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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dragons - Mythical, Mystical, Magical Creatures!



Dragon King’s Daughter
(Gohonzon
#22, Eight Great Dragon Kings)

"Come not between the dragon and his wrath." ~ Shakespeare, King Lear

Dragons have filled our myths, legends, history and imaginations for centuries. The Scandinavians described swimming dragons and the Vikings placed dragons on the front of their ships to scare off the sea monsters and myths containing dragons date back to 4000 B.C.

Marco Polo wrote of his travels to the province of Karajan and reported on huge serpents, which at the fore part have two short legs, each with three claws.

Records of the Greek historian Herodotus and the Jewish historian Josephus describe flying reptiles in ancient Egypt and Arabia, and in art, dragons appear on ancient pottery in China as late as 202 A.D.

o In some cultures dragons have major spiritual  significance.
o In many Asian cultures dragons represented the primal forces of nature, religion and the universe.
o They are associated with wisdom and often said to be wiser than humans.
o They are often associated with wells, rain, and rivers.
o In some cultures they are also said to be capable of human speech

o European dragons are usually depicted as evil.
o Chinese dragons do not have wings but have very long tails. They are benevolent and can take on human form. The Imperial Dragon is the combination of four benevolent spiritual animals, the other three being the phoenix, the unicorn and the tortoise.
o Japanese dragons are water deities associated with rainfall and bodies of water.
o Persians believed a dragon's baby would be the same color as the mother's eyes.
o Scottish dragons have two tails.

Courtesy of :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon
http://www.allaboutcreation.org/dragon-history.htm
http://www.genesispark.com/genpark/history/history.htm


STORIES

The Dragon - Italy
http://www.worldoftales.com/European_folktales/Italian_folktale_22.html
The Dragon and the Prince
- Serbia
http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/sfs/sfs57.htm
The Dragon and His Grandmother - Germany
http://www.rickwalton.com/folktale/yellow07.htm
The Dragon of Ghent - Belgium
http://www.sacred-texts.com/etc/tl/tl08.htm

The Dragon of the North - Estonia
http://www.mythfolklore.net/3043mythfolklore/reading/estonia/pages/06.htm


The Four Dragons - Asia
http://worldoftales.com/Asian_folktales/Asian_Folktale_6.html
The Lambton Worm - England
http://tinyurl.com/3krfcz7

The Serene Dragon - This incredible site is sure to slay you! Over 544 dragon tales listed by country and region, with origins, and articles; you will be breathing fire in no time at all. http://www.theserenedragon.net/home.html

How the Dragon Came to Be - China
http://www.pitara.com/talespin/folktales/online.asp?story=47

Story-Lovers.com – As always, Jackie Baldwin is ahead of the pack, or in this case, the dragon’s lair. Books, stories and more, all related to those amazing mythical creatures.
http://www.story-lovers.com/listsdragonstories.html

The Golden Dragon of the Boringue on  page 188 and Turk, Turban, Tulip and Dragon, page 166 both in Belgian Fairy Tales by William Elliot Griffis, 1919. To read these tales and download the  book for free go to http://tinyurl.com/5w5dog7


CRAFTS AND ACTIVITIES

Activity Village – Lots of crafts and printables as well.
http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/dragons_theme.htm
Survivor Dragon Island – From the California Summer Reading Collaborative Program http://tinyurl.com/6jsnved
Chinese Dragon Puppet – Makes a great bookmark as well.
http://tinyurl.com/3ysk9ce
Dragon Coloring Pages -  http://www.coloring.ws/dragons1.htm

CURRICULUM

Fantastic Adventures with Dragons, Gods and Giants – Grade 3
http://commoncore.org/maps/index.php/maps/grade_3_unit_6/#

San Diego Zoo - The Lifestyle of the Komodo Dragon - For grades 4 – 6; facts, activities and more on this interesting and ancient creature.
http://www.sandiegozoo.org/teachers/curr_komodo_dragon.html

HISTORY

Draconian.com - The history of dragons in various cultures, short legends about dragons and more.
http://www.draconian.com/whatis/whatis.htm

SONGS


Songs for Children - For songs on dragons and more go to http://www.ccplonline.org/kids/songs4tots.html#royaltyandfantasy


Karen Chace  2011 ©
This blog post was painstakingly researched and compiled by Karen Chace. Permission for private use is granted. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without my expressed written permission. For permission please contact me at storybug@aol.com. Of course, if you wish to link to my blog or newsletter via your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook page or Twitter please feel free to do so; I greatly appreciate your support and personal integrity.





4 comments:

Nancy Schimmel said...

Wonderful list, but you've left out my favorite, The Laidly Worm of Spindlestone Heugh, in which the prince saves the day not by killing the dragon, but by kissing it. http://www.rickwalton.com/folktale/jacoba33.htm

Karen Chace said...

Hi Nancy,

Thanks for you kind comment. Actually, your favorite story is there, put it is on the website, The Serene Dragon on the blog post. That site lists over 544 dragon tales by country and your favorite is there.

Warm wishes,
Karen

Simon Brooks said...

Another great post, Karen!
I am a wooden dragon, which is 'better' than some of the other dragons! And I have a two foot long dragon that is in my office watching over me!

AdamYJ said...

A little extra factoid. According to Joseph Campbell, European dragons are generally associated with greed. That's why they're often depicted as guarding vast treasure hoards or beautiful maidens. Two things they really don't have any use for, but still seem to want anyway.