Photos: Chinese pilgrimage to the shrine of God of Wealth
January 30, 2012Jing Gao2 CommentsBuddhist temple, Chenghuang Temple, Chinese New Year, City God Temple, folk culture, folk remedy, god of prosperity, god of wealth, Jiuhua Mountain, Lingyin Temple, money worship, Red envelope, Religion/Belief, spring festival, worship
God of Prosperity/Wealth is a deity in Chinese folk culture who, as the name suggests, spreads wealth and success to the mortals. He is usually shown wearing an official’s gown in red and carrying or being surrounded by symbols of wealth, such as coins, boat-shaped gold ingots (a.k.a. yuan bao, or gold sycee), and coral. Chinese folklore states that he works wonders by touching a stone and turning it into gold. His birthday is the fifth day of the Chinese New Year, which falls on January 27 this year. Chinese people all over the country were celebrating on that day by burning incenses and setting off firecrackers to attract the attention of the God and hopefully bring him in. (Note: All of pictures shown below were taken on January 27, 2012 unless otherwise stated.)
Citizens of Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei province, crowd outside the city’s Guiyuan Temple.
More than 300,000 citizens of Wuhan went to the city’s Guiyuan Temple to worship the God of Wealth.
Cloud of smoke from incense burnt as offerings to the God of Wealth.
The incense stick on the left says, “Profits pour in from all directions,” whereas the right one says, “Roaring business.”
In Wuhan’s Guiyuan Temple.
In Wuhan’s Guiyuan Temple, two people burnt joss paper featuring gold ingots/sycees on the front as offerings to the deity.
In Wuhan’s Guiyuan Temple.
In Wuhan’s Guiyuan Temple.
In Hangzhou, the capital city of East China’s Zhejiang province, people stood in a long winding line for riding an aerial lift to Lingyin Temple, which is perched on the mountain, and worshipping the God of Wealth.
In Wuhan’s Guiyuan Temple, worshippers tossed coins into the deity’s shrine, hoping a little tip can translate to the God’s favor in the future.
In a tourist area in Sanya, South China’s Hainan province, a worker dressed up as the God of Wealth tossed red envelopes, imitation gold sycees and candies to the crowd.
At a temple fair in Nanjing, the capital city of East China’s Jiangsu province, a worker dressed up as the God of Wealth with a cartoonish touch sat in a wheelbarrow, waving to visitors at the Tample Fair while holding a large imitation gold sycee in his hand.
A woman in Jiaxin, East China’s Zhejiang province piously knelt down in front of the offerings meant for the God of Wealth and put her palms together to pray for more fortune while other people in the line behind her were watching.
In Jiaxin, East China’s Zhejiang province, citizens attended a ceremony where a Taoist-priest-looking man went through a ritual to establish a contact with the deity.
At 11 p.m. on January 26, the night before the deity’s birthday, people in Shanghai assembled outside the city’s Chenghuang Temple, waiting for their turn to offer incense to the God and pray for descent of prosperity upon themselves in the new year.
The night before the God’s birthday at Shanghai’s Chenghuang Temple.
Three people dressed up as the God of Wealth and his acolytes paraded the streets of Fuzhou, the capital city of southern Fujian province.
The trio entered a store and presented an imitation gold sycee as a gift to the store owner, wishing her better luck in making money in the new year.
In Zhouzhuang, a town famous for is watery views in East China’s Jiangsu province, people touched the sculpture of Treasure Bowl, a cornucopia of boat-shaped gold ingots/sycees, hoping to thereby invite good luck and fortune.
At Nanjing’s Xixia Mountain Park, citizens who flocked in to visit the Buddhist temple and pray for prosperity set off firecrackers at a designated area inside the park. The fifth day of the Spring Festival marks the second wave of deadly fireworks explosion. From the midnight till the end of the day, nonstop ear-splitting sound and clouds of smoke surrounded the city.
The concentration of air pollutants in the city of Nanjing during the Spring Festival is ten times higher than usual.
In Shanghai, the practice of welcoming the God of Wealth on the early morning has taken the combustion of firecrackers to the highest level. Sanitation workers in Shanghai spent a sleepless night cleaning the residues left by fireworks and firecrackers.
Top comments from QQ
腾讯石家庄市网友 一直在郁闷！ 2012-01-27 19:22:53
Offering lengthy incense sticks from across mountains and seas is a much worse idea than returning home and respecting parents!
腾讯网友 天涯 2012-01-27 19:21:48
This is a worship of money, not a real worship of god. A classic irony of faith. The blind pursuit of money is speeding up Chinese people’s moral decline.
腾讯淮南市网友 y a m a 2012-01-27 19:26:21
I’ve been to several temples in China and worshipped at none of them. Particularly those monks at the monastery in Jiuhua Mountain. They even drive cars with high emissions. Why the heck do people still make the pilgrimage there? The more they worship, the poorer they become. And monks only become richer and richer, yes or no…?
腾讯通化市网友 笑看风云 2012-01-27 19:06:42
300,000 people, each spending an average of 30 yuan, wow!!! That’s 9 million!!! And all that money is burned away!!!
腾讯芜湖市网友 绿腰霓裳 2012-01-27 18:58:14
Worshipping a virtual/bogus god is really stupid. The so-called religious belief of our countrymen is polytheism: worship any god they see. The hell with the baloney “Chinese have their own faith/belief.”
腾讯网友 我恨我痴心 2012-01-27 18:55:07
They are even more diligent and pious than they are when visiting parents’ graves.
腾讯广州市网友 叁佰萬 17小时前
Now even the God of Wealth helps those evil minds prosper! Worship my ass.
腾讯保定市网友 ♂勾♀小手指 2012-01-27 18:53:15
I love the beauty who burns incense in the 7th picture.
Top comments from NetEase
寡妇村牛村长 [网易广西防城港市网友]：2012-01-27 23:13:00 发表
Our countrymen think about nothing but windfall!
Will the God of Wealth ever run short of money? And they burn joss paper money as offerings to the God of Wealth??
lk06007 [网易山西省晋中市网友]：2012-01-27 23:18:04 发表
Are our countrymen all crazy??? They don’t work with diligence, and they expect the God of Wealth to come??? Have you ever seen Bill Gates pray to the God of Wealth?
星海争霸3 [网易山西省临汾市网友]：2012-01-27 23:24:42 发表
Worship my ass. But the chick in the 7th picture is not bad.
西葫芦炒洋葱 [网易北京市朝阳区网友]：2012-01-28 00:15:30 发表
From the 7th picture, we can tell that it is not easy either for a mistress to make money!
wjx19730805 [网易黑龙江省佳木斯市网友]：2012-01-29 10:37:02 发表
网易小便 [网易广东省深圳市网友]：2012-01-29 09:20:04 发表
Brother (referring to self) only knows that the corrupt officials love to burn incense and pray to the Buddha.