Chinese Mythology

The Folk Gods and Spirits of the Middle Kingdom


Chinese Old Age God

Also known as Lao-Jen-Hsing, Laorenxing, Nan-Chi Lao-Jen Hsing, Nanji Laoren Xing, Shou Lao, Shou Xing, Shou-Hsing

Picture of the Chinese Old Age God Shouxing from our Chinese mythology image library. Illustration by Chas Saunders.

The superstar of longevity and old age

The most venerable member of the Sanxing happiness squad, his name means ‘Star Of Long Life’. He is old and bald, and always carries a Golden Peach of Immortality from Xiwangmu’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.

Shouxing Facts and Figures

Name: Shouxing
Pronunciation: Sshoh Sheeng
Alternative names: Lao-Jen-Hsing, Laorenxing, Nan-Chi Lao-Jen Hsing, Nanji Laoren Xing, Shou Lao, Shou Xing, Shou-Hsing

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

In charge of: Old Age
Area of expertise: Old Age
Associated with: Canopus

Good/Evil Rating: GOOD, quite approachable
Popularity index: 13036

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Article last revised on April 21, 2019 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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