Also known as Tianlu or Bixie, Pixiu is one of the five auspicious animals in ancient Chinese mythology, the other four being the dragon, phoenix, tortoise, and Chinese unicorn. Pixiu is considered a wealth-bringing divine animal with a dragon's head, a horse's body and a unicorn's feet. The animal, capable of flying, looks like a lion and has gray fur.
Pixiu is fierce and powerful by nature. As such, it is in charge of patrolling duty in the sky to keep demons, ghosts, plagues and diseases at bay. It has a mouth but no anus, so it just swallows things inside without passing anything out. That's why it is regarded as a divine accumulator of wealth from all sides without letting anything out.
Like the dragon and the lion, Pixiu is also believed to be an animal capable of driving away the evil sprits of a particular place and bringing happiness and good luck. But unlike Chinese unicorn, Pixiu is an auspicious animal with a ferocious nature and fierce loyalty in protecting its master. It is considered a house-guarding animal with the ability to ward off evil spirits. That’s why many Chinese people wear jade ornaments shaped like a Pixiu.
There are a lot of different legend versions about the dragon and its nine sons in Chinese folk culture, but the number of the dragon's sons is believed to be a lot more than nine. Pixiu is said to be the ninth prince of the Dragon King, and its staple food is gold, silver and jewelry. It is naturally shining with brilliance and looks far more handsome than other auspicious animals like the three-legged toad. Pixiu was therefore in favor with the Jade Emperor and the Dragon King.
Anyway, eating too much may well lead to bowel disorders. One day, Pixiu relieved the bowels before he could go to the toilet, which angered the Jade Emperor, who gave him a slap on the buttocks. As a result, Pixiu's anus was sealed up. After that, gold, silver and jewelry could only go into his body and couldn't come out. Along with the spread of this story, Pixiu was regarded as an auspicious animal capable of bringing in wealth, and it was considered a propitious animal that could turn disasters into good fortune by ancient Chinese fengshui masters.