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Vietnamese Dragon Mythology | Stories & Belief

Without any doubt visiting Vung Tau in Vietnam, its beaches, and its iconic Christ the King Statue is called the Best Vietnam Tours. However, there’s one more thing that surrounds Vietnam apart from its beaches: Its Vietnamese Dragon Mythology.

In Vietnamese folklore and mythology, legends of dragons and fairies are overflowing with tales of courage, friendship, and magic. Across the cities of Vietnam, these ancient tales and legends find their way through the hearts and minds of its people, shaping their cultural beliefs and identity. In this exploration of Vietnamese folklore, we will dive into the depths of dragon mythology and the legends of dragons and fairies.

The Legends and Stories of Dragons and Fairies

1. Vietnamese Dragon Mythology

Vietnamese dragon mythology is deeply rooted in the country’s cultural and historical stories, and constantly shaping its identity for centuries. 

Dragons hold a respected status in Vietnamese folklore, representing not only power and strength but also wisdom and luck. 

Unlike the fire-breathing dragons of Western mythology, Vietnamese dragons are generous animals associated with water, symbolizing the life-giving force of rivers, lakes, and oceans.

Dragons are often featured in various aspects of Vietnamese life, from art and architecture to festivals and rituals. 

Dragon structures in temples, monasteries, and sacred palaces, act as protectors of sacred spaces. 

Dragon dances, performed during Lunar New Year celebrations and other festive occasions, are believed to bring good luck and prosperity to communities.

One of the most famous Vietnamese dragon myths is that of the “Dragon King,” who rules the underwater realm and controls the elements. 

According to legends of dragons and fairies, the Dragon King lives in a magnificent palace under the sea.

He is considered the deity of water, responsible for the flow of rivers and ensuring fertile harvests for farmers. 

Another beloved tale is that of “Thach Sanh,” a humble farmer’s son who started a quest to save a princess from a monster. 

With the help of a wise dragon, Thach Sanh defeated challenges to win the heart of the princess and brought peace to the kingdom.

These dragon myths not only entertain but are also valuable lessons about bravery, perseverance, and the win of good over evil. 

2. Legends of Dragons and Fairies

In Vietnamese folklore, dragons and fairies often coexist, and their stories revolve around love, friendship, and adventure. 

Fairies, known as “tien,” are divine beings with supernatural powers, known for their beauty and kindheartedness. 

They are often depicted as supernatural beings, adorned in flowing robes and surrounded by holy light.

One popular legend is “The Legend of Hoan Kiem Lake,” which is the story of Emperor Le Loi and his encounter with a divine turtle. 

According to legends, the emperor received a magical sword from the turtle, which he used to defend the country against invaders. 

After his victory, Emperor Le Loi returned the sword to the turtle, which transformed into a fairy dragon and disappeared into the Hoan Kiem Lake.

Another famous tale is “The Fairy and the Woodcutter,” in which a humble woodcutter rescues a fairy trapped in a tree. 

Grateful for his kindness, the fairy gave him magical gifts, including a flute that can summon the winds and a blanket that makes him invisible. 

They began on a rough journey together, testing their friendship and the power of love to face hardships.

These dragon and fairy legends not only fascinate, but also teach moral lessons about kindness, friendship, and the mutual dependence of all living things.

They serve as a reminder of the world’s beauty and wonder, ready to be discovered by those willing to believe in wonder.

3. Cultural Significance

The cultural significance of Vietnamese dragon mythology and legends of dragons and fairies extends beyond entertainment, it influences various aspects of Vietnamese society, from art and literature to religion and spirituality. 

These myths are deeply rooted in the Vietnamese people, shaping their values and beliefs.

Throughout history, Vietnamese dragon mythology has been used as a symbol of national identity and pride, representing the unbeatable spirit of the Vietnamese people.

Dragons are often depicted in traditional Vietnamese art and literature, serving as a mighty symbol of power, strength, and luck.

Similarly, legends of dragons and fairies are loved for their ability to inspire and uplift, offering hope in times of hardship. 

They are passed down from generation to generation, ensuring their preservation and continuity in Vietnamese culture.

Festivals and rituals honoring dragons and fairies are an integral part of Vietnamese cultural life, which provides opportunities for communities to come together and celebrate their heritage. 

During the Tet Nguyen Dan (Lunar New Year) celebrations, dragon dances, and fairy performances are a must, fostering a sense of unity and belonging among viewers.

As protectors of these ancient tales, we have to cherish and preserve them for future generations, ensuring that they continue to inspire people around the world. 

By exploring the richness of Vietnamese folklore and mythology, we gain a deeper appreciation for the cultural heritage of this dynamic nation.


In conclusion, Vietnamese dragon mythology and legends of dragons and fairies never fail to fascinate and inspire audiences with their timeless tales of bravery, friendship, and magic. These tales are not only stories but reflections of the Vietnamese core, representing the values and beliefs of Vietnam.


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