A dragon is a large, serpentine legendary creature that appears in the folklore of many cultures around the world. Beliefs about dragons vary drastically by region, but dragons in western cultures since the High Middle Ages have often been depicted as winged, horned, four-legged, and are capable of breathing fire. Dragons in eastern cultures are usually depicted as wingless, four-legged, serpentine creatures with highly above-average intelligence.
The earliest attested reports of draconic creatures resemble giant fire-breathing snakes. Draconic creatures are first described in the mythologies of the ancient Near East and appear in ancient Mesopotamian art and literature. Stories about storm gods slaying giant serpents occur throughout nearly all Indo-European and Near Eastern mythologies. Famous prototypical draconic creatures include the mušḫuššu of ancient Mesopotamia; Apep in Egyptian mythology; Vṛtra in the Rigveda; the Leviathan in the Hebrew Bible; Grand'Goule in the Poitou region in France, Python, Ladon, Wyvern, and the Lernaean Hydra in Greek mythology; Jörmungandr, Níðhöggr, and Fafnir in Norse mythology; and the dragon from the poem, Beowulf.
History with the Macy’s Parade
A perpetually grinning, caterpillar-like dragon slithered down the parade route in 1929. Due to the strong winds that year, it stayed close to the ground until it and the other balloons were released, at which point its 178-foot long body spiraled into the wild blue yonder. As of today, it is the longest balloon and largest ever used in Macy’s Parade, and due to the size restrictions used since 1998, will most likely keep said record for the time being.