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Sep 15, 2013

இ 貼錯門神 Door gods

At last the scary hungry ghost month is finally over good bye to the Do's & Don'ts and good riddance no more of those eerie and horror movies aired over  television. The ghost busters can now take a break as well as the 'Door Gods' 門神 after the closure of the Hell Gate couple of days ago. Wait a minute, could sense someone saying "heard of door knobs and door knockers before, huh what door also got gods?"

Image courtesy of TwilightZone

A 'door god' 門神 pinyin:*mén shén* is a Chinese decoration placed on each side of an entry to a temple, home, business, etc., which is believed to keep evil spirits and ghosts from entering. It all began during the Tang dynasty, when the East Water Dragon King (東海龍王) *dōng hǎi lóng wáng* came into Emperor Táng Tàizōng's (唐太宗) dream, begging for mercy to save his life as he has flouted a decree of Heaven by changing the time of the rain and reducing the amount. The Jade Emperor had ordered the execution and Wei Zheng (魏徵), Chancellor of the Tang Dynasty was assigned by Heaven to carry out the execution. On the day of the execution Emperor Tang summons Wei Zheng for a game of Go (圍棋) pinyin:*wéiqí* an hour just before the execution but not knowing Wei Zheng's soul left his body when he took a short nap during the game and ordered the execution. Despite of all his effort Emperor Tang failed to prevent the beheading of the East Water Dragon King, who misunderstood Emperor Tang did not keep up to his promise, seek revenge by haunting Emperor Tang. When Qin Qiong (秦瓊) and Yuchi Gong (尉遲恭) were called to guard the emperor's door, the emperor had a blissful sleep. The next day, the emperor, not wanting to trouble his two generals, gave orders to hang portraits of the two generals on both sides of his door. Pretty soon ordinary families adopted the imperial custom with portraits of the ever-vigilant generals on their front doors to keep away evil spirits and ghosts and to have good luck. 

image courtesy of cultural china

Special care must be taken as not to place the 'door gods' in the opposite direction. The door gods usually come in pairs, facing each other; on the left should be the portrait of Qin Qiong and Yuchi Gong's portrait to be on the right. What if they are placed wrongly probably the ghosts and evil spirits would have a hell of a swinging time as the two generals are unable to coordinate in guarding the entrance. Moreover it is considered bad luck to place the figures back-to-back. Now this brings us to a related Chinese idiom of 貼錯門神 pinyin: *tiē cuò mén shén* 'stick wrong door gods' ie not facing each other and in a back-to-back position. This applies to two persons after a heated argument cannot see eye to eye with each other and most definitely not in talking terms for days or weeks with the so called 'silent war' especially very common between couples. Here is a classic example of a 'silent war' by blogger fayjesselton who was sulking like a monster when 貼錯門神.

image courtesy of MadameNoire
Back-to-back door gods

81 Bunchesஇ:

Hayley said...

Yay, no more ghost month now, time to play some candles and lanterns!! ;)

[SK] said...

yeah, the hungry ghost month was over and no wonder the Bananaz starts to blog again!! maybe he heard what his grandma said, never be a naughty boy during that month, that was why he refrained himself from blogging, muahahaha~~

[SK] said...

oh, interesting story about the 門神!! i didn't go find out the origin, and though the story seems to involve a lot of other people, but now that i know the names of the 門神, and that we should actually place on the left the portrait of Qin Qiong and Yuchi Gong's portrait to be on the right..

[SK] said...

useful info, but how do we actually differentiate them?? Bananaz should extend his post to tell us this so that we won't confuse who's on the left and who's on the right?? all these while, i only know we just care about placing them in a face-to-face position and that's sufficient enough~~ :D

foongpc said...

What a relief the Hungry Ghost month is over!! Now looking forward to Mooncake Festival! LOL!

foongpc said...

Interesting story behind the door gods!

foongpc said...

Oh must place the door gods properly eh? Wrong placings and there will be no protection!! Yikes!

suituapui said...

I'm more interested in the Kitchen God. LOL!!!

Rurousha said...

Ooo. Mythology. Happy. ^^

Do door gods offer protection against typhoons? Can we add them to windows as well? Japan is very windy and very wet today.

lina said...

I am always learning stuff from Bananaz :)

lina said...

Like SK mentioned above... so Bananaz will be blogging more now that the hungry ghost month is over? :)

lina said...

I love the arrival of mooncake festival! Yeay!

Somewhere in Singapore said...

Mooncake festival coming... hehe...

இBananazஇ said...

Hayley இ Time for lighting candles & eating mooncakes

SK இ Yalor cannot blog during hungry ghost month haha. In fact have taken out the 'dark or pale face' to differentiate the two generals but the names and faces not in sync as per wikipedia. As the answer is not 100% sure for the description Bananaz may not wanna give wrong info. Moreover there are many version of door gods and folklore. You are right just paste them seeing each other would be right already.

foong pc இ No solid case to proof otherwise if they are placed wrongly haha. Perhaps no harmony at home? haha

இBananazஇ said...

suituapui இ Great idea lets see what is can be blogged about Kitchen God.

