October 26, 2009

Old and new Chinese Door Gods

Locations: Various villages in Yunnan. China
Date: April/May 2005
Camera: Canon Ixus IZoom

Door Gods are Chinese decorations placed on doors of homes, temples, business premises and so on, to ward off evil spirits and bad luck. Wiki has a brief but good article on this subject. However these days things have changed a lot in China. As opposed to the traditional and still well-practiced tradition by Overseas Chinese of having righteous, well-known generals (who became deities later on) as Door Gods, China Chinese have a new hero- the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). As readers may know, the PLA is China’s unified military, the military arm of the Communist Party of China and the very same outfit that “liberated” China from the Kuomintang (Nationalists) in the 1950s. However, unlike the traditional Door Gods who are well-known personalities, the “new” Door God is an entity- an unknown soldier.

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