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Chinese Gods in Creation Myths and Legends, Religions, and Folklore

Chinese gods are supreme deities who create, rule and bless the universe in ancient mythology and religion, and they are powerful, virtuous, responsible, and righteous.

 

As a polytheistic culture, Chinese gods from mythology mainly come from three systems:

Chinese Gods, Goddesses, Deities, and Immortals

Chinese Gods, Goddesses, Deities, and Immortals in "Eighty-Seven Celestials" by Artist Wu Daozi (about 680 — 758). 

Creation Myths

Pan Gu

Gong Gong

Nu Wa

Fu Xi

Cang Jie

Shen Nong

Kua Fu

Jing Wei

 

Hou Yi and Chang E

Prehistoric Kings

You Chao

 

Sui Ren

Flame Emperor

Yellow Emperor

King Yao

King Shun

Yu the Great

Religion and Folklore

Hao Tian Shang Di

Taoism Religion

Buddhism Religion

Folktales

Chinese Mythology

Chinese Gods in Creation Myths and Legends

 

In creation myths and legends, Chinese Gods and Goddesses play a fundamental role in the formation of primitive culture and society. 

  • These age-old stories have been passed down through the generations, stretching back over 5,000 years, and are the cherished inheritance of a culture rich in tradition. 

  • They were not the creations of professional authors or religious institutions.

  • The Chinese gods and goddesses featured in these narratives are intimately linked with the creation of the world, the maintenance of justice and order, collaboration with and defiance of nature, as well as the protection and assistance offered to humanity in their quest for survival and progress.  

  • These divine characters are emblematic of diligence and courage, often endowed with miraculous powers.

 

They ascend to the status of revered and essential deities due to their extraordinary contributions, unwavering industriousness, and their indomitable spirit of self-sacrifice. 

Chinese Creation Myths and Legends

Pan Gu — Creator of the World

 

Once upon a time, the entire world resembled a colossal egg, enveloped in darkness and obscurity. Pan Gu had been growing and incubating within this cosmic egg, and after 18,000 years, he finally awoke.

Pan Gu found his confinement in this dim and suffocating environment rather uncomfortable. He reached for an ax that lay nearby and courageously shattered the eggshell.

 

This act resulted in a tremendous explosion, with the bright and clear fragments soaring to form the sky, and the dark and turbid remnants sinking to become the earth.

 

Pan Gu was quite happy about the clear and spacious world he created; therefore, he stood between the sky and earth, hoping they wouldn't mix again.

Pan Gu

He continued to grow taller over time, causing the sky and the earth to move further apart.

 

Another 18,000 years passed, and Pan Gu, now exhausted, fell.

 

His left eye transformed into the sun, and his right eye became the moon. His breath turned into the wind and clouds, and his voice became thunder.

 

The shining stars are made of his hair and beard, while the Five Great Mountains in China are incarnations of his head and limbs.

 

His blood formed rivers, lakes, and seas, and his muscles became mud and road. Plants are his skin, rain is his sweat, and mineral treasures are his teeth and bones.

 

As the first human being, Pan Gu dedicated his entire life to creating a beautiful world.

Gong Gong — Crushing of Mount Bu Zhou and Reshaping of Landscape

 

In ancient masterpieces, the Classic of Mountains and Seas, Mount Buzhou served as a vital pillar bridging heaven and earth.

 

This majestic peak, perpetually cloaked in snow and ice, provided the sole pathway for humans to reach the heavens.

Gong Gong, at times revered as the God of Water, bore a human head crowned with fiery red hair and a serpent's body. In other folklore, he held dominion as the chieftain of a vast tribe.

One fateful day, Gong Gong collided with Mount Buzhou, forever altering the world.

Gong Gong Crushing Mount Buzhou

Gong Gong Crushing Mount Buzhou, Painted by Snow Fish.

Legends surrounding this event differ: some claim it occurred accidentally as he fled during a war with the God of Fire, or as he vied for the throne with King Zhuanxu.

 

In other versions, Gong Gong sought to reshape the geographical landscape, potentially aiding in agricultural irrigation.

