Chinese Painting of the Eight Immortals

    Chinese the Eight Immortals Paintings

    The Painting of Eight Immortals (Ba Xian 八仙)is believed to be incredibly auspicious and are the patron saints of Chinese Taoists. Hanging Eight Immortals paintings at home is one of the most popular way to invit them to your home. The Eight Immortals are considered to be signs of prosperity and longevity, so they are popular themes in ancient and medieval art. They were frequent adornments on celadon vases. They were also common in sculptures owned by the nobility. Their most common appearance, however, was in paintings[citation needed]. Many silk paintings, wall murals, and wood block prints remain of the Eight Immortals. They were often depicted either together in one group, or alone to give more homage to that specific immortal. Each of the Eight Immortals guards one of the eight directions, so their presence in your home ensures good feng shui in every aspect of the home and people's life. The Eight Immortals is the synonym of happiness and good luck and the number 8 ( 八 ba) has become lucky association with this legend story.


    Each Immortal's power can be transferred to a power tool (法器) that can bestow life or destroy evil. Together, these eight tools are called the "Covert Eight Immortals" (暗八仙 àn Ba Xian). Most of them are said to have been born in the Tang or Song Dynasty.


    Zhan Guolao is an old man always rides a donkey backwards. He is usually carrying two drumsticks. Legend has it that at the end of his journeys, he could fold up his donkey like a piece of paper and store him in his wallet. When he was ready to travel again he would sprinkle water on his wallet and the Donkey would reappear. Han Zhongli is the familiar Fat Man with his bare belly showing. He always carries a fan and sometimes a peach. He is also considered the Chief of the Immortals. Han Xiangzi is the happy Immortal that is always seen playing a flute. It is said that Xiangzi could make flowers bloom with just his will, and soothe wild animals with his music. He Xiangu is one of the two female Immortals who always carry a magical Lotus flower with her. Lan Caihe is the second woman amongst the Immortals who always shown wearing a tattered blue gown and only one shoe. A basket of flowers is her treasure.


    As you can see, the Eight Immortals represent men and women, old and young, rich and poor. They has become a common theme of the birthday folk art. The folk drama thanksgiving , often staged so-called "play "Drunken Eight Immortals" or "Eight Immortals Birthday Opera. The Eight Immortals enriched Chinese mythology and culture, adding to the mystique of the myth.


    The most famous story of the The Eight Immortals in literature is "The Eight Immortals Cross the Sea" (八仙過海 bā xiān guò hǎi). It is about the Immortals on their way to attend the Conference of the Magical Peach (蟠桃會 pán taó huì) when they encounter an ocean. Instead of relying on their clouds to get them across, Lü Dongbin suggested that they each should exercise their unique powers to get across. Derived from this, the Chinese proverb "The Eight Immortals cross the sea, each reveals its divine power" (八仙過海,各顯神通 ~, gè xiǎn shén tōng) indicates the situation that everybody shows off their skills and expertise to achieve a common goal.



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