons more powerful and accurate.
Fond of fire and smoke, the eight son of the dragon, San Mi, can be seen depicted on incense burners and as a guardian in front of doorways. He is depicted with fire all over his body. It is believed that by having him in your home, your children will all be attractive.
A lover of music, Qiu Niu is normally depicted on the head or bridge of traditional Chinese instruments. He is generally thought of as the patron of musicians and a protector of homes.