FACTOID # 28: Austin, Texas has more people than Alaska.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Chinese folk religion
This article contains Chinese text.
Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters.
Clothed statues of Matsu/Mazu (Chinese goddess of the Sea)
Clothed statues of Matsu/Mazu (Chinese goddess of the Sea)

Chinese folk religion comprises the religion practiced in much of China for thousands of years which included ancestor veneration and drew heavily upon concepts and beings within Chinese mythology. Chinese folk religion is sometimes seen as a constituent part of Chinese traditional religion, but more often, the two are regarded as synonymous. It is estimated that there are at least 800 million adherents to Chinese folk religion worldwide (see "Major world religions"). Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Image File history File links Zhongwen. ... The UTF-8-encoded Japanese Wikipedia article for mojibake, as displayed in ISO-8859-1 encoding. ... Japanese name Kanji: Hiragana: Korean name Hangul: Hanja: Vietnamese name Quốc ngữ: Hán tá»±: A Chinese character or Han character (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ) is a logogram used in writing Chinese, Japanese, rarely Korean, and formerly Vietnamese. ... Image File history File links photo by Flora 2004-Aug File links The following pages link to this file: Matsu (goddess) ... Image File history File links photo by Flora 2004-Aug File links The following pages link to this file: Matsu (goddess) ... Clothed statues of Matsu Matsu (Traditional Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Ma-tsu; Pe̍h-ōe-jÄ«: Má-chó·; literally Mother-Ancestor), also spelled Mazu, is the Taoist goddess of the Sea who protects fishermen and sailors, and is revered as the patron saint who protects East Asians who are... Ancestor worship, also ancestor veneration, is a religious practice based on the belief that ones ancestors possess supernatural powers. ... Chinese mythology is a collection of cultural history, folktales, and religions that have been passed down in oral or written form. ... Major religious groups as a percentage of the world population in 2005. ...

Contents

Overview

Chinese folk religion is composed of a combination of religious practices, including Confucianist ceremonies, ancestor veneration, Buddhism and Taoism. Chinese folk religion also retains traces of some of its ancestral neolithic belief systems which include the veneration of (and communication with) the sun, moon, earth, the heaven, and various stars, as well as communication with animals. It has been practiced alongside Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism by Chinese people throughout the world for thousands of years. Folk religion consists of beliefs, superstitions and rituals transmitted from generation to generation of a specific culture. ... Various Religious symbols, including (first row) Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Bahai, (second row) Islamic, tribal, Taoist, Shinto (third row) Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, Jain, (fourth row) Ayyavazhi, Triple Goddess, Maltese cross, pre-Christian Slavonic Religion is the adherence to codified beliefs and rituals that generally involve a faith in a spiritual... Ancestor worship, also ancestor veneration, is a religious practice based on the belief that ones ancestors possess supernatural powers. ... Buddhism is a variety of teachings, sometimes described as a religion[1] or way of life that attempts to identify the causes of human suffering and offer various ways that are claimed to end, or ease suffering. ... Taoism (or Daoism) refers to a variety of related Chinese philosophical and religious traditions and concepts. ... An array of Neolithic artifacts, including bracelets, axe heads, chisels, and polishing tools. ... Sol redirects here. ... This article is about Earths moon. ... This article is about Earth as a planet. ... For other uses, see Heaven (disambiguation). ... This article is about the astronomical object. ... Buddhism is a variety of teachings, sometimes described as a religion[1] or way of life that attempts to identify the causes of human suffering and offer various ways that are claimed to end, or ease suffering. ... A Confucian temple in Wuwei, Peoples Republic of China. ... Taoism (or Daoism) refers to a variety of related Chinese philosophical and religious traditions and concepts. ...


