21 God of Wealth – 财神 (cái shén)

Ying Qi

Anonymous 1

 simplified Chinese: 财神; pinyin: cái shén

God of Wealth

Caishen, known as 财神 in Simplified Chinese. Is a significant figure in Chinese mythology, revered as the God of Wealth. His name, pronounced Cáishén in Pinyin, literally translates to “God of Wealth” in English, combining the characters cái (財), meaning “money” or “wealth,” and shén (神), meaning “god.”


Caishen is venerated in Chinese folklore and Taoism due to his purported capacity to bestow prosperity and abundance. During the Chinese New Year festivities, he is remarkably esteemed when individuals eagerly seek dishing a golden cudgel that can transform iron into gold, personifying the might and allure of affluence. As a result of this iconography, he is frequently depicted in Chinese art accompanied by attendants carrying wealth symbols such as fruits and gold ingots.

Caishen’s identity has been linked to several historical figures, believed to be his incarnations. Zhao Gongming and Bi Gan are the most notable among them. Bi Gan is associated with a tale of tragedy and sacrifice, leading to his deification as the God of Wealth. His story illustrates themes of greed and the corrupting influence of power, as his execution by a greedy nephew led to the downfall of the Shang Dynasty. In another interpretation, Caishen is considered Li Guizu, a rural magistrate who brought prosperity to his region and was later deified under the Tang Dynasty.

The varied legends surrounding Caishen are indicative of the regional variations and diverse traditions that comprise Chinese mythology. The regional significance of gods in Chinese culture and the localized nature of religious beliefs are highlighted by the fact that each Caishen tale originates in a distinct region. This particular facet of Caishen’s mythology emphasizes the historical interdependence of religion, culture, and geography in China.

In modern interpretations, Caishen’s multiple stories are sometimes reconciled by suggesting that Bi Gan was reincarnated through the ages, each time amassing more incredible wealth and skill in managing it. This character’s evolution from a political figure to the ultimate symbol of wealth and prosperity reflects mythological narratives’ dynamic nature and adaptability to changing cultural contexts.

The following is an example of how the term is used:

“During the Chinese New Year, many people pray to Caishen for financial success and prosperity in the coming year.”

“The statue of Caishen in the temple is adorned with gold and red, symbolizing wealth and good fortune.”

“Business owners frequently worship Caishen, hoping for his blessings on their enterprises and financial ventures.”


Wikimedia Foundation. (2023, November 27). Caishen. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caishen


Hamilton, M. (2022, December 1). <em>Caishen</em>. Mythopedia. <a href=”https://mythopedia.com/topics/caishen”>https://mythopedia.com/topics/caishen</a>


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