Peng Zu

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Peng Zu
Sculpture of Peng Zu at Tea Theme Park in Mount Wuyi
Bornc. 1900 BC
Diedc. 1066 BC (aged 800)
Other names彭祖
Known forLegendary long life

Peng Zu (彭祖, "Ancestor Peng")(篯铿) is a legendary long-lived figure in China. He supposedly lived over 800 years in the Shang dynasty.[1] Some legends say that one year was 60 days in ancient China; that made him more than 130 years old. Others say he was over 200 years old or over 400 years old. Another says he was accidentally left off of the death list in heaven.

Peng Zu was regarded as a saint in Taoism. The pursuit of elixir of life by practitioners of Taoism was highly influenced by Peng Zu. He is well known in Chinese culture as a symbol for longevity, nutrition treatments, and sex therapy treatments. Legend maintains he married more than 100 wives and fathered hundreds of children, as late as in his 800s.

According to the Spring and Autumn period's Guoyu (Discourses of the States), the Han dynasty's Shiben (Genealogy), and the Tang dynasty's Kuodi Zhi (Record of Geography), Peng Zu was the founder of Dapeng and made marquis by the kings of the Shang dynasty.[2]


One of his life extending techniques was coitus skill, which purportedly extracts female energy into the male body (harvesting from Yin to supplement Yang).

He ate naturally and used herbs to enrich his nutrition. He was known for cooking excellent soup.[3] Chinese people believe that his long life, good health, and sexual energy were attributed to the food he ate. His life style emphasized meditation. He was viewed as one of the pioneers of Qigong.

The place where he lived and died was called Peng Shan (彭山, "Peng Mountain"), from which the county was named (in Sichuan Province, China). His shrine, tomb, and statue are preserved in Peng Shan County.

There is a Peng Zu Festival every year for people to pay respects to his legacy and pray for healthier, happier, and longer lives. His pictures hang in houses all over China and are popular birthday gifts for senior citizens.


  1. ^ Wong, Eva (2007). Tales of the Dancing Dragon: Stories of the Tao. Shambhala Publications. ISBN 1-59030-523-X. p. 26.
  2. ^ Wu (1990), p. 44.
  3. ^ Connell, Brendan (2012). Lives of Notorious Cooks. Chomu Press. ISBN 978-1907681202