Tuesday, November 23, 2010

my kitchen god

thanksgiving is almost here. this week is a week of kitchens and cooking and getting together with people you love. speaking of kitchens, i have a wonderful sculpture that james made (thanks james!) on the kitchen windowsill. james calls him fat boy. i call him my little kitchen god. in china, the kitchen god is sent from heaven to keep an eye on the family. he is the important guy in chinese new year celebrations, which start on the second new moon after the winter solstice. the kitchen god's name is zao jun, which literally means stove master. in chinese homes, a statue or picture of zao jun is found in the central, focal point of the house, the kitchen, near the stove.

on the day chinese new year festivities start, sacrifices are offered to the kitchen god. incense, sweets and water and grass (for his horse) are left for him as he leaves earth and goes up to heaven. once in heaven, the kitchen god reports to the jade emperor, the supreme deity of taoism, on what the family has been doing during the year. rewards and punishments are given out by the jade emperor, depending on each family's behavior.

so be good. the kitchen god is watching you.....

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