 

Whether an antagonist lost in the throes of war or a valiant hero who sacrificed for the greater good, Gong Gong's colossal impact resulted in the heavens tilting to the northwest and the earth inclining to the southeast.

 

Subsequently, the sun and the moon began to rise in the east and set in the west, while all of China's waters flowed eastward, eventually converging into the sea.

 

From that moment onward, these natural phenomena in China adhered to these newly established laws, remaining unaltered through the ages.

Nu Wa — Creator of Humanity and Savior of the Sky 

 

Nu Wa, also known as Nüwa, is the goddess credited with creating humans and mending the fractured sky.

 

After the world was created by Pan Gu, it was a pity that there were few lives in such a wonderful place.

 

Hence, Nu Wa crafted animals and human figures using clay. With a gentle breath, these figures came to life and began running and frolicking.

 

Excited by her newfound power, Nu Wa continued to create life.

 

She instructed these newly formed beings in the art of marriage and the propagation of offspring. In some legends, she is even credited with inventing ancient musical instruments and teaching humans the arts of song and dance.

 

Thus, Nu Wa is revered as one of the foundational mother goddesses, and the world she brought to life seemed to be in perfect harmony.

Goddess Nu Wa or Nüwa the Creator of Humanity

Goddess Nu Wa or Nüwa Creating Human, Painted by Artist Snow Fish.

However, one fateful day, disaster struck.

 

A massive hole tore open in the sky, unleashing catastrophic events following Gong Gong's destruction of Mount Buzhou.

 

The sky trembled, and fires and floods threatened life itself.

 

With the help of her magical guardians, Teng She and Bai Xi, Nu Wa valiantly battled and vanquished numerous monsters responsible for the havoc.

 

In one notable feat, she confronted a colossal, supernatural tortoise that had caused a devastating flood. She severed its four legs and repurposed them as pillars to support the sky, preventing it from collapsing onto the earth.

 

Moreover, Nu Wa collected 36,500 pieces of five-colored stones, merging them into a colossal, magical stone that sealed the gaping hole in the sky.

Nu Wa fulfilling broken sky using five colored stones

 Nu Wa Fixing the Broken Sky, Picture from Zifeiyu.

As a result, the world was restored to peace.

 

Nu Wa's appearance varies across different accounts, but a common depiction is that of a beautiful deity with the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a serpent.

 

Her origin and ultimate fate remain shrouded in mystery.

 

Over time, she came to be associated as either the sister or spouse of Fu Xi. Together, they bore four sons who became guardians of the four cardinal directions and inventors of the four seasons, playing a pivotal role in shaping the earth and heavens.

 

Collaboratively, they established and imparted a series of fundamental etiquettes to the Chinese people, contributing to the formation of a well-ordered and cohesive society.

Fu Xi  Ancestor of Chinese Culture and Sacred Creator 

 

Fu Xi, revered as the primogenitor of Chinese culture, holds a place among the Great Three Sovereigns of ancient China.

 

In alternative accounts, he is portrayed as a deity endowed with superhuman abilities or an ingenious king leading a prominent clan that held the Chinese Dragon as its totem.

 

In either characterization, Fu Xi made exceptional contributions to ancient Chinese culture, with his enduring legacy encompassing:

  • Created Tai Ji and Eight Diagrams, the essential foundation ideologies of Chinese philosophy, mythology, divination, and Chinese Religion, based on his continued observation of nature;

Fu Xi Painted by Artist Ma Lin of Southern Song Dynasty

Fu Xi Painted by Artist Ma Lin of Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) - Taipei Palace Museum

  • Taught people to keep livestock and invented the net for fishing. From that time on, besides hunting, Chinese people were able to get more types of food and gained better chances to survive;

  • Established some positions, divided land, and assigned people to manage professionally;

  • Helped people with nomenclature family names and named everything in the world;

  • Set basic wedding ceremony rules, including not marrying very close kin and standard betrothal gifts;

  • Determined dragon as the totem of his kingdom;

  • Invented some musical instruments (Xun and Qin) to entertain people and wrote songs to accompany those compositions.

