In Chinese mythology, the Eight Immortal were a legendary group of eight individual beings who had transcended the human state to become endowed with divine and supernatural attributes or powers. Each immortal is endowed with a power that can give life or help their fight against evil. Most of the Eight Immortals were born during either the Tang or Song dynasties and venerated by Taoists and became popular in Chinese culture. This work is a brief introduction to the Eight Immortals who were; He Xiangu, Cao Guojiu, Li Tieguai, Lan Caihe, Lü Dongbin, Han Xiangzi, Zhang Guolao and Zhongli Quan and concludes with an observation about their popularity.
Li Tieguai had a reputation of being irritable and bad-tempered but was seen as being compassionate and caring towards the poor, sick and those in need. He carried a gourd in which he carried special medicine which he dispensed to those in need. Li Tieguai is often depicted in a rather unattractive way as being an old man with a wispy beard and unkempt hair. He used an iron crutch to aid his walking and was often depicted as a type of clown or beggar who used his powers to benefit those in need. He could be found wherever the sick needed curing or the oppressed needed freeing. Li had been the apprentice of Lao-Tzu the founder of Taoism.