The Chinese Creation Myth
There are many variations of the Chinese creation myth, which is a legend that was passed down orally for about 1,000 years before it was ever recorded. Here's how the most popular versions go: The great Chaos bore an egg of cosmic forces. The being Pangu emerged from the egg after ages of growing within it. The lighter masculine Yang components of the egg floated upward and become the heavens, while the heavier feminine Yin components floated downward and become the earth. In an effort to keep the sky from falling down upon the earth, Pangu stood between them and forced them apart. He stood there for 18,000 years to be sure and then died, his remains becoming the nature of all things.
The first gods were the SānHuáng or the Three August Ones: the god Fuxi and the goddess Nuwa of whom all humanity were born, and the god Shennong, the cultivator. From among the progeny of the Three August Ones came the Wǔdì, or the Five Emperors, who are associated with the five directions according to the Song of Chu. Among The Five Emperors is the Yellow Emperor or Huángdì. The Yellow Emperor is considered to be the father of the Han Nationality of China, and he's associated with several inventions of Chinese culture, including the compass, the guqin, and traditional Chinese medicine. Furthermore, legend has it that when Huángdì died, the gods immortalized him as a dragon, which was his personal symbol. Being that Huángdì is regarded as the ancestor of the Han Chinese, the Chinese often refer to themselves as “the descendants of the dragon.”
Scholars believe that Huángdì's original emblem may have been a snake, and that as he slew his foes he incorporated their emblems into his own. This would explain why the Chinese dragon is often portrayed with the body of a snake and the features of other animals, such as the tail of a fish, deer antlers, and demon eyes.