Qinglong, the Azure Dragon
Source: Chinese folklore and astrology
Happy Chinese New Year! As the dragon associated with the season of spring, Qinglong is closely connected to this holiday. The mythology surrounding this dragon stems largely from Chinese astrology, in which Qinglong refers to a region of the sky that includes parts of the Western constellations Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius. Qinglong is known by various other names across East Asia, and the Japanese believe him to be one of four animal spirits that protect cities.
Though direct references to Qinglong seem to be relatively scarce in traditional Chinese literature, he has had a significant influence on culture and the arts. Qinglong is commonly depicted in East Asia sculpture and porcelain art, and is associated with both historical generals and modern fictional characters. Though there may be snow on the ground now, Qinglong is a reminder that spring is coming.
Image: Qinglong in cobalt blue on an undated porcelain piece