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The Chinese God of Wealth

Who is The God Of Wealth in China?

The 5th lunar day of Chinese New Year is the Welcome Day for the God of Wealth. Many families worship the God of Wealth in the early morning. After the ceremony, people explode firecrackers to invite the God of Wealth to enter the house. That's why we can keep continuously hearing the sparsely sound of firecrackers in the morning.

Many stores open on this day after the Chinese New Year holiday. Some religious store owners put a table in the front of the company's main entry. They prepare fruit, flower, candy, tea, candles, and animal sacrifices on the table to worship the God of Wealth. Some even invite the lion dance team to celebrate the opening ceremony. The mascot of the God of Wealth will appear and enter the store. The store owner will give the mascot a Red Envelope with a money reward inside.

Who is the God of Wealth? The answer is more than one God of Wealth in Chinese society. Some selected gods are from the novel of Feng-Shen Bang 封神榜 (The Bulletin Board of Delegated Gods, The Investiture of Gods), which is written in the Ming Dynasty 明 (1368 to 1644 AD). The story of the Feng-Shen Bang is talking about the rise of the Chou Dynasty 周 (1045 BC to 256 BC). The characters are the historical figures mixing with religious gods, goddesses, devils, demons, immortals, wizards, sorcerers, fairy persons, and spirits from Chinese mythology.

The main character in the Feng-Shen Bang is Chiang Tze-Ya 姜子牙 who was a student of the Original Supreme God. At age 32, Mr. Chiang studied to become immortal, but he failed 40 years later. He went back to his hometown and had trouble making a living as a restaurant owner, businessman, fortune teller until the founder of the Chou Dynasty asked him as the premier when he was 83. He was rewarded the state of Chi 齊 after the Chou dynasty conquered the Shang Dynasty 商 (1600 BC to. 1046 BC). He lived up to 139 years old, severed for four emperors of Chou Dynasties, and had 13 children.

Chao Kung-Ming 趙公明

The first God of Wealth is Chao Kung-Ming. Before the book of Feng-Shen Bang, Chao Kung-Ming had magic power and was in charge of wind, thunder, and rain. Once he was also in charge of the plague. That means he can save or take away people's lives. Later, he became a general of millions of ghosts. He had a black face, wore combat uniform with a helmet, carried a golden wheel and metal chain on the back of a black tiger.

In the Feng-Shen Bang, Chiang Tze-Ya 姜子牙 delegated Chao Kung-Ming as the officer of Dragon-Tiger Black Hall by the decree of the Original Supreme God. From then, Chao Kung-Ming was in charge of the business of gold, silver, and jewelry.

Chao Kung-Ming wasn't entitled as the God of Wealth by Chiang Tze-Ya. But because of his position, Chao Kung-Ming became the God of Wealth in the Chinese mind. People forgot about his ugly and fierce face and changed his image by adding golden treasure around him.

Chao Kung-Ming was killed by the shooting arrows on both eyes and the heart. People said the God of Wealth is without eyes and heart, which means everyone has the chance to become a millionaire from the blessing of the God of Wealth no matter you are rich or poor.

Chao Kung-Ming was a gangster when he was young. He regretted what he did when he was old. Once he took off his clothes and asked people to punish him by using firecrackers to bang his body on the Lantern Festival night. To injure himself is to atone the sin and to be responsible for the coming disaster. The event of mass firecrackers is still held on the Lantern Festival night today.

Kuan Yu 關羽

The most popular God of Wealth is Kuan Yu who was a general in the Three Kingdom period, (2211-263 AD), after the late Han Dynasty. His trademark is the red face, long beard, long whiskers, green battle uniform, and 40-kilogram long broad blade weapon.

He disguised himself with a red face because he killed a bad guy when young. He helped his friend and tried to restore the power of the Han Dynasty. He won lots of battles and killed many enemy generals. But he ended with a beheaded general. After his death, his spirit wouldn't die and his divine image appeared in the sky several times. People remembered his brave and fighting skill, faith, righteousness, loyalty to friends, and the act of justice. Chinese believe that his spirit can protect themselves and repel bad luck. He was treated as the God of War before Ming Dynasty.

After Ming Dynasty and Ching Dynasty, more business persons worship General Kuan, because they need partners in business with righteous, trustful, and loyal personalities. Also, the business people would like to win the business deal all the time like an ever-win General Kuan. Therefore, Kuan Yu became the God of Wealth.

Both Kuan Yu and Chao Kung-Ming are military officers. They are called The God of Sword Wealth.

