The word "hsien" (also spelled "xian") has two main meanings in Chinese culture. In popular Chinese religion, it refers to a group of benevolent spirits who promote good in the world. These spirits are often depicted as immortal beings who have achieved enlightenment through Taoist practices. In Chinese government, a hsien is a county or district.
The term "hsien" originated in ancient China, when it was used to refer to a high-ranking official. Over time, the meaning of the word evolved to include the concept of an immortal being. In Taoism, hsien are believed to have achieved immortality through a combination of physical and spiritual practices. These practices include meditation, dietary restrictions, and the ingestion of elixirs.
Hsien are often depicted in Chinese art and literature. They are typically shown as being young and beautiful, with long flowing hair and white robes. Hsien are often accompanied by animals, such as the crane, the tortoise, and the deer. These animals are symbolic of longevity and immortality.
The belief in hsien is still prevalent in Chinese culture today. Many people believe that hsien exist and that they can help to bring good fortune to those who worship them. Hsien are also often seen as symbols of hope and inspiration.
Here are some additional things to know about hsien:
They are often said to live in remote mountains or forests.
They are said to have supernatural powers, such as the ability to fly and to control the weather.
They are often depicted as being benevolent and helpful to humans.
They are sometimes said to be the ancestors of humans.
The belief in hsien is a fascinating part of Chinese culture. It reflects the Chinese people's desire for immortality and their belief in the power of the supernatural.
Background image: Traditional Chinese character for "Hsien".

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