Dragons, the magical scaly creature born from fire, have existed throughout mythology since the times of the Romans and Egyptians. Dragons, with their celestial ways and otherworldly presence, make our lives a lot more interesting, and never cease to amaze people.
Appreciate a Dragon Day is a day dedicated to learning about dragons and sharing your love for these creatures!
History of Appreciate a Dragon Day
Appreciate a Dragon Day began when Donita K. Paul wanted to celebrate the publishing of her first fantasy novel “Dragonspell”, part of the five-volume series, The DragonKeeper Chronicles.
Dragons have always been popular, existing in the mythology of cultures from all over the world. Dragons inspire us and fill us with fear at the same time. Western dragons have always been depicted as fearsome creatures to either overcome or have a kinship with, while eastern dragons were typically equated with the royalty and heavenly forces, depending on the culture.
Nevertheless, dragons also tend to represent the conquering of the spiritual soul, as they are related to many of the human emotions that block the way to enlightenment. Dragons in modern culture have always been a place of fascination for them, as many authors and filmmakers have helped transform the image of a dragon to something people can admire.
Some of the most famous stories to depict dragons are seen in Tolkien, Ursula, and J.K. Rowling’s novels. In films, movies and TV shows such as How to Raise a Dragon, Game of Thrones, and Eragon have helped shape the way people see dragons and ultimately fall in love with them. Dragons have existed since the earliest parts of history and have appeared in many different forms with many different alignments of good and evil.
The depictions of dragons tend to differ by culture. In ancient times, most societies had an ambivalent view of dragons. Like any other creature, these giant flying serpents had both a good side and a bad one.
In the West, however, attitudes towards dragons changed with the advent of Christianity in the late Roman era. Suddenly, dragons became associated with evil because of their serpentine nature and needed vanquishing. Some people believed that dragons were a real phenomenon and created stories about how great warriors had to go out into the wilderness to defeat them. The tale of St. George and the dragon is likely a direct descendent of this thinking.
When you think about it in more detail, you can understand why people thought dragons were real. Remember, in ancient times, there was no explanation for giant bones. Nobody had a clue what dinosaurs were, or that fossilized bones were millions of years old. For all they knew, these creatures perished recently and could live beyond the horizon. Believing in “dragons” was logical and perhaps necessary to protect yourself.
The old ideas weren’t far off eighteenth- and nineteenth-century discoveries in paleontology. Once the dinosaur age took off, it became clear that there really were giant serpent-like creatures who roamed the Earth millions of years ago, firing the public imagination.
The diversity of dragons is considerable, and one of the main motivations for National Appreciate A Dragon Day. The fire-breathing variety is the most famous, but there are others too. Some are like gargoyles found in medieval churches. Others are many-headed hydras that pop out of the ocean. Some even depict them as wyverns, basilisks, and other mythical creatures with loose connections to the real world.
Folklore experts like Carol Rose point out that dragons are essentially “composite creatures.” We tend to think of them as highly-stylized, as depicted in films like The Hobbit. But Rose notes that they can have really unusual features, including elephant trunks.
Ultimately, the idea of dragons interacting with humans fills our mind with awe and inspires us to delight our minds with fancy. Appreciate a Dragon Day asks people to share what their favorite dragon is in popular culture and tell people why they love dragons.
How to Celebrate Appreciate a Dragon Day
When it comes to celebrating Appreciate a Dragon Day, you have a lot of options.
Draw, sketch, or color in pictures of dragons. Watch your favorite dragon-themed movie with friends. Read fantasy novels about dragons, including The DragonKeeper Series. Buy or sew a stuffed dragon for you or a friend you know – it’s all totally kosher!
If you love art, you can print out a dragon coloring page. Or you can attempt to paint a picture of one of these mythical beasts from scratch if you’re feeling brave.
Another popular idea is to use the day to cook a meal fit for a dragon. What, precisely, this entails is anyone’s guess. But heavy charring is clearly an option here. You want something that involves a little fire and passion!
Another thing you can do is learn to write in Dragonese. For those of you who don’t know, this is the language that dragons speak in the film How to Train Your Dragon. The scriptwriters created an entire universe of words, waiting for you to explore them.
You can also indulge yourself in other ways. How about collecting books and movies related to dragons and starting a dragon collection? Or what about creating a dragon mosaic, hosting a puppet show, or doing all kinds of things you can think of related to dragons?
Once you start talking about dragons, you’ll be amazed by how many people love them. Don’t keep Appreciate a Dragon Day to yourself! Share this holiday with your friends and spread your love for dragons!