(Image: Carp Leaping over the Dragon Gate Lantern, Giant Lantern of China, Edinburgh Zoo)
Legend has it that the hero Dayu built a high and steep “Dragon Gate” in order to control the flood. Forceful water brought many carp down the river and the carp could not swim back. The carp complained to Dayu. His wife, Jade Emperor’s daughter, spoke with her father on behalf of the carp. Jade Emperor promised that if those carp could leap over the Dragon Gate, then they would become mighty dragons. Thus, in early spring every year, herds of golden carp would gather under the Dragon Gate and try to leap over the gate to become dragons.
Nowadays, “Carp Leaping over the Dragon Gate” symbolises good wishes for overnight achievements, advancements and life changing moments.
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