Deity of the Day
God of Longevity and Old Age, and the most venerable member of the SAN-XING happiness squad.
His name means ‘Star Of Long Life’. He is old and bald, and always carries a Golden Peach of Immortality from XI-WANGMU’s Holy Peach Garden. These are found only in Heaven and ripen once every three thousand years.
Ironically he didn’t actually get to eat one. His long life came about by quite different means. Once he was a young and sickly lad named Zhao-Yen, who was destined to die when he reached 19. Told by a fortune-teller to enter a certain field armed with a packed lunch, he found two men playing checkers.
Having been warned to keep his mouth shut, he silently offered them spring rolls and wine, which were gratefully accepted. So gratefully, in fact, that the men, revealing themselves to be the Gods of Birth and Death, offered him longevity.
First they took his allotted lifespan of 19 years and reversed it, giving 91 years. Then they munched another spring roll, had another sip of wine, and decided he deserved immortality. That must have been a very impressive packed lunch.
Gender : Male
Category : Deity
Celebration or Feast Day : Unknown at present
Pronunciation : Sshoh Sheeng
Alternative names : SHOU-HSING, SHOU-LAO, NAN-JI-XIAN-WENG