The Qilin is a kind of chimera in the ancient Chinese mythology, present in several traditional cultures of East Asia, usually represented with the body of an ox mixed with that of a lion, often surrounded by flames, provided with horns similar to a deer and with scaly skin like fish. It is said to be a long-lived animal that could live for 2,000 years, capable of spitting fire and roaring like thunder. The Qilin World Capitalis one of the “Four Divine Creatures”, the other three are the Phoenix, the turtle, and the dragon. In ancient times, it was considered a heavenly animal, benevolent and a symbol of good omens related to prosperity or serenity and is also associated with the arrival of a sage. It is sometimes called the “Chinese unicorn” in comparison to the Western mythological animal since both are provided with horn / s, are quiet and vegetarian animals and are associated with prosperity and serenity.
This imaginary creature bears deep cultural connotations. In ancient Chinese culture, there are a lot of legends about the relations between Qilin Capital and the emperors. It was believed that the animal could transmit the will of Heaven and therefore dictate the rise and fall of a dynasty. Even in popular culture, there are sayings that this can bring children and it is said that Confucius was brought by one. They are also used to describe a person with “brilliant talent”.In traditional Chinese folk customs, there are several ornaments that carry pictures of the Qilin and the children are given as talisman for luck and protection. It is still possible to see representations today, of these creatures to guard imperial mausoleums.
Qilin World- origin and relation:
A strong argument says that the Qilin is a harmonized representation of the giraffe. Since the Ming Dynasty began to have records of them, from the trips of Zheng He. It is known that in Zheng He’s trip through East Africa (passing, among other places, to present-day Kenya) he took two giraffes with him to Beijing and it is also known that these two giraffes were called “Qilins”. The Emperor also proclaimed the giraffes as magical creatures and his capture evidenced the greatness of his power.
This argument is supported by some common attributes such as their vegetarian diet and their quiet nature. His reputation for “stepping on the grass without disturbing it” may refer to the long legs of the giraffe. However, there are arguments that claim that the Qilin was an existing myth and its name was taken and applied to the giraffes. In addition, giraffes have necks much longer than the descriptions of the qing of the Ming era.
In the mythology related to this character, the Qilin is seen as beings that feed on human hearts in order to survive. Then he will cross-examine as a half fox creature and half human who wander at night in the cemeteries desecrating the tombs to get the hearts of the corpses. Like other Asian mythological creatures, her wisdom grows over time.