The Qilin or Chinese unicorn is a mythical beast that symbolizes good luck and prosperity. According to tradition in China, Korea, and Japan, a qilin would appear to signal the birth or death of a particularly benevolent ruler or sage scholar. Because of its association with good luck, and its peaceful, vegetarian nature, the qilin is sometimes called the "Chinese unicorn" in the western world, but it does not particularly resemble a horned horse.
In fact, the qilin has been depicted in a number of different ways over the centuries. Some descriptions state that it has a single horn in the middle of its forehead—hence the unicorn comparison. However, it may also have the head of a dragon, the body of a tiger or a deer, and an ox's tail. The qilin is sometimes covered with scales like a fish; at other times, it has flames all over its body. In some tales, it can also spout flames from its mouth to incinerate evil people.
The qilin is generally a peaceful creature, however. In fact, when it walks it steps so lightly that it doesn't even bend down the grass. It can also walk across the water's surface.