Tu Di Gong (土地公) is a popular Chinese deity worshipped by Chinese folk religion worshippers, Taoists, and some Buddhists. A formal name for Tu Di Gong is Fudezhengshen (福德正神), meaning the earth god of wealth and merit. Chinese folk religion is a term for the religion practiced in much of China for thousands of years which included ancestor worship and drew heavily upon concepts and beings within Chinese mythology. ... For other uses of the words tao and dao, see Dao (disambiguation). ... Statues of Buddha such as this, the Tian Tan Buddha statue in Hong Kong, remind followers to practice right living. ...
In China, every village had a shrine to Tu Di Gong. It was this deity who was in charge of administering the affairs of a particular village. In traditional times, village concerns were primarily agricultural or weather-related. This god was not all-powerful, but was a modest heavenly bureaucrat to whom individual villagers could turn in times of drought or famine. A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy, usually within an institution of the government. ... A drought is an extended period where water availability falls below the statistical requirements for a region. ... A famine is a phenomenon in which a large percentage of the population of a region or country are undernourished and death by starvation becomes increasingly common. ...
Today, he is still worshipped by many Chinese. House shrines and temples usually honor Tu Di Gong, whose image is commonly located under the main altar. Many worshippers make prayers to him for wealth and their well being. He is also traditionally worshipped before the burial of a loved one, to thank him for using his land to return their loved one to the earth.
Commoners often called Tu Di Gong "Grandpa," which reflects his close relationship to the common people.
Tu Di Gong is portrayed as an elderly man with a long white beard, a black or gold hat and a red or yellow robe, which signifies his position as a bureaucrat. He carries a wooden staff in his right hand and a golden ingot on the left. An ingot is a mass of metal or semiconducting material, heated past the melting point, and then recast, typically into the form of a bar or block. ...
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