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Day to remember a loyal general

(Shanghai Daily)

08:26, July 30, 2013

Guan Yu, the god and general who symbolizes loyalty, also celebrates his birthday tomorrow.

Guan was the most trusted general of Liu Bei who established the Shu Kingdom in the Three Kingdoms Period (AD 220-280).

He is one of the most popular deities, the god of loyalty, military affairs, wealth and rain, and he is revered in Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. He is said to have extraordinary powers.

His birthday on the 24th day of the sixth lunar month is celebrated around China in many temples.

Burning incense, lighting candles and making food offerings are common. Some believers travel all the way to Guan's hometown in Shanxi Province for the official worshipping ceremony.

Guan is generally depicted as an imposing man with a red face, long eyes and a luxuriant beard; he holds a broadsword.

Guan was valiant and undefeated in many battles until he was vanquished in Maicheng in AD 219 because he was betrayed by an ally.

Guan, together with Liu Bei and Zhang Fei were swore brothers, according to the "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms." Though Liu's camp was relatively weak, Guan remained loyal to Liu despite many offers and threats from other camps.

The three men's oath of brotherhood figures in the folk tale "Taking an Oath in the Peach Garden," a story about unfaltering loyalty.

Many stories describe Guan's courage, valor and wisdom. They include tales such as "Dan Dao Fu Hui" ("Attending a Banquet Alone with a Broadsword"), "Gua Gu Liao Du" ("Scratching Bones to Remove Poison") and "Wen Jiu Zhan Huaxiong" ("Killing Huaxiong while the Wine Is Still Warm").

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:LiXiang、Ye Xin)

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