In Western culture, the dragon was usually seen as a beast to be feared. Dragons lived in the sea waiting to devour ships that sailed too far. They lived in caves, protecting treasure with their breaths of fire. In the Middle Ages, the story of St. George fighting a dragon to save a princess entered the mythology of the west, and has been retold and depicted in art for centuries.
The dragon in the culture of the orient is quite different. Instead of a beast to be feared, the dragon is a positive symbol that represents many things, some of which are intelligence, persistence, optimism and energy. Most oriental dragons are creatures of beauty and wisdom. They are loved, and in some areas worshipped. They have been called the angels of the orient.
In China, the dragon is seen as a symbol of protection, and is regarded the Supreme Being among creatures. It can live in the sea, fly through the sky, coil up on land and take the from of a mountain. It is also a symbol of good fortune. The Chinese believe that having a statue of a dragon in the east part of their home brings them good fortune and success in life. But the dragon can be placed anywhere in a home, except areas of rest such as bedrooms. The dragon can also bring great energy, and if placed in a bedroom could interfere with sleep. These ancient angels of the orient are among the most beautiful of Asian home decor items.