The Money Frog of Feng Shui (also called the Three-Legged Toad or Frog or “Chan Chu” or “Jin Chan”) is the most significant symbol of prosperity. It is connected to the Moon and associated with monetary gains, wealth and longevity.
Chinese legends say that the Money Frog was the wife of one of the Eight Immortals. She had been punished for stealing the Peach from Heaven. Naturally greedy, she craves money, and wherever people see a three-legged frog, there’s a bed of money surrounding her. Since ancient Chinese times, this mythical Money Frog has been one of the Chinese holy creatures that protects against bad luck and brings more wealth to the family.
There is an extraordinary amulet standing out from the other thousands of ordinary Money Frogs, that is held in the Buddha’s hands and expresses the sentiment “Luck in Your Hands”. It means that luck will not slip out of the hands of the one who owns this amulet.
Greed for money had made the three-legged frog the pet of an immortal boy whose name was Liu Hai, who was considered the lesser god of wealth. Liu Hai lived on the moon and had caught the frog using coin bait; this explains how this animal is associated with the acquisition of wealth, the moon and immortality.
The three-legged frog can live up to 10,000 years. A horn, called nodule, grows on the head of a 10,000-year-old frog. It is believed that the nodule is one of the five elixirs and that immortality can be achieved when it is consumed. Since it possesses mythic powers, the frog also has the ability to avoid harm from weapons; therefore it was carried on battlefields to prevent soldiers from getting hurt and to shield from the enemy’s arrows. During the most inauspicious day of the year (5th day of the 5th lunar moon), the frog, which is considered a trust element among the Five Venomous Creatures (along with centipedes, lizards, scorpions and vipers), is represented by its image pasted on windows and doors or sewn onto children’s clothing, to counteract the pernicious influences of the evil day. The money frog can convey an inordinate ambition for windfalls, speculative real estate or stock investments, gambling, lotteries, horse racing, sports betting.
Feng Shui tradition insists that a statue of Chan Chu should not be placed facing the main door (“outward”). It also “should never be kept in the bathroom, bedroom, dining room, or kitchen.” The right direction for the Money Frog is southeast.