Episode 58: Eight Immortals 6 — LanCaihe

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Today we are going to talk about the sixth immortal in the Eight Immortals 八仙. His name is LanCaihe 蓝采和, who represents the poor.


Who is he? In the book XuXianZhuan 续仙传 from Tang Dynasty 唐朝, it says, LanCaihe, nobody knows about him. He usually wears patched clothes and just one shoe . He wears thick puffy clothes during the summer and during the winter, he lies in the snow when white steam coming out of his body. He sings and begs for money in the city. Sometimes he gives the money he begged to the poor people. Sometimes he just spend it on booze and gets drunk. Some people said they saw LanCaihe when they were a kid and when they got old, LanCaihe still looked young.


The image of LanCaihe is a mystery cause he looks like a boy and a girl who carrying a bamboo flower basket. Some scholars say LanCaihe is a homosexual or transgender, which I don’t know much about their proofs.

There was a play from Yuan Dynasty 元代 about how LanCaihe became an immortal with the help of another immortal from the Eight Immortals Zhongliquan 钟离权, whom we have talked about before. Zhongliquan saw LanCaihe and thought he could be an immortal. However, LanCaihe was enjoying the life as a normal person until he was sued by people and had to suffer the punishment. And all of those troubles were planned by Zhongliquan. LanCaihe realized that there is no need people put too much importance on success or failure. There is nothing need to be happy or sad about in life. It is kind of like the story about LvDongbin.

He became an immortal and left the human world by riding on a celestial swan or crane.


八仙 Eight Immortals

续仙传 XuXianZhuan

蓝采和 LanCaihe

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