Ceremonies, veneration, legends, festivals and various devotions associated with different folk gods/deities and goddesses form an important part of Chinese culture even today. The veneration of secondary gods does not conflict with an individual's chosen religion, but is accepted as a complementary adjunct to Buddhism, Confucianism or Taoism. Some mythical figures in folk culture have even been integrated into Buddhism as in the case of Miao Shan who is generally thought of having evolved into the Buddhist bodhisattva Kuan Yin. Other folk deities may date back to pre-Buddhist eras of Chinese history. The Chinese dragon is one of the key religious icons in these beliefs. A ceremony is an activity, infused with ritual significance, performed on a certain occasion. ... Veneration is a religious symbolic act giving honor to someone by honoring an image of that person, particularly applied to saints. ... For other uses, see Legend (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Festival (disambiguation). ... Chinese culture has roots going back over five thousand years. ... For other uses, see Mythology (disambiguation). ... Lands Bhutan â€¢ China â€¢ Korea Japan â€¢ Tibet â€¢ Vietnam Taiwan â€¢ Mongolia Doctrine Bodhisattva â€¢ Bodhicitta Karuna â€¢ Prajna Sunyata â€¢ Buddha Nature Trikaya â€¢ Eternal Buddha Scriptures Prajnaparamita Sutra Avatamsaka Sutra Lotus Sutra Nirvana Sutra VimalakÄ«rti Sutra Lankavatara Sutra History 4th Buddhist Council Silk Road â€¢ Nagarjuna Asanga â€¢ Vasubandhu Bodhidharma      A statue of a Bodhisattva, Akasagarbha. ... Kuan Yin (觀音; Pinyin: Guān YÄ«n) is the bodhisattva of compassion as venerated by East Asian Buddhists, usually as a female. ... Japanese name Hiragana: KyÅ«jitai: Shinjitai: Korean name Hangul: Hanja: Thai name Thai: Vietnamese name Quốc ngữ: Hán tá»±: The Chinese dragon is a Chinese mythical creature, depicted as a long, scaled, snake-like creature with four claws. ...


Gods and goddesses

There are hundreds of gods and goddess as well as "saints," immortals and demigods. According to the Pantao Yen Log or The Feast of the Immortal Peaches (蟠桃宴記) the residency of heaven is some 400 million strong, with the remaining 9.2 Billion souls Yuanling (原靈) either in hell or on earth. Historical figures noted for their bravery or virtue are also venerated and honored with their own festivals after they are apotheosized. The following list represents some commonly worshipped deities: Saints redirects here. ... For other uses, see Eight Immortals (disambiguation). ... A demigod, a half-god, is a person whose one parent was a god and whose other parent was a human. ... Look up Apotheosis in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


(Note: This list is incomplete and should not be considered a full representation)

  • Guan Yu (關羽), the red-faced, and symbol of trust, integrity and loyalty, was a venerated living from the times of the Three Kingdoms, who succeded in 1924 CE as the eighteenth Jade Emperor or Yu Huang, is respected as Guan Shengdi (關聖帝) according to the contents of a book called Understanding Heaven and Hell (洞冥寶記).
  • Baosheng Dadi (保生大帝), the "Great Emperor Protecting Life." A divine physician, whose powers extend to raising the dead. Worship is especially prevalent in Fujian and Taiwan.
  • Cai Shen (財神 "god of wealth"), named Gongming Zhao, who oversees the gaining and distribution of wealth through fortune. He is often the deified manifestation of certain historical personalities. His shape is that of a giant blue whiskered cat.
  • The Eight Immortals (ba xian, 八仙) are important literary and artistic figures who were deified after death, and became objects of worship.
  • Hu Ye (虎爺 "Lord Tiger"), a guardian spirit.
  • Jiu Wang Ye (九皇爺 "Nine Emperor God") refer to spirits of nine emperors, worshiped as emanations of Mazu, patron goddess of sailors. A festival is held over the first nine days of the ninth lunar month to celebrate the return from heaven to earth of the Nine Emperor spirits.
  • Mazu (媽祖), the patron goddess of sailors. Shrines can be found in coastal areas of Eastern and South-Eastern China. Today, belief in Mazu is especially popular in the South and South-East, including Fujian (福建), Guangdong (廣東), Hainan (海南), Taiwan (台灣), Hong Kong (香港), and Vietnam (越南).
  • Qiye (七爺 "Seventh Lord") and Baye (八爺 "Eighth Lord"), two generals and best friends, often seen as giant puppets in street parades. 7 is black, because he drowned rather than miss his appointment to meet with 8, even though a flood was coming. 8 has his tongue sticking out, because he hanged himself in mourning for 7.
  • Shangdi Shangdi (上帝) (lit. Supreme Emperor) is originally the supreme god, synonymous with the concept of Tian. This title/name was later applied to the supreme deity of various religions, including Yu Huang Dadi and the Christian God.
  • Cheng Huang (城隍), a class of protective deities: Each city has a Cheng Huang who looks after the fortunes of the city and judges the dead. Usually these are famous or noble persons from the city who were deified after death. The Cheng Huang Miao (城隍廟) or "Shrine of the Cheng Huang" was often the focal point of a town in ancient times.
  • Sun Wukong (孫悟空,齊天大聖; "The Monkey King" or "Great Sage Equaling Heaven") is the stone monkey born from heaven and earth who wreaked havoc in heaven and was punished by the Buddha under the five fingers mountain for 500 years. Released by the Tang Monk, Xuanzang (or Tang Sanzang), he traveled under Xuanzang as his disciple to the Thunder Monastery in the West (presumably India) for the Buddhist scriptures to redeem himself. Depending on which version of the Journey to the West legend, where Sun Wukong supposedly originates, Sun Wukong is only sometimes referred to as an actual god.
  • Tu Di Gong (土地公, tǔ dì gōng), the "God of the earth", a genius loci who protects a local place (especially hills), and whose statue may be found in roadside shrines. He is also the god of wealth, by virtue of his connection with the earth, and therefore, minerals and buried treasure.
  • Wenchangdi (文昌帝 "Emperor Promoting Culture"), god of students, scholars, and examination. He is worshipped by students who wish to pass their examinations. Inept examiners in ancient times sometimes sought "divine guidance" from him to decide rank between students.
  • Xi Wangmu (西王母), the "Queen Mother of the West" who reigns over a paradisial mountain and has the power to make others immortal. In some myths, she is the mother of the Jade Emperor (玉帝).
  • Yuexia Laoren (月下老人 "Old Man Under the Moon"). The matchmaker who pairs lovers together, worshipped by those seeking their partner.
  • Zao Shen (灶君|灶神), the 'Kitchen God' mentioned in the title of Amy Tan's novel, The Kitchen God's Wife. He reports to heaven on the behavior of the family of the house once a year, at Chinese New Year, and is given sticky rice in order to render his speech less comprehensible on that occasion.
  • Zhusheng Niangniang (註生娘娘 "Birth-Registry Goddess"). She is worshipped by people who want children, or who want their child to be a boy.

