Chinese Mythology

Chinese Gods

The pantheon of Chinese gods and goddesses is extensive, spanning thousands of years as well as different ethnic groups and changing geographical boundaries. Some of the most enduring deities are Pangu, the Jade Emperor, Guanyin, Sun Wukong, and the Eight Immortals.

Chinese Gods Hero

List of Chinese Gods

  • Bixia

    The Chinese goddess of fertility and guardian of children and mothers

    Bixia (碧霞) is a Chinese fertility goddess who protects young children and mothers. Also associated with the dawn, she set the perilous Yellow River back in its place during the Great Flood of China.

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  • Caishen

    Chinese god of wealth and money, whose cudgel turns iron to gold

    Caishen (財神) is the Chinese god of wealth and money, depicted riding a black tiger and surrounded by attendants. He is especially honored during the Chinese New Year, so that he will bless people with prosperity.

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  • Cangjie

    Revered cultural hero credited with creating the Chinese writing system

    Cangjie (倉頡) is the legendary Chinese cultural hero credited with inventing the Chinese writing system. The official historian of the Yellow Emperor, he took inspiration from nature in devising his new method of recording information.

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  • Chang’e

    Chinese goddess of the moon, best known for stealing the elixir of immortality

    Chang’e (嫦娥) is the Chinese goddess of the moon, best known for stealing an elixir of immortality from her husband, Hou Yi. Her story is celebrated as part of the annual Mid-Autumn Festival.

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    Chang’e, Chinese Goddess of the Moon (3:2)
  • Changxi

    Lunar goddess in Chinese mythology, mother of the twelve moons

    Changxi (常羲) is a lunar goddess in Chinese mythology. She is the mother of the twelve moons, which can either be taken literally or to mean she originated the twelve calendar months of the year.

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  • Dianmu

    Chinese goddess of lightning, married to the thunder god Lei Gong

    Leizi, formally known as Dianmu (電母) is the Chinese lightning goddess, married to the thunder god Lei Gong. She uses polished mirrors to form lightning and works with her husband and three assistants to create storms.

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  • Di Jun

    Ancient Chinese emperor, husband to both the sun goddess and moon goddess

    Di Jun (帝俊) is an ancient Chinese emperor who married both the sun and moon goddesses. When the ten suns scorched the earth, he gave the legendary archer Hou Yi arrows to shoot them down.

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  • Doumu

    Chinese goddess and cosmic deity, mother of the Big Dipper constellation

    Doumu (斗母), whose name means “Mother of the Big Dipper,” is one of Chinese mythology’s foundational deities. She is the female counterpart to Tian, the Daoist concept of male heavenly energy, and embodies mercy and love.

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  • Dragon King

    The “Dragon King,” Chinese god of all waters, weather, and dragons.

    Longwang (龍王) is the fierce Chinese guardian deity who rules over oceans and seas, the weather, and all other dragons. He can be ferociously aggressive, but is also a symbol of good luck.

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    Dragon King, Chinese God of the Four Seas (3:2)
  • Eight Immortals

    Legendary Chinese heroes who fight for justice and vanquish evil.

    The Ba Xian (八仙), or Eight Immortals, are a legendary group of Chinese heroes who fight to vanquish evil. Their status as fabled folk icons makes them well-known in popular culture.

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    Eight Immortals, Chinese Legendary Heroes (3:2)
  • Erlang Shen

    Chinese god of engineering, a great warrior with an all-seeing third eye

    Erlang Shen (二郎神) is the Chinese god of engineering with an all-seeing third eye in his forehead. A great warrior, he fights with a double-edged spear strong enough to split mountains and slay dragons.

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  • Fuxi

    Humanity’s original ancestor in Chinese mythology, husband of Nuwa

    Fuxi (伏羲) is seen as mankind’s first male ancestor in Chinese mythology. Along with being a god of creation, he is revered as the inventor of fishing, writing, and domesticating animals.

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    Fuxi, Chinese Creator Deity (3:2)
  • Guanyin

    Benevolent Chinese goddess of mercy, called upon in times of suffering.

