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God of Kitchen

Also known as "Gentleman Kitchen (Zaojun)", "Grandfather Kitchen (Zaoye)" or "King of Kitchen (Zaowangye)", the God of Kitchen is a God in charge of eating in ancient Chinese mythology. People believe that God of Kitchen was an important immortal and a supervisor appointed by the Emperor of Heaven to supervise virtues and vices, and contributions and debts made by the members of every family, and report to the Heaven Government periodically.

The early God of Kitchen was originated from people's natural worship for fire. Before the Qin Dynasty, kitchen sacrifice had already become one of the "Seven Sacrifices" of national sacrifice ceremonies. Until the Han Dynasty, the God of Kitchen was anthropomorphized and endowed with new functions that he has become a god to supervise mistakes made in the domain world, and then make reports to the Emperor of Heaven and to say ill of people.

So, people had to make kitchen sacrifice to please him every year. During the kitchen sacrifice, people offer malt dusts and wines, which people regard as the offerings that could make the God of Kitchen close its mouth.

According to related record, emperors of the Qing Dynasty would make grand kitchen sacrifices at the Palace of Earthly Tranquility, where tablets of the Heaven God and Land God would be set and emperors would kotow nine times in front of these tablets to pray for blessings of the coming year.

In ancient China, the Figure of the God of Kitchen was usually pasted on the wall of the small wind box. Nowadays, some olds still keep that tradition, but few to see.