Ancient Chinese Traditional Instrument Qin

Ancient Chinese Traditional Instrument Qin

In many legends, Fu Xi was depicted as the older brother or husband of Nu Wa. Together, they raised four sons on Mount Kunlun

 

As their sons matured, they assumed responsibility for the four seasons, dispersing to four distinct regions and establishing four prominent tribes. 

 

Today, annual memorial activities are conducted near his mausoleum on the 18th of March in the Chinese Calendar, celebrated as Fu Xi's birthday.

 

These events serve as a testament to people's gratitude and reverence for this enigmatic and extraordinary ancestor of Chinese Culture.

Cang Jie — Creator of Chinese Characters 

 

Cang Jie, a figure who may have been a lord of a tribe or a historian during the time of the Yellow Emperor, made a profound mark on history through his invention of sophisticated symbols based on the distinctive characteristics of various objects.

This innovation replaced the practice of tying knots on strings to record historical events.

The Chinese Characters he created, known today as Pictograms, brought about a revolution in the way knowledge and history were documented and preserved.

Upon this invention, a series of unusual occurrences transpired.

 

People bore witness to unexpected rains of millet during the daytime and heard the eerie cries of ghosts during the night for several days.

 

These events elicited diverse interpretations.

Cang Jie the inventor of Chinese Characters

Cang Jie Creating Chinese Characters, Painted by Snow Fish.

For some, Cang Jie's invention represented an outstanding achievement to celebrate. It symbolized the means to document and preserve all aspects of culture and history effectively.

Conversely, others viewed this development ominously. They believed that as human intelligence expanded and knowledge flourished, desires would multiply, potentially leading to disparities, hierarchies, competition, conflicts, and wars.

 

Therefore, the millet rain was seen as a symbol, signifying not only progress but also a warning to prepare for the possibility of enduring hunger during the upcoming, unceasing battles.

As for the ghosts, who symbolized the darker and malevolent aspects of existence, their mournful cries were born from the realization that their actions and deceptions could now be permanently recorded and disseminated.

 

They could no longer manipulate and beguile humans as easily as before, leading to their despair.

Shen Nong — Father of Agriculture and Herbal Medicine

Shen Nong, one of the Great Three Sovereigns in ancient China, is revered as the father of Chinese Medicine.

 

Legend has it that Shen Nong had two horns on his head, and his body was transparent.

 

This unique constitution allowed for the observation of the changing colors of his internal organs after consuming various herbs and foods.

 

Endowed with this extraordinary insight, Shen Nong possessed unparalleled knowledge regarding what was suitable for people to eat and what should be avoided.

 

He gradually imparted invaluable wisdom to people, offering methods to enhance agricultural productivity and the use of herbs in curing diseases and detoxification.

In his quest to save more lives and deepen his understanding of botany, Shen Nong embarked on a personal exploration of herbs.

Chinese God Shen Nong

Shen Nong by Artist Guo Xu (1456-1529) - Shanghai Museum

He tasted and documented hundreds of plant species, often suffering from poisoning.

 

During this period, he discovered several teas with detoxifying properties. Unfortunately, some years later, gelsemium elegans poisoned him, leading to his demise.

 

Nonetheless, Shen Nong had already documented and shared knowledge about hundreds of herbs and their application methods, which went on to save countless lives.

 

In certain legends, people also considered Shen Nong to be the Flame Emperor, while in other versions, he is portrayed as a more ancient deity or an ancestor of the Flame Emperor's tribe.

 

There is a vast region named Shen Nong Jia, believed to be where Shen Nong tasted those herbs and departed thousands of years ago.

Kua Fu — Chasing the Sun and Fighting Against Drought

 

Once upon a time, there existed a tribe of giant people. In one fateful year, this tribe faced a dire crisis as many of its members succumbed to a severe drought.

 

Kua Fu, the leader of this tribe, made a solemn pledge to his people. He vowed to capture the sun and end its scorching torment.

 

Kua Fu, distinguished as the most robust and valiant individual among his kin, adorned his ears with two yellow snakes as decorations and wielded two enormous serpents as walking sticks.

 

With unwavering determination, he embarked on a treacherous journey to pursue the sun, a path fraught with perilous weather conditions and terrifying monsters.

