Monday, January 16, 2012

Argue Not With Dragons...

...for thou art crunchy and go well with brie.

Or so says my signature line I've used in my emails for years. I have never been able to track down where this quote originated, and have seen many variations on it, but this still remains my favorite. My daughter even found me a t-shirt, and even if it uses the more often used variation of ketchup, it is still the perfect shirt to wear today.

Why, you ask? Well, today is Appreciate a Dragon Day!

Appreciate a Dragon Day was created in 2004 by the author Donita K. Paul, to celebrate the release of her first book in the Dragon Keepers series, Dragonspell.

The spirit of Appreciate a Dragon Day is to get kids involved in literacy, art and reading, but is certainly not limited to kids! There are various ways to celebrate today. Some of those ideas could include:

-Create your favorite dragon in art. Drawing, painting, sculpture, Lego, paper mache, masks, collage, mosiac, mixed media, knitting, sewing, puppets - the list is endless!
-Devise a dragon treasure hunt, to find the dragon's hoard! The hoard can be anything from a gift to money to anything you want it to be!
-Become a dragonologist for the day! Check out any of the Dragonology books, but a Field Guide will be most useful.
-Learn about one or more dragons from different cultures and mythologies. Believe it or not, there are differences in dragons depending on the culture.
-Stage a dragon-themed puppet show, dance, play or musical. I think designing one of those Chinese dragons used in parades would be a blast!
-Make dragon food - this is just a given. Between today and the upcoming Chinese New Year's Year of the Dragon coming up, watch for recipes here.
-Have a dragon party. Dress up as a dragon, decorate with dragons, have dragon foods. There is a plethora of adult beverages that have the word *dragon* in the name.
-Watch a dragon movie or cartoon. There are so many. Dragonheart, Eragon, How To Train Your Dragon, just to name a few.
-Learn about dragons in history and legend. I bet you'll uncover something you didn't know before!
-Try origami and make a folded dragon out of paper. You can find directions here.
-Learn about REAL dragons, or even visit them if you have the resources nearby - find a Komodo dragon at your local zoo, or learn about bearded dragons at specialist pet stores or animal centers! Our local science museum has a live bearded dragon that my daughter brings out for birthday parties there. The animals she shows are animals that have been donated to the museum, often the result of someone getting one as a pet and no longer being able to care for it. (Small rant - why I do NOT believe in the sale of exotic animals as pets!)

Dragons are symbols of strength, fortitude and courage. Their fiery nature also means they are symbols of transformation. For those of you so inclined, spiritually, dragons are messengers of balance and can help strengthen psychic ability. They are rulers of all four elements and therefore embody primordial power, and as a "totem" they offer strength, wisdom, bravery and empowerment. They can also bring magic into our lives and encourage us to be peaceful warriors - standing up for ourselves, but in a constructive and harmonious way. Dragons can be a powerful ally and if you want to work with their energy, you can call upon your dragon totem through meditation. Look at dragon images and read about them - this can help draw them into your life.

Bring out all your (or your kid's!) stuffed dragons and place them all around the house. Light up some dragon's blood incense and enjoy the day!

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