Dragons were frequent players in myths and legends, especially when a hero was involved. Many times, slaying a dragon was a symbol of strength and honor. For example, there is a Portuguese myth that involves a female dragon that fights with Saint George. When he cuts off one of her ears, she loses her strength. In this article, you will also encounter information regarding the Khmer dragon and Albanian dragon.
The Khmer Dragon
The Indian dragon has influenced the vision of the dragon associated with Khmer folklore. It often is seen in art with a hood similar to a cobra. It is a creature that can have multiple heads. IT is not uncommon to encounter one that has as many as nine. The more heads the dragon has, the higher its rank. If the dragon has an odd number of heads, then it stands as a symbol of male energy. When the number of heads is even, the dragon represents the energy of a female. In traditional circles, the Khmer dragon either has traits like a crocodile or traits like a cat. The dragon also appears in the creation myth of Cambodia and includes a dragon princess as its heroine.
Also called the Bakunawa, this Philippine dragon lives in the sea and is viewed as a giant serpent. According to the ancient natives, they believed the Bakunawa was the cause behind eclipses and could make the moon or the sun disappear. Some tales state that during certain times of the year, the Bakunawa rises from the ocean and can swallow the moon whole. In an effort to prevent the sea serpent from completely devouring the moon, the natives would emerge from their home with pots and pans in their hands , clanging them together to make enough noise to scare away the dragon into spitting out the moon back into the sky. Legend has it that the Bakunawa can kill people just by imagining their death.
The Vietnamese Dragon
The body of the Vietnamese dragon is curvy and broken up into 12 different sections, which represent the 12 months in the year. The Vietnamese believe that the dragon had the ability to affect the success of their crops and change the weather. Small fins decorated the back of the dragon and its head was adorned with a long, flowing mane, beard, crested nose, large jaw and thin tongue. This particular dragon did not have any horns. A gem or jewel was always found in their mouths, which stood as a symbol of humanity, nobility and knowledge.
The dragons of Catalan (also called dracs) resemble serpents with two legs that are known for their ‘burning breath,’ which is also poisonous. They have a reputation for being able to rot anything with their stench. The face of the dragons takes on the form of other animals, such as cattle or lions. Sometimes, the creatures have a pair of wings and very rarely are they seen with four legs. The female version of a Catalan dragon is called a vibria.