This is a Chinese name; the family name is Guan (é—œ) Guan Yu (關羽) (160–219) was a general under the warlord Liu Bei during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms era of China. ... The Three Kingdoms period (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: ) is a period in the history of China, part of an era of disunity called the Six Dynasties. ... The Jade Emperor (Chinese: ; pinyin: or 玉帝 Yù Dì), are known by many names including Heavenly Grandfather (天公 Tiān Gōng), the Pure August Jade Emperor, August Personage of Jade (玉皇上帝 Yu Huang Shangdi or 玉皇大帝 Yu Huang Dadi), is formally known as Peace-Absolving Central-August-Spirit Exalted-Ancient-Buddha-Most-Pious... The Jade Emperor (玉皇 Pinyin: Yù Huáng or 玉帝 Yù Dì), known informally by children and commoners as Grandpa Heaven (天公 Tiān Gōng) and known formally as the Pure August Jade Emperor or August Personage of Jade (玉皇上帝 Yu Huang Shangdi or 玉皇大帝 Yu Huang Dadi), is the ruler of... Guan Shengdi 關聖帝, Guan Shengdi Jun 關聖帝君 or Xuanling High Sovereign is the current divine sovereign, God or Jade Emperor. ...   (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Fu-chien; Postal map spelling: Fukien, Foukien; local transliteration Hokkien from Min Nan Hok-kiàn) is one of the provinces on the southeast coast of the Peoples Republic of China. ... Cai Shen Cai Shen (Chinese: 財神, pinyin:Cáishén) is the Chinese god of prosperity. ... This article is about fortune. ... For other uses, see Eight Immortals (disambiguation). ... The Nine Emperor Gods Festival (Chinese: 九皇爺, Hokkien: Kow Ong Yah, Cantonese: Kow Wong Yeh) is a Chinese festival to celebrate the return from heaven to earth of the Nine Emperor spirits, who are worshipped as one deity and who represent health, wealth and prosperity. ... Matsu can refer to: Matsu, a goddess of sea. ... Clothed statues of Matsu Matsu (Traditional Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Ma-tsu; Pe̍h-ōe-jÄ«: Má-chó·; literally Mother-Ancestor), also spelled Mazu, is the Taoist goddess of the Sea who protects fishermen and sailors, and is revered as the patron saint who protects East Asians who are...   (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Fu-chien; Postal map spelling: Fukien, Foukien; local transliteration Hokkien from Min Nan Hok-kiàn) is one of the provinces on the southeast coast of the Peoples Republic of China. ... Not to be confused with the former Kwantung Leased Territory in north-eastern China. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Shangdi or Shang Ti (Wade-Giles) (上帝, pinyin Shàngdì), literally translated, Lord Above or Sovreign Above, in Chinese culture, is the name used both in traditional Chinese religion as well as Christianity for a supreme deity. ... For other uses, see Heaven (disambiguation). ... Shing Wong (城隍) is a deity in Chinese mythology, responsible for the affairs of the city. ... The Monkey King redirects here. ... A portrait of Xuanzang Xuanzang (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Hsüan-tsang; CantoneseIPA: jyn4tsɔŋ1; CantoneseJyutping: jyun4zong1) was a famous Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar, traveler and translator that brought up the interaction between China and India in the early Tang period. ... The four heroes of the story, left to right: SÅ«n Wùkōng, Xuánzàng, ZhÅ« Bājiè, and Shā Wùjìng. ... Tu Di Gong Tu Di Gong (土地公) is a popular Chinese deity worshipped by Chinese folk religion worshippers, Taoists, and some Buddhists. ... In Roman mythology a genius loci was the protective spirit of a place. ... Xi Wangmu (西王母), in Chinese mythology, literally Queen Mother of the West, is the ruler of the western paradise and goddess of immortality. ... The Jade Emperor (Chinese: ; pinyin: or 玉帝 Yù Dì), are known by many names including Heavenly Grandfather (天公 Tiān Gōng), the Pure August Jade Emperor, August Personage of Jade (玉皇上帝 Yu Huang Shangdi or 玉皇大帝 Yu Huang Dadi), is formally known as Peace-Absolving Central-August-Spirit Exalted-Ancient-Buddha-Most-Pious... Zao Jun - God of the Kitchen Zao Jun - The Kitchen God, from Myths and Legends of China, 1922 by E. T. C. Werner In Chinese mythology Zao Jun (灶君 Pinyin: Zào JÅ«n), or Stove Master, is the kitchen god, the most important of a plethora of Chinese domestic gods... Amy Tan (February 19, 1952) is an American writer whose works explore mother-daughter relationships as well as relationships between Chinese American women and their immigrant parents. ...