 

Kua Fu maintained his relentless pursuit, vanquishing malevolent creatures and surmounting formidable challenges along the way. He quenched his thirst from colossal lakes he encountered.

 

Finally, he arrived at a mystical mountain where the sun descended.

Kua Fu pursuing the sun

Kua Fu Chasing the Sun, by Artist Snow Fish

Gazing upon the radiant, resplendent sun, Kua Fu was overcome by exhaustion and the searing heat.

 

The sheer magnitude and power of the sun compelled him to accept that he could neither capture it nor extinguish its scorching flames as he had hoped.

 

Moreover, he lacked the strength to return to his tribe.

 

In his final moments, just before succumbing to his exhaustion, Kua Fu summoned the last vestiges of his energy to cast one of his sticks back in the direction of his clan.

 

Remarkably, the stick transformed into a vast peach forest, replete with ample tree shade and succulent peaches.

 

The people of his tribe joyously settled in this lush forest.

 

From that point forward, they never again experienced the agony of drought, even though the sun continued to shine relentlessly.

Jing Wei — Filling the Sea

 

She was the youngest daughter of the God of the Sun or the Flame Emperor.  

One day, while playing on a boat, she accidentally drowned in the sea.

 

Her spirit transformed into a bird with a colorful head, a white beak, and red claws. People called the bird Jing Wei based on the sound of her tweets.

 

Jing Wei harbored a deep resentment toward the sea for taking her young life, especially after witnessing more people lose their lives to its depths.

 

Therefore, she used her beak to pick up branches and small stones, hurling them into the sea in an attempt to fill it up.

Jing Wei Filling the Sea

Jing Wei Filling the Sea, Painted by Snow Fish.

She believed that by leveling the sea, no more lives would be lost to its depths.

 

In other legends, her efforts to fill the sea were in a bid to halt a massive flood and protect the people.

 

Tens of thousands of years passed, and the sea remained, but Jing Wei never gave up.

 

She firmly believed that where there is a will, there is a way, no matter how arduous the task or how long it may take.

Chinese Gods and Goddesses

Apotheosize Prehistoric Kings as Chinese Gods

As Chinese history evolved, with primitive tribes transforming into more prominent clans and kingdoms, certain extraordinary kings left an indelible mark in both historical records and mythological narratives. 

Due to their remarkable achievements, these kings were not only revered during their lifetimes but also enshrined as revered ancestors and powerful Chinese gods following their passing. 

Creator of House — You Chao

 

The Ancestor of Fire — Sui Ren

Brilliant Sovereign and Inventor of Agriculture — Flame Emperor 

Culture Hero and Founder of Country — Yellow Emperor 

Ideal Monarch and the Incarnation of Red Dragon — King Yao 

Moral Model of Confucianism — King Shun

Battle of Zhuolu in Chinese Mythical History

Mythical Creatures Assisting Prehistoric Kings Fight in the Battle of Zhuolu, in Ancient Chinese Mythical Classic Shanhaijing.

Until Yu the Great led the people, conquered a vast flood, and founded the Xia Dynasty (about 2070 BC — 1600 BC), the first empire in the history of China. He ended the prehistoric mythology and opened up the chapter of the historic Hereditary Kingdom.

 

Kings after Yu the Great were monarchs of the secular world that were granted by heaven, but they didn't become gods after departing

Yu the Great Defeating Huge Flood, by Artist  Snow Fish.

Chinese Gods and Goddesses

Chinese Gods and Goddesses in Religion and Folklore

 

After Oracle Bone Scripts appeared and were used in the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC — 1046 BC), history, national activities, myths and legends, and folklore were recorded by written Chinese Characters.

 

In the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 — 220), Taoism Religion originated and was popularized, Buddhism was introduced, and more religious gods were included in the Chinese mythological world.

 

Centuries later, with the development of the economy since the Tang Dynasty (618 — 907), Novels became popular, which created and universalized more deities that are widely accepted and worshipped by civilians.

 

They together formed the polytheistic god system in Chinese culture.

