Dragon tattoo meanings vary depending on the culture of the person with the tattoo and the type of dragon depicted. Dragons in Asian culture are viewed as positive symbols. On the other hand, dragons from European culture are viewed as symbols of evil, death, and destruction.
Chinese dragon tattoo meanings and Japanese dragon tattoo meanings usually encompass:
Heritage and ancestry
The dragon in Asian culture is a long, serpent-like beast with few feet and no wings. The creature is supposed to have great amounts of power over water and the forces of nature. Dragons in Asian cultures have qualities that are emulated by the people.
For example, in Asian culture it is not uncommon to hear “be a dragon,” or, “I hope he turns out to be a dragon.” What these people are saying is that they hope that someone becomes brave, wise, and loyal. Dragon tattoo meanings in this culture can be reminders to act with certain qualities. They can also be pleas for guidance of dragons.
In China, Dragons are used as symbols in festivals. During the Chinese New Year, paper mache dragon costumes are worn by street performers. The dancers march down the streets in parades moving in the serpent-like fashion of the dragon. Asian children often have happy memories of dragons in stories and festivals.
European Dragon Meanings
European Dragons are quite different from their Asian counterparts. They are large, bulky, winged creatures that can have multiple heads and even breathe fire. These dragons are the villains in many fairy tales and movies. Children grow up knowing the cliché plot of the prince who slays the dragon to marry the princess.
Because of these alternate meanings, dragon tattoos in western culture do not often symbolize good fortune of guidance. Instead they could mark someone’s love of fantasy, or just be designed to make a statement.
Dragons in a Nutshell
Dragons have a variety of meanings depending on who you are talking to. One quality most cultures agree on is power. These beasts are strong either physically or spiritually. Asian Dragons, however, carry friendly connotations. European Dragons, on the other hand, are depicted as evil and destructive creatures. Make sure you know which type you are getting if you choose a dragon tattoo!
Dragonfly tattoos are unique and separate from dragon meanings. These, like Asian dragons, carry light connotations.
If you are choosing a dragon tattoo, choose wisely. Pick the type of dragon that symbolizes the qualities you are looking for. Make sure to understand the different dragon tattoo meanings.
Dragon tattoos: they could symbolize your best friend or your worst nightmare. Choose carefully!