The bottle Gourd is regarded as a
symbol of longevity and good fortune in both the Taoist and Buddhist traditions. It is believed to be filled with the nectar of
vitality. The God of Longevity, Sau Sing, carries a staff at
the end of which is a bottle gourd said to contain the elixir of immortality. Traditionally, the gourd was used as a
water container. Travelers would keep water or rice wine in gourds plucked from
trees, dried and hollowed out. This may be the reason that the gourd became a symbol
of health, the “giver of health and vitality.” Today,
Feng Shui masters universally regard the Gourd as the most important symbol of good health.
Having a Gourd around the house suggests that the
home is blessed and it is probably why many temples are decorated with the
bottle Gourd. A vase shaped like a bottle gourd is often used in Feng Shui to
endow a home with special blessings and a long life for its occupants. Sometimes a
miniature bottle gourd charm or pendant is worn to ward off pernicious influences and
accidents and assure longevity.