    Guanyin (觀音) is the beloved Chinese goddess of mercy and compassion. All-seeing and all-hearing, she is characterized by her great benevolence and offers protection to those who are suffering.

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    Guanyin, Chinese Goddess of Mercy (3:2)
  • Hou Yi

    Legendary archer and Chinese hero, famous for shooting down nine suns

    Hou Yi (后羿) is Chinese mythology’s greatest archer, who saved humanity by shooting down nine of the ten suns. He is married to the moon goddess Chang’e, who stole the elixir of immortality from him.

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    Hou Yi, Legendary Chinese Archer (3:2)
  • Huxian

    Fox fairy of Chinese mythology, bringer of seductive wealth and moral ruin

    Huxian (狐仙) is the fox deity or “fox fairy” of Chinese mythology, widely worshipped across northern China. A shapeshifting trickster, it might try to seduce people with wealth and riches, leading them to moral ruin.

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  • Jade Emperor

    The Supreme Ruler of Heaven in Chinese mythology, first emperor of China

    The Jade Emperor (玉皇) is one of Chinese mythology’s most important and popular deities. He is considered to be the ruler of heaven, one of the highest ranking gods, and the very first of the Chinese emperors.

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    Jade Emperor, Chinese Ruler of Heaven (3:2)
  • Ji Gong

    The “Mad Monk,” Chinese folk hero and champion for the poor and oppressed

    Ji Gong (濟公) was a monk and legendary Chinese folk hero. Rather unconventional for a Buddhist, he disavowed the ascetic life, yet his devotion granted him supernatural powers, including the ability to see the future.

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  • Jiutian Xuannu

    Beautiful and mysterious Chinese goddess of war, sex, and longevity

    Jiutian Xuannu (九天玄女) is the beautiful Chinese goddess of war, sex, and longevity. Her magical abilities and strategic advice helped powerful military commanders win pivotal battles for China.

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  • Lei Gong

    Chinese god of thunder who punishes evildoers, both human and demon

    Lei Gong (雷公) is the Chinese god of thunder, who punishes sinful humans and evil demons alike with his hammer. He carries a drum that makes the sound of thunder, a warning against immoral behavior.

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  • Lu Ban

    Inventive Chinese god of carpentry, patron of builders and contractors

    Lu Ban (魯班) is the Chinese god of carpentry and the patron of builders and contractors. He is the inventor of many useful tools, including the saw, shovel, carpenter’s square, grappling hook, and umbrella.

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  • Mazu

    Chinese goddess of the sea, patron of sailors, fishermen, and travelers.

    Mazu (媽祖) is the compassionate Chinese goddess of the sea, watching over sailors, fishermen, and travelers. Celebrated for her protective nature, she sends warnings of oncoming storms to those at risk.

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    Mazu, Chinese Goddess of the Sea (3:2)
  • Menshen

    Fearsome Chinese door gods, guarding building occupants against demons

    The Menshen (門神), or “door gods,” are a pair of Chinese deities who act as the guardians of thresholds. The two brothers protect the occupants of a building from demons and bad luck, feeding interlopers to their pet tigers.

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  • Nezha

    Precocious Chinese deity who protects teenagers, misfits, and drivers.

    Nezha (哪吒) is a precocious young Chinese deity who watches over teenagers and professional drivers. Enraged by his father’s actions after his reincarnation, his eventual reconciliation with his parents is a classic example of filial piety.

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    Nezha, Chinese Protection Deity (3:2)
  • Nuba

    Chinese goddess of droughts and loyal daughter of the Yellow Emperor

    Nüba (女魃) is an ancient Chinese goddess known to cause droughts. Fiercely loyal to her father, she defended the Yellow Emperor against rebellion by the gods of wind and rain.

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  • Nuwa

    Chinese goddess who created all mankind, sister and wife to Fuxi

    Nuwa (女媧) is a popular Chinese goddess associated with fertility and marriage. She created mankind in two different origin myths; once by shaping people out of clay, and once by repopulating the world after a flood.