Bee Kan 比干

Bee Kan was a smart and loyal officer in Yin ( Late Shang) Dynasty, He was also an uncle of the emperor. Chiang Tze-Ya 姜子牙 left him a magic paper and told him to burn and eat it when he was in a big emergency.

The emperor's lovely queen was a nine-tail fox transformed into a beautiful woman. Bee Kan killed many foxes related to the queen. The queen wanted to revenge and pretended very sick and told the emperor that she needed the hear of Bee Kan to recover her health. The emperor called Bee Kan into the palace and Bee Kan took out his heart and then walked away.

Bee Kan was without a heart but didn't die because he ate Chiang Tze-Ya's magic paper before entering the palace. Bee Kan left the palace and donate money and treasure to many people. A person without a heart must be fair to the money and business deal. Later Chiang Tze-Ya entitled Bee Kan as the God of Wealth in the Feng-Shen Bang.

Fan li 范蠡

Fan Li helped the king of Yeuh to regain the state. He was out smarter than the king. He quit his position and move to the state of Chi to prevent being killed later.

He changed his name in Chi country and made lots of money in business. The king of Chi found his talent and invited him as the premier. But Fan Li gave away all his money to people, then run away again. Fan Li chose another business town to start the new business again. Not too many years later, he became a millionaire again

Fan Li is a symbol of a collection of money. He never treasures his money. He can give up wealth, career, honor, and prosperity. What he showed his wisdom and business management skill to people. That's why Fan Li was treated as the God of Wealth after his death.

Bee Kan and Fan Li are smart statesmen. They are called The God of Pen Wealth.

Yao Shaos 姚少明

According to the Feng-Shen Bang, Mr. Yao had a position as the Profit Growth Officer. He was a student of Chao Kung-Ming who was the God of Wealth. Chiang Tze-Ya entitled him Yao Shaos as the Auspicious God. Chinese treat him as the God of Windfall because the business profit and lucky money from the gift are easy money to make people rich faster.

The God of Windfall usually will appear beside the God of Wealth, because people like something extra and easy.

The God of Local Land 土地公

The God of Local Land is the lowest rank office in Taoism and very close to people. Many people fulfilled their wishes after they prayed and asked the God of Land for good luck. That's why there are many little roadside shrines of the God of Land in the countryside. Therefore, for some people, the God of Land is the God of Wealth to them.

Five Different Gods of Wealth 五路財神

The God of Wealth brings people money. Five Gods of Wealth must make people much richer. One said that Five Gods of Wealth were five friends who had the same birthday and met in a temple. Because they came to the temple for the same purpose to pray for money luck, so they became very close friends. Later, all of them became rich because of a successful businesses. Five of them donated money to build a new temple. They are entitled Five Gods of Wealth after death.

The other popular saying that the Five Gods of Wealth are Chao Kung-Ming with his four assistants who are in charge of receiving treasure, collecting jewelry, summoning money, and raising profit. The picture on the left shows extra the Boy of Wealth.

Five Different Gods of Wealth means the Gods of Wealth come from different directions - East, West, South, North, and Center. No matter where you go, one of the Gods of Wealth will be there for you.

Some people choose their own Five Gods of Wealth. two are Gods of Sword Wealth, two Gods of Pen Wealth, and God of Windfall.

Five Color Gods of Wealth

When people devote themselves to religion, they don't have time and place to pursue wealth for a living. So religious people pray for their God of Wealth to increase their wealth easier and faster. Thus, the poor become rich and the rich become much richer.

For example, In Tibetan Buddhism, there are five different colors of God of Wealth - Yellow Jamhhala, Red Jambhala, White Jambhala, Black Jambhala, and Green Jambhala. (Jambhala is the Buddhist form of the Hindu God of Wealth) The most popular one is Yellow Jamhhala. He is one of the Four Heavenly Kings who protects the world in Buddhism. He is also a benevolent god who bestows wealth.

They said people should pursuit different Gods of Wealth, depending on their Chinese Astrology Animal Sign or their Chinese Astrology Lucky Element.

God of Wealth Your Lucky Element Your Animal Sign of Year
White Jamhhala Metal Monkey and Chicken
Black Jambhala Water Pig and Rat
Green Jambhala Wood Tiger and Rabbit
Red Jambhala Fire Snake and Horse
Yellow Jamhhala Earth Cow, Dragon, Sheep and Dog

Chinese New Year Articles

By Master Allen Tsai on Jaunary 18, 2022

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