Chinese Gods, Goddesses, Deities, and Immortals from Different Sources Gathering

Chinese Gods, Goddesses, Deities, and Immortals from Different Sources Gathering

Supreme God of Han Culture and Imperial Worship Rites — Hao Tian Shang Di

 

Hao Tian Shang Di is the supreme god in the Chinese Han culture, who rules everything in the world.

Hao Tian Shang Di is believed to be the supreme authority of the universe, or the anthropomorphized Hao Tian lives in upper heaven.

Throughout history, Chinese Emperors have been respected as "Sons of Heaven" who were obliged to rule the country by the Mandate of Heaven.

The "Heaven" is Hao Tian Shang Di.

From the Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC — 256 BC) to the last feudal empire Qing Dynasty (1636 — 1912), worshiping Hao Tian Shang Di was the most important and grandest imperial sacrificial ceremony held exclusively by emperors.

Tablet of Hao Tian Shang Di on Main Hall of Temple of Heaven, the Sacred Imperial Heaven Worship Altar.

Tablet of Hao Tian Shang Di on Main Hall of Temple of Heaven, the Sacred Imperial Heaven Worship Altar.

Taoism Religion Gods

As one of the most influential religions throughout history, Taoism Religion, or Daoism Religion, indigenous to China, combines Taoism Philosophy and ancient Chinese Mythology to form a complete and influential system that includes gods, deities, immortals, spirits, humans, and demons.

Based on their locations, this system can be divided into three realms: Heaven, Earth, and the Underworld.

Each realm is guarded by supreme gods, deities, and immortals.

Among these three main realms, the gods living in heaven are the most supreme.

Murals of Some Taoism Religion Gods inside the Yongle Palace (Constructed in 1247 — 1358)

Murals of Some Taoism Religion Gods inside the Yongle Palace (Constructed in 1247 — 1358) in Shanxi

Taoist Gods in Heaven — Supreme Sovereigns of Universe

Three Pure Ones or San Qing

 

Three Pure Ones or San Qing are the three supreme gods of the Taoism Religion: Yuanshi Tianzun, Lingbao Tianzun, and Daode Tianzun.

 

They represent and incarnate Dao, the law of nature, and the rule of the universe.

 

According to Dao De Jing (or Tao Te Ching), The Dao begets Taiji (one), Taiji begets Yin and Yang (two), the movements of Yin and Yang generate a new status (three), and three begets everything.

 

The three symbolize Yin and Yang and Qi, or Heaven and Earth and Humanity in other versions.

 

Therefore, the Three Pure Ones are the highest gods who govern everything.

Three Most Supreme Immortals of the Taoism Religion — San Qing

Three Pure Ones or San Qing of Taoism Religion

Jade Emperor or Yu Huang Da Di

 

In Taoism Religion, the Jade Emperor, or Yu Huang Da Di, is a powerful god who serves under and assists the Three Pure Ones in ruling the world.

 

In folk belief, the Jade Emperor, or Yu Huang Da Di, is the supreme authority of heaven and governs all gods and deities, much like emperors in the secular world.

 

Four Heavenly Ministers or Si Yu

 

Four Heavenly Ministers, or Si Yu, are four gods who assist the Jade Emperor in administrating the universe:

 

  • The Great Emperor of North Polar, or Ziwei Emperor, rules celestial bodies and climates.

 

  • The Great Emperor of Longevity of South Polar, or Changsheng Emperor, rules thunder, birth, and life.

 

  • The Great Emperor of the Highest Palace, or Gouchen Emperor, rules heaven, earth, human, and warfare.

 

  • Empress of the Earth, or Houtu, is the Chinese goddess who rules the earth and all gods of mountains, rivers, cities, etc.

Hou Tu the God of Earth, Land, and Central

Deity Hou Tu, Painted by Artist Huan Xiang.

Five Heavenly Deities or Wufang Wulao

 

Five Heavenly Deities or Wufang Wulao are guarding in five directions and in charge of Five Elements.

  • Yellow Deity or Huang Di, in charge of Middle, Earth, and Four Seasons, and is associated with Saturn and the mythical creature Yinglong.

