Chinese Mythology

The Folk Gods and Spirits of the Middle Kingdom


Daoist Poverty God

Also known as Lan Caihe, Lan Ts'ai-Ho

Picture of the Chinese Poverty God Lan Caihe from our Chinese mythology image library. Illustration by Chas Saunders.

Immortal eccentric

One of the Eight Immortals, he’s a total oddball. And why not? Living forever must get very boring unless you mix things up a bit.

In this case Lan Caihe mixes it up a lot. He was originally a busker, beggar and herb seller, and usually drunk. He was also very effeminate, and may even have been a female transvestite.

His or her fortune changed dramatically after helping a beggar (whom rumor suggests may have been Li Tieguai in disguise). Lan Caihe washed his boils and sores, nursed the crippled beggar back to health, and was rewarded with immortality.

With a bizarre dress sense, Lan Caihe wears only one boot, and a belt made of wood. In the summer he wraps up warm with a thick coat, but this is discarded in the winter in preference for sleeping semi-naked in the snow.

This all begins to make sense when you realize he (or she) is the patron deity of the impoverished.

Lan Caihe Facts and Figures

Name: Lan Caihe
Pronunciation: Larn Tsuy Huh
Alternative names: Lan Caihe, Lan Ts'ai-Ho

Gender: Male
Type: God
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: Poverty
Area of expertise: Poverty

Good/Evil Rating: NEUTRAL, may not care
Popularity index: 7861

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Article last revised on April 22, 2019 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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