Dragon Tattoo Meaning and Symbolism

I don’t think there is any other tattoo that holds such mystery as that of dragon tattoo meaning.

Come to think of it, real life dragons don’t exist (I may be wrong), but they are so popular and revered more than many real life creatures.

Dragons can be so huge and extensive that no other creature can beautifully cover half of a human body the way dragon tattoo does.

And if you don’t want it so pronounced, it can be minimally tattooed as well.

With bright colors and serpent-like body, the dragon holds varying meanings both in the west and east.

This is what we are going to be looking at in this article.

The aim is to help you decide on whether it’s the right tattoo for you.

What Dragon Tattoos Mean

What Dragon Tattoos Mean

In some cultures, the dragon means dark evil that should be conqueredby all means.

Then in some others, it is a creature with great wisdom that brings about good fortune.

In Japan, for instance, dragon means protection, especially of family and loved ones. Little wonder why some people wear dragon tattoo for protection.

Not only that, dragon also signify longevity and power. They are sort of revered as guardians that guide and bring happiness to people.

Therefore, when you wear a Japanese dragon tattoo, know that it is meant for those willing to protect others.

Western tradition, on the other hand, does not see dragons in the same light.

They are believed to be frightening and powerful monsters that should be avoided.

But this is not the same when you look at Nordic and Greek mythologies that believe that wrestling a dragon is a way to show masculinity and heroism.

For that reason, it’s safe to say that wearing such dragon tattoo can be a sign of courage and power.

In European depictions, dragon images come with elaborate wings and scales breathing fire from their mouths.

Another tradition that abhors dragons is the Christian tradition. They believe that dragons are evil, cunning, vicious, brutal and mischievous. Just like the snake that tempted Eve in the bible, dragons are seen to represent devil and its agents.

In Asia and China particularly, the dragon symbolizes a creature with such a strength that can control both rain and drought.

Chinese dragons are not known to be violent. Instead, they are seen as a representation of longevity, strength and power, wisdom and good luck. They are also known to offer protection to mankind.

Chances are that you may have seen a decorated dragon being displayed in Chinese festivals.

By the way, have you seen dragon tattoos made up of complex knots and curls? Those are referred to as Celtic dragons.

Unlike in the west where dragons are considered demonic or evil, Celticdragons are instead considered custodians of the universe’s wisdom.

It’s very common to see such dragons on national symbols, armors, flags and even on clothing.

Another thing with Celtic dragon tattoos is that they represent balance, wisdom and spirituality.

The curly knots of the Celtic dragon tattoo refer to the many ups and downs of life.

Different Colors Of Dragon Tattoo And What They Mean

Dragon tattoos are inked in different colors. Each color has a meaning and here they are:

Green Dragon Tattoo

Green color represents life and birth. Green dragon tattoos has to do with life, nature, rebirth and prosperity. Just like plants that flourish and nourish us, green dragon tattoos are believed to cause someone to flourish in life.

Red Dragon Tattoo

Like blood, red represents vibrancy. And so red dragon tattoos signify strength and masculinity. Although females can wear red dragon tattoos, but you find this tattoo more common among the males. Red dragon tattoos are also believed to bring good luck and happiness, which is why red decorations are used in festivities and celebrations.

Purple Dragon Tattoo

Purple is a combination of blue and red. Looking at it from that direction, we could say that blue depicts reason, while red stands for passion. When it comes to purple dragon tattoos, they represent awareness, spiritual healing, and balance.

Purple also represents royalty and nobility, especially in the Western culture. This color also stands for wealth. And when you think of it, purple dye is hard to produce which is why it is mainly a reserve for the rich. Therefore, purple dragon tattoo has connotations of wealth, royalty and nobility.

Blue Dragon Tattoo

Just like I stated above, blue stands for reasoning. But it is also the color of water and therefore has something to do with life. Blue dragon tattoo is often known to be a lazy dragon. However, the laziness is not in a bad light. Instead, it means it is slow to anger, very compassionate, and ready to forgive quickly.

Gold Dragon Tattoo

Another color associated with wealth is the gold color. In this instance, gold dragon tattoo symbolizes kindness, intelligence and wisdom. Some people still prefer to associate it with wealth because of the richness of the color.

What Makes Dragon Tattoos Popular?

Just like the mystical creatures that they are, dragons have this mystery that surrounds them. And we, as humans, love anything that holds some sort of suspense.

The dragon as a fearful creature in some traditions is another reason people love this tattoo. Some believe that wearing a dragon tattoo makes you come off as someone that is powerful.

Another reason the dragon tattoo is popular is that they come with a combination of colors that make them seem alive.

Have you seen a dragon tattoo that covers the entire human back? If you have, then you will understand just how beautiful dragon tattoos can be.

Popular among Asians, dragon tattoos are a sign of good luck, strength, victory, and power. This makes the tattoo very popular among this set of people.

Best Placement For Dragon Tattoos

From experience, I noticed that a lot of people wear their dragon tattoos on the part of their bodies with enough space. Talk about the full back and also from the chest down to the hip.

But the most popular place is the back.

The dragon comes with a lot of curves just like a snake. And so you find that some people prefer to wear theirs from one thigh down to the leg. It helps onlookers appreciate the curvy nature of the dragon while taking in its beauty.

But this is not to say that you cannot have it on other parts of your body. In fact, some dragon tattoos are tattooed around the finger to make it look like a dragon ring.

Just choose wherever you prefer to have your dragon tattooedon your body.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dragon Tattoos

Is the dragon tattoo gender-restricted?

The dragon tattoo may be more popular among males, but it still isn’t gender-restricted. There are a lot of females with beautiful dragon tattoos on their bodies. If you fancy the tattoo, you can go ahead and tattoo it regardless of your gender.

What does a dragon tattoo signify on a female?

It signifies wisdom, fearlessness, passion and also rage. But the color combination can give the tattoo a different meaning.

What does a dragon tattoo signify on a male?

On a male, a dragon tattoo can mean power, dominion, greed, potential, nonconformity, intellect, unpredictability, duality, and wisdom.

What does a black dragon signify?

Black dragons are usually associated with vengeance. They are also known to cause catastrophes like floods and storms. They are mostly linked with evil or danger.


The dragon itself is a complex and mysterious creature that has many capabilities.

There are many connotations associated with this creature, but it still does not make it any less attractive. With this article, you will be able to choose the dragon tattoo color that best represents the message you want to pass across.

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About the author

I’m S.R Bhuiyan, a proud Tattoo artist. I will share the body art journey with you here in PrettyJust. I have 10+ years of experience in the field of tattoo, piercing, nail art, and skincare. Check out my bio which has my tattoo studio/cat/travel pics!

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