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    Nuwa, Chinese Creator Deity (3:2)
  • Pangu

    The first living being, an ancient Chinese deity who created the world.

    Pangu (盤古) is an ancient Chinese deity considered to be the first living being and creator of the world. Emerging from an egg containing the entire cosmos, his birth released the universe.

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    Pangu, Chinese Creator of the World (3:2)
  • Sanguan Dadi

    Imperial officials of sky, earth, and sea in Chinese mythology, who judge humanity.

    The Sanguan Dadi (三官大帝) are three imperial Chinese officials overseeing the world under the command of the Jade Emperor. Each reports on their own realm—sky, earth, or sea—and rewards or punishes people appropriately.

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  • Shennong

    The “Farmer God,” patron of agriculture and father of traditional Chinese medicine.

    Shennong (神農) is the founder of agriculture and the father of traditional Chinese medicine. Concerned for the health of his village, he experimented with different types of plants to test their effects on the body.

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  • Sun Wukong

    The “Monkey King,” Chinese trickster god known for his impertinence

    Sun Wukong (孫悟空) is the Chinese trickster god known as the Monkey King. Born from a magical rock, he was thrown out of the Jade Emperor’s court for his impertinence, but eventually achieved enlightenment.

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    Sun Wukong, the Monkey King (3:2)
  • Wenchang Wang

    Chinese deity of literature and culture, very popular among students

    Wenchang Wang (文昌王) is the kindly Chinese god of literature and culture. Based on a real war hero, he is invoked for inspiration by writers and students, especially during finals week.

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  • Wufang Shangdi

    Chinese mythology’s physical manifestations of the Daoist concept of heaven.

    The Wufang Shangdi (五方上帝), or “Five August Emperors,” are Chinese mythology’s physical manifestations of the Daoist concept of heaven. Their behavior serves as an example to all mankind.

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  • Xihe

    Solar goddess in Chinese mythology, mother of the destructive ten suns

    Xihe (羲和) is a solar goddess in Chinese mythology, whose children took turns driving her chariot across the sky. When her sun children went out together, scorching the world, they were shot down by Hou Yi.

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  • Xiwangmu

    “Queen Mother of the West,” powerful Chinese goddess of life and death

    Xiwangmu (西王母) is the powerful Chinese goddess married to the Jade Emperor, who tends to the Peaches of Immortality. Originally a demonic figure, she repented and achieved enlightenment, and presides over life and death.

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    Xiwangmu, Chinese Queen Mother of the West (3:2)
  • Yan Wang

    The King of Hell, overseer of the Chinese underworld and judge of the dead.

    Yan Wang (閻王) is the King of Hell in Chinese mythology. A fearsome deity, he rules over all the other lords of the underworld and determines the punishments the dead must endure before their reincarnation.

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    Yan Wang, Chinese King of Hell (3:2)
  • Yue Lao

    Chinese god of love and marriage, who appears in the light of the moon

    Yue Lao (月老) is the popular Chinese god of love and marriage. Worshipers commonly wear a thin red string around their wrists to signify their wish for a romantic relationship.

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  • Yu Shi

    Ancient Chinese rain deity, still prayed to in times of severe drought

    Yu Shi (雨師) is an ancient Chinese rain deity closely associated with the god of wind. Fearsome in appearance and rebellious by nature, he scatters rain from his earthenware pot.

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  • Zao Jun

    The “Stove God,” Chinese folk deity who watches over the home and family.

    Zao Jun (灶君), the “Stove God,” is a household folk god who watches over home and family. He is bribed with sweet desserts during the Chinese New Year, so that he reports only good news to the Jade Emperor.

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  • Zhong Kui

    The “Demon Hunter,” a popular Chinese protector deity who fights ghosts

    Zhong Kui (鍾馗) is a Chinese deity and folk hero who fights ghosts and hunts demons. He committed suicide after being stripped of honors due to his ugliness, but was granted supernatural abilities in the afterlife.

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    Zhong Kui, Chinese Demon Hunter (3:2)