  • Green Deity or Qing Di, in charge of East, Wood, and Spring, and is associated with Jupiter and the mythical creature Azure Dragon.

  • Red Deity or Chi Di, in charge of South, Fire, and Summer, and is associated with Mars and the mythical creature Vermilion Bird.

  • White Deity or Bai Di, in charge of West, Metal, and Autumn, and is associated with Venus and the mythical creature White Tiger.

  • Black Deity or Hei Di, in charge of North, Water, and Winter, and is associated with Mercury and the mythical creature Black Tortoise.

Golden Hall or Jindian of Wudang Mountains

Golden Hall or Jindian on the Peak of the Sacred Taoist Wudang Mountains, Enshrined the Black Deity, also known as Zhenwu or Zhenwu Dadi. Photo from the Official Site of Wudang.

King Father of the East or Dong Wanggong

King Father of the East or Dong Wanggong is in charge of all male deities and immortals, the Yang energy, and the mythical Penglai.

 

Queen Mother of the West or Xi Wangmu

Queen Mother of the West or Xi Wangmu is in charge of all female deities and immortals, the Yin energy, and the mythical Kunlun.

 

Meanwhile, many gods are in charge of different aspects of the world, such as astrological Lunar Mansions, wealth, health, longevity, literature, marriage, weather, mountains, rivers, happiness, dragons, spirits, ghosts, etc.

Penglai Island Painted by Artist Qiu Ying (about 1497 — 1552)

Penglai Island Painted by Artist Qiu Ying (about 1497 — 1552) — Poly Art Museum

Taoist Gods on Earth — Wellbeing of the Human World

 

Three Stars or Sanxing

Three Stars or Sanxing are three stars representing Fortune (Fu), Prosperity (Lu), and Longevity (Shou).

  • Fuxing, the Star of Fortune, is the deity that can bring people happiness and auspiciousness.

  • Luxing, the Star of Prosperity, brings people success and wealth.

  • Shouxing, the Star of Longevity, can bless people with healthy and long lives.

Chinese gods Three Stars or Sanxing

Wealth Gods of Five Directions or Wulu Caishen

There are some versions regarding Wealth Gods, however, they are popular deities that are widely worshipped by people, to pray for wealth from all directions and possibilities.

Wealth Gods of Five Directions or Wulu Caishen

Six Household Deities or Jiazhai Liushen

The Six Household Deities, often referred to as Jiazhai Liushen, hold significant roles in Chinese folklore and traditional beliefs.

 

These deities oversee various aspects of daily life and are entrusted with ensuring the well-being, protection, and harmony of households.

 

  • Earth God or Tudishen: This deity is responsible for overseeing the land and bestowing blessings to ensure a bountiful harvest. People turn to the Earth God to secure the fertility of their fields and the prosperity of their crops.

 

  • Waterspring God or Jingshen: Tasked with providing people with an adequate supply of clean and healthy water, the Waterspring God is indispensable for maintaining hygiene and overall well-being in the household.

 

  • Door Gods or Menshen: These deities have a crucial role in safeguarding homes. They are tasked with warding off evil spirits and ensuring the protection of the family residing within. Often placed on the doors of homes, they act as vigilant sentinels.

 

  • Kitchen God or Zaoshen: The multifaceted Kitchen God oversees various aspects of daily life. This deity watches over food preparation, the use of fire, and the health of family members.

 

Additionally, the Kitchen God is known for traditionally observing the behavior of household members and reporting it to heaven before the Chinese New Year, and his report day is a famous festival in China.

 

  • Bed God or Chuangshen: Responsible for matters related to fertility and relationships, the Bed God blesses couples with happiness in their marriages and bestows them with the gift of healthy children.

 

  • Toilet God or Ceshen: Guarding over latrines, the Toilet God is associated with health and fertility. In some interpretations, this deity is a figure used for divination, and people look to the Toilet God for guidance and accurate predictions.

Six Household Deities or Jiazhai Liushen

Furthermore, in Chinese culture, various natural elements such as mountains, seas, rivers, lakes, trees, flowers, grains, animals, and even cities are believed to have deities, immortals, or spirits that either guard or manifest within them.

