Chinese people welcome the God of Wealth and Prosperity
The Chinese culture celebrates the auspicious occasion of the Lunar New Year by welcoming the God of Wealth, Fortune, and Prosperity on the fifth day of the lunar calendar. The figure of Caishen has been identified as a mythological deity, revered in the Chinese folk religion and Taoism. The festival of New Year, spanning two weeks, witnesses the lighting of incense in Caishen’s temple, especially on the fifth day of the first lunar month, and exchanging of the traditional New Year greeting, “May you become rich” (“Gongxi facai”), among friends and acquaintances.
The historical figures embodied by Caishen have been numerous. A temple dedicated to him was constructed in the 2000s in Zhouzhi, Xi’an, Shaanxi. Caishen is invoked by name during the Chinese New Year celebrations. He is often depicted riding a black tiger, holding a golden rod, and wielding an iron tool capable of transmuting stone and iron into gold. Caishen has also been portrayed as a door god in Chinese and Taoist temples, usually in association with the Burning-Lamp Taoist. Although Caishen is a Chinese folk deity, many Pure Land Buddhists regard him as a Buddha. In esoteric Buddhist sects, he is identified as Jambhala.