In mythology, a dragon horse is a legendary creature that typically has the body of a horse and the head, wings and tail of a dragon. The dragon horse is a creature found in many mythology and folklore narratives. It typically refers to a wild or untamed horse that has been turned into a dragon by either magical or natural means.
1Longma In Chinese Mythology
Dragon horses are a part of Chinese folklore and one of them is Longma. Longma is a mythical creature described in Chinese mythology who has the body of a horse and also includes dragon scales and the head of a dragon.
It is believed that the sighting of Longma, a mythical creature with a dragon’s head and a horse’s body, was considered to be an auspicious sign. The image of Longma was connected with one of the three sovereigns and five emperors, who are symbols or mythical sage-rulers in ancient China.
The word Longma is derived from the separate two Chinese words, Long translated as Dragon and Ma, which can also be translated to mean a horse. And it is also a term that is sometimes used to indicate a reputed personage. Even, the word also comes from an ancient Chinese idiom “Longma Jingshen” which means Energetic spirit in senility.
Documentations of Longma In Chinese Myths
The dragon-horse is mentioned in many Chinese myths, but most notably in the myth of Hetu and Luoshu. For example, In China, these are cosmogonic drawings (foster charts) used to describe the connection between hexagrams from the Book of Changes and a parallel set of cosmologies that also incorporated various life on Earth. They have also been used in Feng Shui.
These diagrams first appeared in the Book of Documents, called Shangshu. The Book of Documents is also referred to as Documents of Antiquity. This classic literature exists among the ancient five classics. This literature refers to a collection of lectures and speeches given by important rulers, as described in the mythical stories. This intriguing book mentions Hetu as a jade stone with texture of which was interpreted as the eight trigrams.
How Did Longma Come Into Existence?
The Yellow River is said to have given birth to a legendary horse that may have been called Longma that had the pattern of 8 trigrams on its back. Kong Anguo, a highly respected scholar from the Han period, described this mythical horse in detail and the name for the pattern on horse’s back is River Chart or Diagram, which was named by Fu Xi a mythical monarch, according to myth.
The dragon-horse was seen regularly during the reign of “religious monarchs” including Yao, Shun, and Yu. It was appraised as a prognostic and an auspicious symbol of good luck for the nation. Despite not being found during the lifetime of Confucius, the enormous horse was recorded to have been predicted in a prophecy given by Confucius’ followers. The logic is interpreted as a warning of difficult times.
Different parts of mythology are associated with different rulers. Just as Longma, Longgui, the dragon turtle, appears from the river Luo sporting an inscription attached to his back. The turtle is only ever seen in the era of “religious monarchs” when it appears, the world has a positive turn. The dragon turtle, like the dragon horse, never comes into existence during the reign of a selfish king or tyrant.
The two petrographs, the Yellow River Chart and Inscription of the River Luo were described by the sage rulers. They have analyzed many diagrams and used these findings to successfully model their rule according to the artifacts they found. And some others suggest that Fu Xi is responsible to develop these patterns. He was an astronomer who tracked the movement of stars and created the maps.
Other Mythical Creatures That May Resemble With Longma
Many cultures from around the world have superstitious myths about the Longma, a mythical creature that most commonly features in other mythologies like as:
With the abilities to fly and change appearances, one mythologically seen creature is a winged horse, labeled as “Tianma”. This creature often has dragon-like attributes and represents the stars. In Chinese folklore, Tianma is commonly referred to as being concerned with variant stellar phenomena and also Empyreal horse.
For over 2,000 years, this type of animal (Dragon-Horse) has had a mythical status carrying the beliefs that The flying dragon-horses were worshiped for their size, agility, power and often associated with Han Wudi, an emperor of the Han Dynasty. Han Wudi is listed as one of their earliest followers and with this connection, they remain popular today as symbols and figures in various religions.
The white dragon horse named Yulong, is one of the three sons of the Dragon King and this well-known white dragon horse plays an important role in a novel, titled as – Journey to the West. The monk Xuanzang rode him during his mission to collect religious texts, going as far as China to restore peace between two countries. This white dragon-horse was a symbol for mental strength, being vigilant and aware in mind, described in the novel.
Today, people believe the winged horse Pegasus was divine, generous, and an extremely energetic horse in Greek mythology who is also worshiped as good. The winged horse is often stated in mythology as being able to fly and with great strength. Also having the status of most beautiful horse in mythical world, Pegasus is always seen as a majestic and prominent mythical creature in stories and movies.
Mythical Interpretation of Longma
Longma – A Symbolism Of Travel, Power & Freedom
It is hard to ignore the importance of horses in Chinese culture. Horses, who are considered in Chinese culture to be one of the most important animals and serve as an inspiration for many poems, paintings, songs, and sculptures, are seen as a universal sign of freedom and independence when riding them. The outlook on this majestic animal changes as you move through different cultures. Horses are seen as having a strong connection with movement, travel, and power.
In the Zodiac calendar, the year of a person’s birth is represented by their astrological sign as dictated by Chinese Astrology. The horse is considered to be the seventh sign in this system, signifying independence, strength and beauty. It is believed that people with this zodiac in their birth year are usually high-spirited, cheerful, extremely active, and enthusiastic.
Symbolism of the Dragon in Chinese Culture
In East Asian culture, Dragons that are supremely lucky and powerful are often seen as good prognostics of future success and also described health, power and strength. In feudal societies, they were also seen as symbols of royalty and the rule of an emperor (a way to show the respect an emperor received from the people) and authorization.
