Guan Yu, also known as Guan Di, is the God of War in Chinese culture. Born around 120AD, he is a hero recognized for his patriotism and courage, as well as his skill in tactical warfare. Guan Yu wasÂ killed in 219 AD by his adversaries (led by the powerful emperor, Sun Quan), and was canonized by the Song Emperor in 1120 AD. In 1594, Guan Yu was deemed a god. To this day, his birthday is celebrated every year, which takes place on the thirteenth day of the fifth lunar month.
Guan Yu is also recognized as Sangharama Bodhisattva, an important god in the Buddhism practiced in China. He is also the God of Police Officers.
Along with his two blood-brothers, Liu Bei (a warlord) and Zhang Fei, Guan Yu fought against the evil forces of the Eastern Han Dynasty.Â He remained loyal to them until his death.
Guan Yu and Chinese Martial Arts
Guan Yu, and in fact his brothers as well, are vital figures in the Chinese martial arts. He represents courage, bravery, and strength, all important qualities for practitioners to aspire. Most clubs have an altar, on which a statuette or picture of Guan Yu (and sometimes his brothers) is placed. Guan Yu is characterized as a proud, red-faced warrior with a long black beard, clad in heavy armour. He may be standing or can be on horseback, holding the traditional Chinese pole weapon he invented, the guan dao.
For more information about the brutal weapon, the Guan Dao.