Lifestyles by Estelia… Chinese Concepts – Luck Symbols for Your Home
To attract good fortune, spend a new coin on an old friend,
Share an old pleasure with a new friend, and
Lift up the heart of a true friend by writing his name on the wings of a dragon.
Last month I talked about three symbols of good fortune for your home, the bat (biān fú), the God of Luck (fú xing) and lucky children (Da A Fu).
Today it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Door Gods, images usually put up at New Year to protect homes against evil spirits and general misfortune. Originating in the Eastern Han dynasty (25-200), they were engraved on peach wood and came in pairs facing each other. FYI: It is considered bad luck to place the figures back-to-back. As you might expect, there are many different forms of door gods. The most frequently used are Qin Shubao and Yuchi Jingde, used on a pair of doors; the gods Wei Zheng or Zhong Kui are used on single doors.
The legend of the Door Gods: It was said that the Emperor Tai Zong of the Tang Dynasty was disturbed one night by restless demons lurking outside his bedroom. His ministers of state were extremely concerned for the emperor’s health and safety. They recruited two guards who were not afraid of ghosts (Qin Shubao and Yuchi Jingde) to stay up all night and keep watch. After several undisturbed nights the emperor commended the two brave men, and believing he should no longer impose sleepless nights on them, he ordered an artist to draw portraits of the guards equipped with their weapons and clad in full armor. The paintings were pasted on the palace gates and no further commotion was heard from the spirits again. The two loyal guards were venerated as “door gods” and soon many homes displayed their images.
How can you incorporate Door Gods into your home? With the color of good fortune, the color red. Feng shui decorating philosophy suggests that you invite prosperity when you paint your front door red. You can gain the same effect even if your decorating scheme calls for a more muted shade of red, such as pink or plum. Are you ready to give it a try?