This leads to the adduce that Longma is like a fierce dragon, the dragon-horse, reflects Chinese people’s vigorous spirit, strength and freedom. It is also a symbol of health, protection and good luck in business. In Feng-Shui, it is seen as a symbol of power, abundance and good fortune.
Ancient Tales Depicted Him A Soul Of The Yellow River
A mythical and mystical creature, the dragon-headed horse (Longma) is often seen held in high esteem as a prognostic of good fortune and also seen as a soul of the Yellow River. Ancient legends and myths tell the tale of Long Ma, which remains one of the most important symbols of freedom and power in Chinese culture. It is said that this dragon became their symbol of success and victory for achieving a high status in Chinese mythical creatures.
Related Reads: 11 Most Famous 3-Headed Dragons & Monsters From Myths & Movies
2 Ki Rin
In Chinese mythology, there are a lot of fantastical and mythical creatures. The Western world may be most intimate with the mythical dragon and the phoenix, but China has also got some really interesting, well-known mythical beings such as the Qilin.
In myth, With the different animals typically found on its body, the Qilin has been described in a number of ways. However, under most accounts, the Qilin is often said to be a horse-like creature composed of various animals. The Qilin is perhaps best-known for its ability to have an animal’s body, like a deer or ox and horse. It also has the scales of a fish and sometimes, it even might have flames around it. Compared to most other mythical dragons, the Qilin head resembles the Chinese dragon, but has various variations. Some have a single horn. Then there is the Qilin, which has also been compared to the European unicorn, and often referred to as ‘the Chinese unicorn’. Others argue that they are two segregated mythological creatures totally.
The Qilin’s most common depiction is that of a benevolent creature who does not harm anything, and instead chooses to walk on clouds. A famous Buddhist representation of the Qilin includes it walking around blades of grass as if they’re obstacles since the creature refuses to trample even a single blade of grass. The kirin is a gentle animal that, unlike all other animals, has never killed and eaten other beings, they take great care not to tread on living creatures, even insects. However, some stories depict the Qilin being able to burn people or obtain a different set of supernatural powers. These abilities are unlocked when the creature is needed to protect innocent people from villains, who will do anything they can to harm those under their authority.
There is a belief that Qilin only appears when the people are in good times. Qilin also is believed to be an auspicious sign when it comes over people who have kind rulers and shortly before a sage is born or dies. It is said that the birth of one of China’s most renowned sages, Confucius, was prophesied by a Qilin who appeared to his mother during her pregnancy. The Qilin coughed up an inscribed jade item that predicted the child’s future greatness. In addition, when a Qilin came to harm by a charioteer, it was interpreted as a foreshowing of the Confucius death.
In a society where mythical creatures such as the Qilin are an important part of folklore and mythology, It is no surprise that the Chinese emperors wanted to have a reincarnation of the Qilin during their reign, as they believed it would increase their prominence. In the 15 th century Ming dynasty, one emperor had his occasion. After reaching East Africa, the raft of Zheng He came back to China and returned with two giraffes in 1414. The giraffes had been purchased from traders in present day Somalia during the voyage. As the giraffes and Qilin share similar qualities, The Emperor of China, Hence Yongle attributed these animals as magical, so he viewed them as a marker of his own nobility. As a result, The term for Qilin in Japanese and Korean is concretely the same words utilization for giraffe, a clear indication of how strong the association between the two animals.
In addition to verbal influences, the Qilin has left cultural footprints in its involvement with the Hakka people. The Qilin dance shares similarities with the commonly known lion dance, which takes place annually during Lunar New Year celebrations. Although the dance itself is simple, the Qilin dance is strikingly similar to that of the lion, the pattern of steps, gestures and music are very different from their common counterpart. Although it’s obscure and less popular than other traditional dances, the Qilin appears to be gaining popularity. People are coming to know about it and the mythology attached to it. As more people become aware of the Qilin dance and its place in Chinese mythology, it will likely become better known.
Symbolism & Interactions Of Kirin
The kirin is considered a highly holy animal. It has been used in carvings, paintings, and shrines for thousands of years. It’s also often used as a symbol of purity, justice, and wisdom. Because of the kirin’s sacredness, images of this local animal adorn temples and shrines around the world. The appearance of a kirin is allegedly thought to indicate the arrival of great leaders and wise men. This sort of occurrence (appearance of this mythical creature) should be treated with caution and greeted with appropriate understanding.
Kirin/Qilin Origin In Chinese Vs Japanese Myths
There is a long history of mythology and legends in China, and Kirin are one of the characters that made their way into Japanese mythology. Kirin were established in Japan from China through Chinese myths and folktales where it is known as Qilin. The two disparate entities eventually became flabbily variant, with the Japanese calling the qilin, for that matter, it is considered to be even more holy than the tatsu and the hōō.
Giraffes share many similarities with holy creatures in Japan, such as their long legs and pattern resembling scales. Their delicate nature must have made them resemble the kirin, which inspired the Japanese to give giraffes this name.
There is also the period “huolin/kakurin”, which indicates an example where one was seen killing a kirin, but then mysteriously disappeared from anywhere and no indication if they were ever seen again. The only testimony of this hunt is their last writing as they had left off abruptly without any indication of continuing. Animal stories are always dealing with mysterious disappearances. In this case, “instant death” is often used to describe the final moments of someone’s life, in that something just happened so suddenly that the person could not think about any other options.