Peng Zu (彭祖, "Ancestor Peng") is a legendary long-lived figure in China. He supposedly lived over 834 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
Chinese: 彭祖
Sculpture of Peng Zu at Tea Theme Park in Mount Wuyi
Sculpture of Peng Zu at Tea Theme Park in Mount Wuyi
Bornc. 1900 BC
Diedc. 1066 BC (aged 833 or 834)
Other names彭祖
Known forExtraordinarily long life

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 834.

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 vitality absorb skill, which purportedly extracts female energy into the male body (harvesting from Yin to supplement Yang) throughout intimacy. He also consumed medical cuisine on a daily basis to sustain life.

He ate naturally and used herbs to enrich his nutrition.[3] He was known for cooking excellent ginseng chicken soup.[4] 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 district was named (in Sichuan Province, China). His shrine, tomb, and statue are preserved in Pengshan District.

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. ^ "Saints & Sages Part I: Founding Ancestor Peng 彭祖爺". Purple Cloud. 2019-06-06. Retrieved 2020-12-07.
  4. ^ Connell, Brendan (2012). Lives of Notorious Cooks. Chomu Press. ISBN 978-1907681202