To a child, a dragon is a source of wonder and fascination, something that is powerful and fantastical and only present in fairy tales and bedtime stories. As an adolescent, dragons move along with stories of magic, both equally exciting in a land of make belief. As adults, we know that dragons are stuff of lore and legends. All in all, dragons increase curiosity whether you know less or a lot about them.
The most famous dragons are the Asian dragon and its European cousin. The Asian is more serpentine, has four claws and there is an absence of wings. The European dragon has a wide wingspan, stands on two limbs (four in all) and is reptilian. The most important difference is that The Chinese dragons symbolize power and have been used as art but the European dragon is usually conceived as evil. Asian dragons have many names, in Chinese they are called Lóng (in Mandarin Pinyin) and Lùhng (in Cantonese Jyutping); in Japanese lore they are called ryü or tatsu (in Romaji); in Korean lore they are called Ryong/Yong (in Revised Romanization); in Thai lore they are called mangkorn jihn (Romanization) and rông, long (in Quôc Ngü) in Vietnamese.
In European lore, dragons are further divided into sub-categories. In Slavic mythology, dragons are called zmey (Russian), smok (Belarussian), zmiy (Ukrainian) and smok wawelski aka Wawel Dragon (Polish). Many know that dragon originates from the latin word Draco/Draconia, some also believe it originates from draugr, an Old Norse word which means "a spirit that watches over the burial mound of an emperor". There are also those who believe, the word originated from derkesthai which means "to see" in ancient Greek. The most popular ones is Germanic myths and legends are Níòhöggr; the dragon in the Beowulf legend; Fafnir and Lindworms(similar to dragons). In Celtic mythology Dragons are known as Y D draig Goch, popularly known as the Red dragon which appears on the Welsh flag. In Basque mythology Herensuge is the name of the dragon whereas they are called drac in Catalan lore. Though the names are unknown in Italian mythology, there are several mythical stories where dragons have been mentioned like in the story of Saint Mercurialis, the first ever bishop of Forlì who slaughtered the dragon to save it. Saint Theodore of Tyro, who also is the first ever patron saint of Venice who's slaughter is displayed in St. Mark's square.
Another famous dragon is Persian dragon, whose presence as Azhi Dahakais conspicuous in Avestan mythology. Of all the types of famous dragons from stories everywhere, the Persians are the most interesting as they are considered both good and evil. Eg: Tiamat a dragon of Babylonian mythology gives birth to the first generation of gods.
However, as exciting as legends and lore is, its mostly television, movies or books through which we have come across some of the most interesting and loved ones. One of the most famous dragons would be the British dragon, Draco in the movie Dragonheart (a European dragon voiced by Sean Connery). Another famous dragon is the female dragon, who is a naughty and flirtatious female dragon. J.K. Rowling's fictitious yet engrossing British dragons in the Harry Potter series like Norbert, Norwegian Ridgebacks, Hungarian Horntails, Swedish Short-Snouts, Common Welsh Greens, Hebridean Blacks, and a Chinese Fireball. The popularity of dragons also extends to games like rainbow dragon which kids seem to love. All in all, our fascination with dragons, whether we are young or old, will not cease.