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Zhong Kui

As every Chinese Known, Zhong Kui is a god who exorcises ghosts and evil spirits.

Legend says Zhong Kui was born with a panther-like head, ring-like eyes, an iron face and curly whiskers and lived in Zhongnan Mountain in the early Tang Dynasty. Ugly? that's very true, however, Zhong Kui was a profoundly learned and talented
person, on the other hand, he always upheld justice and feared no evil or mischievous being. In 712, Zhong Kui went to Chang'an(Xian) to take the imperial civil examination. Impressed by Zhong's five poems entitled Holding Banquets in Yingzhou, the chief examiner praised him as a prodigy and enrolled him top of all examinees. However, his ugly face pulled his leg, during the palace examination, the treacherous minister named Lu Qi judged Zhong Kui by the appearance, and repeatedly spoke ill of him before the emperor. Unfortunately, the stupid emperor took the miniser's advice and Zhong Kui failed to claim championship in the exam. Infuriated, Zhong Kui bumped his head against a pillar in the palace and thus killed himself before the emperor. Shocked by his death, the Emperor Dezong issued an imperial edict, conferring upon Zhong Kui the title of Demon Queller who traveled all over the world to kill the evil and expel the wicked. Meanwhile, the title of Number One Scholar was also buried with him.

The Painting of Zhong Kui Catching a Ghost is very popular the folk people. it is said that it comes from a story recorded in The Book of Unofficial History, depicting Zhong Kui catching the evil spirit. slowly, this painting becomes a symbol conveying the message of avoiding calamity and bringing on good fortune, and that's the reason why people often buy the painting on festivals and put it up at home. Actually in the ancient China, people would hang paintings of Zhong Kui on New Year's Eve only. Currently, while on Dragon Boat Festival (5th day of the 5th lunar month), people will paint Zhong Kui, hang the picture in their own houses or give it away as a present. Behine the change there is a story. in 1757, a plague wide spred the South China, and a great many people died. Helplessly, people resorted to Zhong Kui for help. They bought and put up Zhong's paintings, expecting him to exorcise the evil with his might. Then, it becomes a custom.