Lifestyle, Stories

Rainy season: Because of the Chinese ‘Rain Dragon’?

Be ready to grab your warmest blanket, snacks and a good Netflix series for a cozy binge watch session, as PAGASA has just announced that it’s officially the rainy season!

Although some rejoiced at the thought of saying goodbye to the sweltering heat from the summer season, some have also got their heads scratching on why the rainy season started early this May.

It has been common Filipino knowledge that rainy days begin in June. PAGAGA experts have announced, though, that the unexpected rains started because of the southwest monsoon and severe thunderstorms all over the country.

On the flip side, Chinese ancestors have a different version of why it rains and it has something to do with a certain ‘Rain Dragon’. 

The story of Yinglong

Not all Chinese dragons breathe fire as this ‘Rain Dragon’ from China summons the opposite element: water and rain. Yinglong (Chinese: 應龍) is the name of this legendary Chinese rain dragon, who is a winged creature and a rain deity in Chinese mythology. He is also the oldest in all of the eastern dragons.

Aside from being the Rain Dragon, Yinglong is also known as the Responsive Dragon, as can be deduced from its name yìng 應 which means ‘to respond’, and lóng 龍 which means ‘Chinese dragon’. 

According to Chinese folklore, Yinglong is a deity that must be appeased first before it gives its blessings of rain to the earth. If people were to praise him enough, Yinglong can send rain to nourish the earth but he can also show his might and power by sending giant floods or withholding rain. 

If people cried out to him, Yinglong would show mercy and provide them with what they needed, hence his title as ‘Responsive Dragon’.

Yinglong would use his tail to create rivers and lakes that would catch the rain that he sends to the people. The dragon used this when he was tasked by the King Yu of ancient China to help him stop the ‘Great Deluge’, which is a flood that was set to wipe out the Chinese civilization. Together, the King and Yinglong, using his tail, created canals and waterway systems which helped direct the flood water to the sea. These canals and waterways are also said to be the reason behind the creation of some of China’s famous rivers and even helped China divide into the Nine Provinces.

Paying respects to the Rain Dragon

Today, there are different rain ceremonies taking place in China and all of them include creating dragon pieces out of clay. Through this, the Chinese people are able to celebrate the beliefs of their ancestors and hopefully appease the Rain Dragon for blessing them with rain.

So prepare your umbrellas and raincoats and thank Yinglong, the ancient Chinese Rain Dragon for the gift of rain that we are experiencing today!

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