Western views

The absence of a proper name for this religion, associated with the absence of any canonical literature, have for a long time caused Chinese folk religion to be viewed by Westerners as a popularized version of an "authentic" religion, in the same way that the cult of the saints is viewed. Both in China and outside, adherents often describe themselves, or are described by others, as followers of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, or a mix among these. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ...


Demographics

Many publications on religion in China do not include statistics on the number of adherents of traditional religion, with most adherents registered under the category of Taoist or Buddhist. However, despite the critical influence of those two belief-systems, Chinese traditional religion is not coterminous with them and, strictly speaking, marked distinctions exist. Nonetheless, such overlaps or blurring of distinctions are consistent with East Asian cultural understandings of religion and identity that do not require exclusive indentification as an adherent of solely one distinct tradition.


Further reading

  • Manchao, Cheng, "The Origin of Chinese Deities", Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, 1995. ISBN 7-119-00030-6
  • Paper, Jordan, "The Spirits are Drunk: Comparative Approaches to Chinese Religion", SUNY Press, 1995.

See also

Topics in Chinese mythology
v  d  e
General topics: Creation myth · Astrology · Dragons · Religion in China
Folk religion ·List of deities · I Ching
Important beings: Deities · Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors · Eight Immortals
Mythical creatures:

Xuán Wǔ · Qīng Lóng · Bái Hǔ · Zhū Què
Qilin · Fenghuang · Huli jing · Shi
List of mythical creatures Ancestor worship, also ancestor veneration, is a religious practice based on the belief that ones ancestors possess supernatural powers. ... The term Animism is derived from the Latin anima, meaning soul.[1][2] In its most general sense, animism is simply the belief in souls. ... Buddhism is a variety of teachings, sometimes described as a religion[1] or way of life that attempts to identify the causes of human suffering and offer various ways that are claimed to end, or ease suffering. ... Chinese mythology is a collection of cultural history, folktales, and religions that have been passed down in oral or written form. ... Fēng Shuǐ (風水 – literally, wind and water pronounced fung shuway), which may be more than 3000 years old, is the ancient practice of placement to achieve harmony with the environment. ... Picture of a Gods Material Shop of Malaysian Chinese. ... Chinese monk lighting incense in a temple in Beijing. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Chinese mythology is a collection of cultural history, folktales, and religions that have been passed down in oral or written form. ... Chinese astrology is the divination of the future from the Chinese calendar, which is based on astronomy, and ancient Chinese philosophy. ... Japanese name Hiragana: KyÅ«jitai: Shinjitai: Korean name Hangul: Hanja: Thai name Thai: Vietnamese name Quốc ngữ: Hán tá»±: The Chinese dragon is a Chinese mythical creature, depicted as a long, scaled, snake-like creature with four claws. ... Chinese monk lighting incense in a temple in Beijing. ... This list of deities aims to give information about deities in the different religions, cultures and mythologies of the world. ... Alternative meaning: I Ching (monk) The I Ching (Traditional Chinese: 易經, pinyin y jīng; Cantonese IPA: jɪk6gɪŋ1; Cantonese Jyutping: jik6ging1; alternative romanizations include I Jing, Yi Ching, Yi King) is the oldest of the Chinese classic texts. ... Chinese mythology is a collection of cultural history, folktales, and religions that have been passed down in oral or written form. ... The Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: San-huang wu-ti) were mythological rulers of China during the period from c. ... For other uses, see Eight Immortals (disambiguation). ... The Black Tortoise (Chinese: ; pinyin: , literally Black Warrior) is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations. ... The Azure Dragon (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: ) is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations. ... For other uses, see White tiger (disambiguation). ... The Vermilion Bird (Chinese: ; pinyin: ) is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations. ... A qilin of the Qing dynasty in Beijings Summer Palace A painting by the court artist depicting one of Zheng Hes giraffes in 1414. ... Fenghuang sculpture, Nanning city, Guangxi, China. ... nine-tailed fox, from the Qing edition of the Shan Hai Jing Huli jing (狐狸精 hÇ”lijÄ«ng) in Chinese mythology are fox spirits that are akin to European faeries or to the Japanese yōkai known as kitsune. ... Categories: Fictional dogs | Stub ... Chinese mythology is a collection of cultural history, folktales, and religions that have been passed down in oral or written form. ...