 

These spiritual entities are an integral part of Chinese folklore and traditional beliefs, reflecting the deep-rooted connection between the natural world and the spiritual realm in Chinese cosmology.

Baihua Xianzi or Hua Shen the Deity of Flowers

Deity of Flowers and Heavenly Maidens Scattering Flowers, by Liu Fufang.

Taoist Gods in Underworld — Rulers of the Afterlife Realm

 

In Taoist religion, the supreme god of the underworld is the Great Emperor of Fengdu, also known as Fengdu Dadi.

The underworld serves as the realm where the souls of the deceased undergo trials to assess their actions during their lifetimes, receive sentences relevant to their deeds, and face decisions regarding their subsequent incarnations or ultimate destinations.

Within this realm, numerous gods preside over the judgment of all souls, while powerful deities guard the five directions of the underworld, overseeing and ruling over all the spirits and ghosts, and ensuring that those who have received sentences face appropriate punishment.

Taoist Gods in Underworld

Buddhism Gods

 

Meanwhile, Buddhism introduced, localized, and developed many sacred deities, such as Gautama Buddha, the Buddhas of Three Periods (past, present, future), and the Four Great Bodhisattvas (Guanyin, Puxian, Wenshu, and Dizang).

Buddhism Gods Statue of Yungang Grottoes in Datong

Buddhism Gods Statue of Yungang Grottoes in Datong

Folk Religion

Throughout history, in folktales, legends, ancient Novels, and in today's Xianxia stories, Chinese gods and goddesses from various sources have been integrated to some extent.

 

Meanwhile, more gods, deities, immortals, and spirits with mystical powers have been created and popularized.

Mythical Creature Kun Peng from A Fable of Zhuangzi.

Mythical Creature Kun Peng from A Fable of Zhuangzi.

Yue Lao the God of Love and Marriage

Yue Lao, the God of Love and Marriage, is typically portrayed as an elderly man standing beneath the moon, who holds a red string in one hand and the Book of Marriage, inscribed with the names of predestined couples, in the other.

 

Yue Lao appears under the moon's gentle glow, employing the red string to bind together those couples who are fated to be with one another, based on to this sacred book.

 

As a result, these destined pairs ultimately find happiness together, overcoming any geographical separation or obstacles they may face.

Yue Lao the God of Love and Marriage

Sun Wukong or the Monkey King

Known for his mischievous yet heroic character, Sun Wukong is the central figure in the classic novel "Journey to the West."

 

He possesses incredible powers and together with his master and two other companions, embarks on a legendary journey full of challenges.

Four Main Characters of Journey to the West or Xi You Ji Painted on Corridor of the Summer Palace.

Sun Wukong and Other Characters of Journey to the West or Xi You Ji Painted on Corridor of the Summer Palace, A Classic Novel that Includes Created Folk Deities, and Gods from Religions and Ancient Mythology. 

Jiang Ziya

Featured in "Investiture of the Gods," Jiang Ziya is a significant figure who plays a crucial role in shaping Chinese mythology.

 

He was a skilled military strategist and wise advisor to the first two kings of the Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC — 256 BC).

Jiang Ziya's Image in the Upcoming Chinese 3D Fantasy Adventure Film "Legend of Deification"

Jiang Ziya's Image in the Chinese Animated 3D Fantasy Adventure Film "Legend of Deification", Part of the Fengshen Cinematic Universe with Ne Zha.

Lady White or Lady Bai

Hailing from the "White Snake" story, Lady White is a well-known character in Chinese folklore. Her tale revolves around love, transformation, and cultivation.

Image of Lady White Snake from Film "White Snake"

Image of Lady White Snake from Film "White Snake" 

Zhi Nv and Niu Lang

From the "Cowherd and the Weaver Girl" legend, Zhi Nv is a celestial weaver girl who fell in love with a mortal cowherd but encountered countless obstacles.

 

Their love story has been eulogized for thousands of years and celebrated during the annual Qixi Festival.

Niu Lang and Zhi Nv's meeting on Qixi Festival, by Snow Fish

Niu Lang and Zhi Nv's Meeting on Qixi, by Snow Fish

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