With Chinese New Year on the way this Sunday, we have almost run out of the year of the dragon. I started putting this list together as the Year of the Dragon entered, but now am barely managing to post it before the Dragon departs.
Dragons are creatures that have appeared in the mythologies of many cultures in Europe and Asia, and they are featured in many a song and story, among other things. Here are a dozen arbitrarily chosen dragon things to usher out the Year of the Dragon:
- Custard the Dragon: A poem by Ogden Nash from 1936
Custard the dragon had big sharp teeth,
And spikes on top of him and scales underneath,
Mouth like a fireplace, chimney for a nose,
And realio, trulio, daggers on his toes.
- Puff, the Magic Dragon: A song by Peter, Paul & Mary that was inspired by Custard. (The dragon, that is. Not the dessert. But you never know. Sometimes if I eat dessert right before going to bed I get really weird dreams.)
- Dragonfire: A song written by Sandra Boynton in/on the book/album Dogtrain [mp3 sample]
- St George and the Dragon: a European legend of a man who slays a dragon.
- Smaug: the treasure-hoarding dragon from J. R. R. Tolkiens classic novel, The Hobbit.
- dragonfly: an insect that is neither a dragon nor a fly. Dragonflies are of the order odonata.
- dragonfruit: a thing that is neither dragon nor fruit. No, wait. It *is* a fruit. But I’m mostly sure it’s not a dragon.
- dragon dance: a Chinese tradition involving a large costume of a dragon, which is operated by multiple people. The dragon dance is often part of Chinese New Year celebrations.
- Dragon Ball: While it sounds like it could be a formal-dress version of a dragon dance, it’s actually a media franchise including manga, anime, and video games. But they do feature dragons who can grant wishes.
- Dungeons & Dragons: Sometimes known as D & D. A role-playing game, or universe of games. To be honest, I have no idea what role dragons play in any of it.
- Enter the Dragon (1973): Bruce Lee’s legendary martial arts movie. Bruce Lee does not actually enter a dragon in this movie. But he does enter a sort of dungeon, come to think of it.
- Here be dragons: A phrase associated with unexplored territories on old maps. Possibly this is based on only one such map, The Hunt-Lenox Globe. According to its wiki page,
It is notable as the only instance on a historical map of the actual phrase HC SVNT DRACONES (in Latin hic sunt dracones means “here be dragons“.)
There are loads more great books, movies, legends, and things with dragons. I could easily add another few dozen dragons to the list, but we’d be well into the year of the snake by that time. Instead, I’ll wrap up and get to bed. But please feel free to add more dragons in the comments!