Traditionally Door God in all round China is quite popular, as the center of China, Beijing is more vivid. As one important part of the folk custom, door god is most widely believed and accepted in folk life. In fact, many Door Gods are available in folk custom.

Door God of Capturing Ghost. Mostly, the door gods are Shentu, Yulei, Golden Cock and Tiger. It was said that there was a big peach tree on Taoyudu Mountain and tree reached total area of 3000 miles. On the tree, there was a gold cock and two gods named Shentu and Yulei respectively under the tree. At daybreak, the sunlight shined the golden cock, and golden cock crowed. All the cocks on the earth also crowed after it. The golden cock flied down from tree to eat those evil ghosts. The ghosts were scared of the golden bird and all ran away, then the world was in peace. Another legend was like this: after Shentu and Yulei, who were both the gods, captured the ghost, and did up them in strings to feed the tiger. In the old days, Beijing citizens posted door gods and peach-man, hung the reed-made rope and pictured tiger on the door. Some also hung two lanterns on the both sides of the door to be the tiger-eyes.

Door God of Praying Blessing. Such kind of door god was non-protector of the family but for praying blessing. The major figure is blessing god. Somewhere, people posted the picture themed Liuhaixijinchan, treasure-presenting god boy or young mammon. The worshippers were mostly the businessmen; they hoped to get more blessing or treasure in the new year.

Door God of Taoism. Most citizens did not post such kind of picture, but in temples of Taoism it was available. Generally there are two great gods pictures were posted on the gate. The left is Qinglong Mengzhan Shenhun and the right is Baihu Jianbing Shenjun.

Door God of Military General. Generally the Door God of Military General was posted on the gates near to the streets in order to suppress the entrance of evils and calamity makers from the main gates; hence the door gods often carried the arms. In Beijing, the civilians usually post the pictures of Qin Qiong and Yuchi Gong, who were the famous generals of Tang Dynasty, and why both of them were qualified to be the door gods? There was a story. At the early time of Emperor Taizhong of Tang dynasty, for establishing Tang Empire, he killed many people, after he was throned, he had a poor health, at night, he always made nightmares that many ghosts threw the broken bricks or tiles into the palaces and made all sleepers slept unsoundly. Emperor Taizong was scared. And finally, Emperor Taizong could not bear the torture of the ghosts and turned to the generals for help. And the generals recommended Qin Qiong and Yuchi Gong wearing armors and carrying the arms guarded the gate of the palace at night, since then Emperor Taizong was never tortured again, but these two general could not do as the guards every night, so some wise man pictured their portraits and posted on the gates. It was also useful! Since then, these two generals became the door gods.

Today, during the spring festival, people are always posting the door gods on the gate for decoration or tradition succession. It is an important part of China’s intangible heritage.


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