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The Legend of Lao Zaogao

The origin of Zaowang has a long history. Among the gods of the Chinese nation, Zaowang has the oldest seniority. As far back as the Xia Dynasty, Zaowang was already a great god revered by the people.

By 肖湾Published about a year ago 4 min read
The Legend of Lao Zaogao
Photo by Jonny Gios on Unsplash

According to the ancient book "Rites of Passage" Rites of Passage chapter Kong Yingda sparse records: "Zhuan Xu's son said Lai, for Zhu Rong (official name), sacrificed as the god of the stove." Zhuangzi" Dasheng chapter also recorded: "Zao has a bun." Sima Biao commentary says: "bun, the god of Zao, wearing red clothes, like a beautiful woman." It is also recorded in the book of "Baopu Zi": "On the night of the moon, the god of Zao also goes up to the sky for white sins." Although these records vary, it is certain that, as far as the gods are concerned, the God of Zao is the most pro-people god. About the origin of Zaowang, folk also circulated quite interesting stories, on the collation of one of them for the benefit of readers. In the long, long ago, there was a family surnamed Zhang in the fallen desert, there are two brothers, the brother named Zhang De, is a mason, the brother named Zhang Cai is a painter. Zhang De's best work is to pan the pot, East Street invited, West Square invited, all praised him is the master of the stove. Zhang Cai painting, whether it is the gods and goddesses, or flowers and animals, lifelike. As time goes by, Zhang Cai's paintings are famous, people respectfully call Zhang painter; Zhang De pan pottery is known far and wide, hundreds of miles around respectfully call him Zhang Zaowang. Zhang Zaowang has a strange fetish gas, is the love of nosy. No matter who he went to the family pan pots, such as encounter mother-in-law and daughter-in-law discord, to persuade. Therefore, the neighbors, who have a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law discord, or have a difficult matter, are willing to find Zhang Zaowang to discuss the solution. Zhang Zaowang seventy years old that winter, occasionally feel wind chill, bedridden, but unexpectedly late at night on the 23rd of the waxing moon died. After the death of Zhang Zaowang, Zhang family can be chaotic. Zhang Zaowang was the head of the family when he was alive, the family's big and small things are managed by him, adults and children are at his command, now Zhang Zaowang left the world, Zhang Cai is a man of flowering age, for the management of household affairs but do not know anything. At this time, Zhang Cai's several daughters-in-law were clamoring to split the family. Zhang Cai is at a loss, nothing can be done, the whole day sad face, spend the day like a year. Suddenly one day, Zhang finally came up with a good idea. On the 23rd day of the lunar month, it was the first anniversary of the death of Zhang Zaowang. Late that night, Zhang Cai suddenly got up and called loudly in the courtyard, he woke up the whole family, saying that it was the big brother's apparition. When the whole family came to the courtyard, he led them to the kitchen. The children and grandchildren only saw the beautiful appearance of Zhang Zaowang and his late wife on the dark stove wall, in the floating candlelight, and the whole family was stunned. Zhang just then said: tonight, I had a dream, I dreamed that big brother and sister-in-law became immortal, the Jade Emperor Emperor sealed big brother as 'nine days East Kitchen Zao Wang Fu Jun', sealed sister-in-law as 'Zao Wang grandmother'. You usually eat lazy, sisters-in-law do not get along, do not respect the old and love the young, the home is not peaceful. Big brother learned that you are now again in the family, very angry, ready to report to the Jade Emperor, this year 30 New Year's Eve, he will come down to the world to punish you. The children and grandchildren heard the words of Zhang Cai, scared hair and bones, frightened, trembling, immediately fell to their knees, kowtowing to the Zao King, praying to the Zao King for forgiveness, no longer dare to make trouble. They hurriedly fetch the usual Zhang Zaowang love to eat sweet food for the stove, once again burning incense and kowtowing, pleading with the Zaowang master not and ordinary people. Since Zhang Cai family sacrifice Zao Wang, often noisy uncles and brothers, sisters-in-law and daughters-in-law no longer dare to spill, the whole family live in harmony, respect for the elderly and love the young, happy to spend the day. This matter was soon learned by the neighbors, one to ten, ten to a hundred, a hundred miles around people are to Zhang Cai home to find out the truth. In fact, the Zaowang master and Zaowang grandmother on the wall of the 23rd night of the lunar month are pre-drawn by the painter. He pretended to scare his children and grandchildren by using his elder brother's apparition, but never thought that this method would be so effective. So, when the neighbors came to the painter's house to find out what was going on, he had to pretend to be real and give the pre-painted Zao Wang Wang statue to the neighbors. In this way, the matter of Zaowang's apparition soon spread throughout the country, and the Zaowang statue was posted in every family's cookhouse. As the years passed, the custom of giving offerings to Zaowang on the twenty-third day of the lunar month, sending Zaowang to heaven, welcoming Zaowang home on New Year's Eve, and praying for Zaowang to protect the family has continued to this day.

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