门神的传说
Legend of Door Gods


The Chinese prefer to put portraits of Door Gods on their main doors. As to the origination of Door Gods, there are different versions. Here goes the most reliable one. According to Shan Hai Jing, an ancient mythological and geographic work written in the Warring States period, in ancient China, there was a mountain named Ghost’s World, which meant home for ghosts. At the entrance of Ghost’s World, there stood a huge and heavily leaved peach tree. On the tree lived a golden cock. The cock crowed at dawn, reminding the ghosts who hung out at night to go back to the Ghost’s World through the entrance guarded by two gods: Shen Tu and Yu Lei. Every morning, the two gods stood there, checking on ghosts passing by. If they found a ghost did something evil, they would capture it and feed it to the tigers. Therefore ghosts were frightened of Shen Tu and Yu Lei. So people draw portraits of Shen Tu and Yu Lei on peach wood and hung the wood outside the door to keep off evil spirits. The peach wood with Shen Tu and Yu Lei was called Tao Fu. As time went on, different Door Gods came into being. Nowadays you can see varieties of Door Gods, but the convention is still prevailing.

 

 

Door GodsDoor Gods

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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