Mythical places: Xuanpu · Yaochi · Fusang · Queqiao
Penglai · Longmen · Diyu
Literary sources: Shan Hai Jing · Shui Jing Zhu · Ten Brothers · Hei'an Zhuan
Fengshen Yanyi · Journey to the West · Madame White Snake
Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio
The Chinese characters for Fusang Fusang (扶桑, Mandarin Pīnyīn: fúsāng) is a country described by the Chinese Buddhist missionary Hui Shen (慧深; Japanese pronunciation: Kei-shin) in 499 CE, as a place 20,000 Chinese li beyond the sea to the east of China (this is either 1... Traditional architecture in a Longmen home. ... Diyu (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Ti-yü; Japanese: , jigoku, literally earth prison) is the realm of the dead or hell in Chinese mythology. ... Shanhaijing illustration of Nüwa Shanhaijing illustration of Nine-tailed Fox, companion of Xi Wangmu The Shan Hai Jing (Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Shan Hai Ching; literally Classic of the Mountains and Seas) is a Chinese classic text that is at least 2,000 years old. ... Translated into English it means Commentary on the Waterways Classic. Work on the ancient geography of what is now China. ... Ten Brothers (Chinese: 十兄弟) is a Chinese legend known to be written around the time of the construction of the Great Wall of China, most likely during the Ming Dynasty. ... Fengshen Yanyi (Traditional Chinese: 封神演義; Simplified Chinese: 封神演义) (translated as The Investiture of the Gods or The Creation of the Gods), also known as Fengshen Bang (Traditional Chinese: 封神榜; Simplified Chinese: 封神榜), is one of the major works of classical Chinese literature created in Ming dynasty. ... The four heroes of the story, left to right: Sūn Wùkōng, Xuánzàng, Zhū Bājiè, and Shā Wùjìng. ... Picture on long veranda in the Summer Palace, Beijing, China, depicting the legend Madame White Snake (白蛇傳) (or Lady White Snake) is a Chinese legend, which existed as oral traditions before any written compilation. ... Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio or Liaozhai Zhiyi (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio or Strange Tales of Liaozhai) is a collection of nearly five hundred mostly supernatural tales written by Pu Songling during the early Qing Dynasty. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Chinese folk religion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1527 words)
Chinese folk religion is composed of a combination of religious practices, including ancestor worship or veneration, Buddhism and Taoism.
Chinese folk religion also retains traces of some of its ancestral neolithic belief systems which include in animal worship, as well as the worship of the sun, moon, earth, the heavens, and various stars.
Chinese traditional religion (a term often used synononymously with the term "Chinese folk religion"), is a loosely-connected system of practices and beliefs that has been practiced by large segments of the Han Chinese population of China from the early period of Chinese history up to the present.
Religion in China - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2007 words)
Because many Chinese belief systems have concepts of a sacred and sometimes spiritual world yet do not invoke a concept of God, classifying a Chinese belief system as either a religion or a philosophy can be problematic.
Major forms of religion that developed within China include ancestor worship, Chinese folk religion, shamanism, Taoism and the veneration of localized deities.
Most people report no organized religious affiliation; however, belief in folk traditions and non-religious spiritual beliefs, such as ancestor worship and feng shui, along with informal ties to local temples and unofficial house churches is in the hundreds of millions.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m