In general Asian and specifically Vietnamese culture, there is no such magical creature that can be as powerful and impressive as the dragon. It represents luck, power, intelligence and the dragon is also the lead of 12 zodiac signs. Often carved in the signature S shape with lucky clouds, thunder, and lightning, the artwork of dragons had influenced Vietnamese art and then tattoo art for thousands of years. In people’s belief, having a Vietnamese dragon tattoo is just like bearing a huge blessing and power. And speaking of getting a Vietnamese dragon tattoo, why not come to one of the best tattoo shops in Hanoi: 1984 Tattoo & Piercing Studios. Come right in, we’ll show you the history of the Vietnamese dragon tattoo.
1. Vietnamese dragon tattoo through history
Representing kingship, the Vietnamese dragon tattoo started from the legend of Lac Long Quan and Au Co. Both are said to be the son of the dragon and child of a fairy. Their eldest son, Hung King, was the first to teach Vietnamese people to tattoo their bodies with dragon images to protect themself from monsters and animals. That’s the very first authentic starting point of the Vietnamese dragon tattoo.
Then we jump forward to the Ly Dynasty (11-13th century) when the dragon was commonly used in decorating in Vietnamese culture, not only in royal palaces. The Ly dragon image was influenced by Indian myth, with jaws holding jewels and a graceful body. This forceful images of the dragon can be found in many historical locations and Vietnamese dragon tattoo design. The image was not only affected by the tattoo trend at that time but also nowadays Vietnamese dragon tattoo artwork.
The Tran Dynasty’s dragon is one of the most complicated ones. The artwork had much more detail, drawing with a larger head, horns, sharp claws and a massive body covered in scales. This is a really impressive dragon design that influenced most of the current Vietnamese dragon tattoo.
In the Le and Nguyen Dynasty of many centuries later, the dragons were quite the same, with a more soothing and delightful design. This is when it represented Yin and Yang, water and energy. However, for the Le and Nguyen Dynasty’s dragons, they’re less likely to be preferred in Vietnamese dragon tattoo due to its look.
2. How to choose a Vietnamese dragon tattoo design
Before getting a Vietnamese dragon tattoo, there are a few things you should take a little bit of time to do some research to truly sketch out the image in your head and even on paper.
First, choose your tattoo shop. It’s sometimes confusing to look up “the best tattoo shop in Hanoi” when Google-ing around. However, here in 1984 Tattoo & Piercing Studios, we have some of the best artists in traditional Vietnamese tattoo, especially Vietnamese dragon tattoo. So next time you’re wondering which is the best tattoo shop in Hanoi, don’t forget to check us out.
Next, choose your design. Like we have shown above, there is a lot of dragon design throughout Vietnam history. So take your time to figure out which one attracts you the most then go for it. But for an impressive and powerful looking Vietnamese dragon tattoo, we suggest going for the Ly or Tran Dynasty’s dragon.
Then it all comes down to having a good talk to your best tattoo shop in Hanoi, tell them to do a sketch or template for you, fixing here and there on the design to make it as you prefer. And just get inked.
Having a Vietnamese dragon tattoo design is both meaningful and majestic. It reminds you of our nation, the rich and strong Vietnamese culture, recall the mighty centuries of dragon arts and symbolized great significance. So next time you’re looking for the best tattoo shop in Hanoi to get a Vietnamese dragon tattoo, you know where to go.