Chinese New Year 2016 is around the corner, are you prepared to celebrate one of the most important Chinese Festivals? From my observation, the teenagers nowadays are weighing lesser on Chinese Festivals. They would rather stare at their mobile phones or tablets all day long, or spending their time on some other entertainment activities. Therefore, they probably do not have an idea about what really are the stories behind those festivals. In fact, praying the God of Wealth (or known as “Choy Sun” in Cantonese; “Cai Shen” in Mandarin) is considered one of the most vital ceremonies during Chinese New Year.
What is Choy Sun?
Choy Sun is regarded as the “God of Wealth” or “God of Prosperity” amongst Chinese Communities. The Chinese worships Choy Sun in the hope that the God of Wealth would bring them good luck or wealth, or even windfall profits from gambling or lottery. Choy Sun is a mythology resulting from the ancient Chinese cultural heritage. There are many different stories about what Choy Sun is, and how does he look like. Nevertheless, the most common image of Choy Sun that is well-accepted by the Chinese communities, is generally recognized as Cai Bo Xing Jun (财帛星君).
The Mortal Identity of Cai Bo Xing Jun
Cai Bo Xing Jun was named as Li Gui Zu before he was worshipped as God of Wealth in later days. As circulated in the ancient legend, Li Gui Zu is borne Zi Chuan District in Shandong Province on the 17th of 9th Chinese Lunar Month. During that time, China was ruled by Emperor Xiaowen which is also known as Northern Wei Dynasty. Li Gui Zu held position as a country magistrate who really contributed significantly to his people by way of upgrading the area’s infrastructure as well as helping the poor. Due to all the good deeds he has done to the local society, people then built a temple to worship Li Gui Zu after his death. Subsequently, the late Li Gui Zu was conferred the title: Cai Bo Xing Jun, by Wu De Emperor of Tang Dynasty, which is the birth of God of Wealth in Chinese community.
Other Characters of the God of Wealth
Besides, there are a lot of legendary characters of God of Wealth being worshipped by the Chinese community that includes the Five Direction Chinese Gods of Wealth and the All Direction Chinese Gods of Wealth. In fact, there is no standard definition on who Choy Sun is all this while. However, what important is the praying process which represents an important part of Chinese New Year. People believe that sincere praying could really bless the whole family.
The Author’s Words: I believe some of the youths might think that celebrating Chinese New Year is dull and meaningless except the part for Ang Pow distribution. But, it is the only time where all family members can gather around to have a reunion dinner especially for those staying far apart from hometown due to career requirement. Once a year, we should really treasure the moment that we have with family as this is always unique and priceless than any other things in the world!