Home  |  Demigods   |  Asian Demigods   |  Vietnamese Demigods   |  Chu Dong Tu : The Marsh Boy

Chu Dong Tu : The Marsh Boy

Listen

At a glance

Description
Origin Vietnamese Mythology
Classification Demigods
Family Members Tien Dung (Wife)
Region Vietnam
Associated With Taoism, Business Ethics

Chu Dong Tu

Introduction

In Vietnamese mythology, Chu Dong Tu is regarded as one of the four immortals of the country along with Than Giong, Lieu Hahn and Son Tinh. In legends, Chu Dong Tu appeared on a golden or yellow dragon and was able to meet Trieu Quang Phuc, a sixth-century resistance leader. In Vietnam, Chu Dong Tu is regarded as a saint and his story with Princess Tien Dung is one of the oldest stories in the mythology.

Physical Traits

Chu Dong Tu was a mortal by birth and exhibited all physicality of a regular person who lived at the time. Due to his extreme poverty, all depictions show him as being malnourished before his wedding. He was later shown as becoming more “saintly” as he aged.

Family

Chu Dong Tu was married to Princess Tien Dung who was the daughter of Hung Vuong who was the king of the province in ancient Vietnam. The love story of  Chu Dong Tu is celebrated as the Vietnamese version of Valentines Day.

Chu Dong Tu was a poor fisherman’s son and was born into extreme poverty including having to share the same loincloth with his father. After his father died, he did not want to bury him naked so sacrificed the loincloth to maintain the dignity of his father in death. He retreated to a marsh, where few people would approach him and lived there.

During this time, the princess and her companions were on a journey to find new places to explore. At Da Trach, they came across a beautiful river close to where Chu Dong Tu lived. After granting the princess’ wish to bathe in the river, the servants set up a tent on the shore. As the water started to trickle down, Chu Dong Tu who had covered himself in dirt to hide his nakedness, lost all of his cover and appeared naked in front of the princess. Upon seeing Chu Dong Tu, the princess immediately covered herself. The young man then told her that he had used his only clothes to clothe his father, and he had to hide from the people and fish in the dark.

The princess was not angry with Chu Dong Tu as he had done nothing wrong. However, she ordered the servants to clothe him and prepare for their wedding. The king was angered by the marriage of the princess to a poor commoner and then disowned the couple and forced them to work to feed themselves.

Powers and Abilities

Chu Dong Tu was a skilled trader and built quite a big reputation as a fair and ethical businessman. During his business trips, he met Phat Quang, a sage whom he accepted as his teacher. His association with his mentor ensured that he followed the teachings of Tao in his life.

When Chu Dong Tu went back to his wife after his education with Phat Quang, he was in possession of a conical hat and a pilgrim’s staff gifted by his teacher. He and his wife converted to Taoism and decided to wander the lands. Feeling very tired one day, they stuck the staff and hat on the ground and went to sleep. They awoke to a clap of thunder and the sight of a magic citadel emerging from the ground. There were fabulous palaces, housing and other buildings that were created and the population came forward to welcome them and invite them to run the kingdom.

When King Hung Vuong heard of this, he assembled an army to destroy this new kingdom. Tien Dung refused her citizens’ requests for arms to defend the citadel because she believed that Heaven had created it and she must accept what was to happen. The citadel vanished during the storm the night before the attack. After the citadel fell, the soldiers found a beach and a pond, which were named Dam Nhat Da and Bai Tu-Nhien respectively.

Modern Day Influence

The festival of Chu Dong Tu is celebrated every year in the northern Vietnamese province of Hung Yen. The pilgrims arrive in elaborate costumes and are welcomed at the temples of Da Trach and Da Hoa. After the opening ceremony, a procession is carried out to remember the life and legend of Chu Dong Tu where two dragons lead the procession adorned with flowers and arranged on a drum.

The festival begins with a procession consisting of several weapons and musicians. The participants then sit in various boats and dig into the river for the offerings at the temple. Various forms of entertainment are also performed during the festival, such as grappling and human chess. Singles visit the festival to find their husband or wife and the event is also celebrated as an Oriental Valentine’s Day. Various forms of entertainment are also performed during the festival, such as martial arts competitions and folk songs.

Related Images

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Newest addition

Frequently Asked Questions

What is lorem Ipsum?

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

What is lorem Ipsum?

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

What is lorem Ipsum?

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

What is lorem Ipsum?

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

What is lorem Ipsum?

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Watch

Try out our intense and sometimes mind numbing quizzes on mythology.

If you score 100% on any of our quizzes, you stand a chance to win an EXCLUSIVE gift from Mythlok!!

Try out our intense and sometimes mind numbing quizzes on mythology.

If you score 100% on any of our quizzes, you stand a chance to win an EXCLUSIVE gift from Mythlok!!