How to Select Your Dragon for Chinese New Year


January 23rd marks Chinese New Year, the year of the dragon.  Qualipedia founder and dragon expert, Dawn Bryan, offers top tips for imagining, selecting, and caring for your dragon.

Since ancient times, Dragons have been featured in many myths and legends, and have held major spiritual significance in various cultures and religions worldwide. Long associated with wisdom, universality, longevity, and a thirst for knowledge, dragons also possess certain supernatural powers.

 “Anyone who is imaginative, creative, independent, spiritual, fabulous, and a seeker of knowledge can create and have his or her own dragon,” says Dawn Bryan, founder of http://www.thequalipedia.com, a consumer information and lifestyle website.  “But remember that all dragons are different.”

SELECT BY HERITAGE AND HISTORY: The best way to start is to envision your personal dragon by learning about the traits associated with various cultures.  Many dragon keepers (one cannot own a dragon) prefer to select dragons by heritage, while others enjoy the more exotic dragons.

Your dragon could be of almost any ancestry or folklore.  Here are just a few possibilities you may wish to explore: Greek dragons (like the three-headed dragon in the Iliad); European (live in a lair or cave and usually have wings); Chinese (the highest ranking animal in the Chinese animal hierarchy consists of nine different dragons, all associated with power and majesty; Japanese (wingless water deities with three claws)’ or Slavic (with multiple heads which grow back after being cut off). Choose also from Mexican, Jewish, Vietnamese, and Scandinavian dragons.

CHARACTERISTICS: Dragons are frequently categorized into the five major elemental types: metal, water, fire, wood, and earth.  Although there are many breeds and cross-breeds of dragons, the classic dragon physiology is made up of many different types of animals: the body of a snake, head of a camel, scales of a fish, eyes of a rabbit, paws like a tiger, and claws like an eagle. However, one can choose from a variety of physical features and special powers, such as wings of leather or feather, horns; multiple heads; no front legs (wyverns); scales and/or feathers; 3, 4, or 5 toes on each foot; blunt or sharp-ended tails; frills; scales in triangular, oval or tear-drop shapes; scales which can stand on end for looking larger to foes and for easier cleaning.

Dragons exhibit amazing abilities and powers: the ability to become invisible, change color, hoard treasure, form clouds with their breath, make the sounds of beating gongs and jingling bells, fly, swim, stretch out their skin like a kite, use their breath of fire, ice, lightning, or acid as a weapon, see well in the dark, replace their scales as they grow, speak (dragons are said to have taught humans to speak), make thunderous sounds, and change shape.  Dragon powers are vast: the power to protect nations, wreak havoc, bring fertility and prosperity, guard maidens, live for at least 1200 years or become immortal, represent the wild magic of nature, bring rain, destroy the world that it created, be male, female or both, hold the world in its mouth, under chin or in its claws (usually represented by a pearl), control rivers, guard metals and gems, and heal anything with its blood.

SELECT BY COLOR: Dragons come in an amazing array of colors: blue, green white, black, red, yellow, crystal and white. There are also the rarer gold, silver, bronze and topaz varieties. Each color, however, is not a single tone, but many shades of the same color, giving depth, beauty and sheen to each creature.  Black dragons are typically found in marshes, swamps or subterranean lairs; the Red Dragon, often depicted as evil, breathes fire, and the White Dragon uses frost as its breath weapon.


Dragons are independent, powerful, and elegant. Centuries of responsibility combined with being misunderstood have taken their toll, and, on occasion, your dragon is likely to need some special attention and recognition.  All dragons love scale soothing (petting), and most appreciate your enhancing their fire-breathing activities occasionally with some hot, spicy foods.

As a good portion of a typical dragon’s day is spent gathering knowledge; they enjoy communicating with their keepers.  And they readily reward those who impart new knowledge with tokens of gratitude from their own treasure hoards. Totally unconcerned with time and its constraints as we experience it, dragons of all ages will need frequent reminders that they are late, taking too long, or seemingly forgetting to do something.

To purchase a smaller, less powerful, more demanding, non-mythical dragon, consider the Chinese Water Dragons (2-3 feet in length), or the Komodo Dragon (8-10 feet in length).

“Dragons have the same five senses as humans, as well as a well-developed, accurate sixth sense, which enables them to quickly “read” the emotions of others,” said Dawn Bryan.  “Their basic five senses are much more powerful and sensitive than ours, which enables them to be totally self-sufficient.  Dragons find their own food, according to their various needs, and reside in their own comfortable abodes.  Whatever type of Dragon you choose, you will love keeping this wonderful and unique companion, and each day will surely be a blessing and a challenge.”

For more information on dragons, or to email Quincy — our in-house dragon –personally, log on to www.thequalipedia.com.


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