As a Taoist deification of Canopus, Old Man of the South Pole is also called the Star of the Old Man of the South Pole. In addition, he is also a symbol of happiness and longevity.
The Emperor Ming of Han had once awarded the Old Man a cane with a turtledove statue on top, since turtledove carries aconnotation of health and longevity in Chinese culture. Nowadays the cane is made of peach wood which people believe can dispel illness and enhance one’s strength and longevity.
Another object that represents longevity in Chinese culture is Ginseng Fruit. It is believed that Ginseng tree took three millenniums to blossom and another three millenniums to come to fruition; thus the Queen Mother of the West served herself the Ginseng fruit at her birthdays, in other to become immortal.
In tradition, when a birthday party for male elders was held, the Old Man of the South Pole would be worshipped and deified; while for female elders’birthday , the portrait of Immortal Ma Gu will be placed for worship.
According to Biographies of Divine immortals, Ma Gu had once not seen another Immortal Fong for more than five hundred years, and she had witnessed for three times the evanescence of world, which took at least ten thousand years for each; those stories indicate the age of Ma Gu. Different from the Old Man of the South Pole, Ma Gu is not a star; she was born a human and after her self-cultivation , she finally achieved immortality.