Rurousha இ Wait shall google to check if there is any Window God haha.

lina இ No lah no pantang during any month just that busy and sick over the months. After mooncake its Xmas then CNY phew time flies

Somewhere in Singapore இ Enjoy the beauty of lanterns and the yummy mooncakes

HappySurfer said...

Another good info. Thanks.

I read a fengshui report saying that this is a good month. Happy Mid-autumn festival to you and Mango.

Shall I add Happy Malaysia Day too?

rainfield61 said...

Then you mean the "Door Gods" can take a long leave by then....

lronglim said...

Woah... thank you for the story... never knew that the gods were the two generals...

இBananazஇ said...

HappySurfer இ Yup Happy Malaysia Day too tQ

rainfield61 இ Not really but they can take a breather still need to guard as evil spirits or ghosts are around anytime guess just that not as many as 7th lunar month haha

lronglim இ There can be many versions and legends of door gods but this was very close to what my old folks told me in my younger days coupled with google search.

wenn said...

yea, I specially love this month. I love the mooncake festival!

இBananazஇ said...

wenn இ 8th lunar moon is the month most favourable for weddings. Next week will be attending two wedding dinners Sat & Sun back-to-back. Oh love the mooncakes and it goes well with your birthday month and all virgo(s).

khengsiong said...

Now I know the origin of 貼錯門神. Thanks :)

Twilight Man said...

I am surprised that you could not blog this during the 7th Month but I did post the photos!!! What will happen??? Quick tell me...sweating now.

Twilight Man said...

You just shared a very interesting piece of history of the Door Gods! Thank you so much!!

I love these doors and I saw many across China which differs in sizes & colours. I cannot wait to visit Chengdu soon.

Fay Jesselton said...

Good info! I'm so glad to know this! Looking forward for your Kitchen God post :)

Twilight Man said...

I like your last photo! It is so logic and makes sense!

இBananazஇ said...

Twilight Man இ Ya told you suppose to post asap and also about DiZangWang Pusa too but due to some unforeseen circumstances got bad red sore eye on left than later the right then flu almost out of action for a month plus. Nothing to worry about 7th month no sweat bro haha. When things go back-to-back door gods cannot guard the doors and also humans unable talk to each other that way haha. Going overseas again how nice tQ

Fay Jessleton இ Huh kitchen god..wokay gotta google and research. tQ

Leovi said...

Very nice and funny doors with the gods!

இBananazஇ said...

Leovi இ There are door gods, kitchen gods, money gods, earth gods etc.

Cloudia said...

Yes, "Bon" season closes also.....Your posts and comments make our blog world a better place, Dear. Bananaz :-) Aloha

Small Kucing said...

Hurray for Ghost Festival to be over. And my slipper also hilang satu. adui....

Small Kucing said...

Bagus la no more horror movie or drama in TV. Really scared of watching those show.

Small Kucing said...

Recently read one book The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo. Also got talk about evil spirit. And talk about Ngau Tao Mah Min. A bit scary LOL

London Caller said...

You see each Door God, one is black the other one is white. Of course wrong lah. Like playing Othello, always must compete one.

Leovi said...

Wonderful! Lately I can not sleep! Will hang from the door!

HappySurfer said...

Hi Bananaz, hope you enjoyed the Mid-Autumn festivity yesterday. :D

Amelia said...

Hi Bananaz, interesting 'Door God' history. Not aware that got story behind it and the 貼錯門神... now I know the actual meaning. Thanks for sharing. :)

Have a nice weekend.

இBananazஇ said...

Cloudia இ tQ have a great weekend

Small Kucing இ Yalor scary movies for the whole month

London Caller இ Cannot confirm which door god has black and who has one face not tally with names haha

இBananazஇ said...

Leovi இ Hang banana may help haha

HappySurfer இ Nothing much to celebrate but a big family dinner. Hope you had a wonderful time.

Amelia இ tQ sama sama. Some stories were from old folks during Bananaz's younger days. With the help of internet can do pretty much more research.

EastCoastLife said...

Glad to send away the Ghost month and welcome the mooncake festival.

EastCoastLife said...

Fun time as we celebrate with lanterns and mooncakes :)

London Caller said...

How's your mooncake festival?
Did you save me some durian mooncakes?
Pos Laju to me lah :)

Angie said...

interesting story and great info. Gosh, God forbid if hang the Door gods signs wrongly!! All hell break loose am sure..hehehe..

இBananazஇ said...

EastCoastLife இ Lanterns even have the latest craze of Minions

London Caller இ Durian mooncakes? Bananaz fav are those nutty ones can have them for B,L,D one each is good enough. Aiya this year not in time for Pas Laju next season then.

Angie இ That's right hell break loose haha

cquek said...

great information.

இBananazஇ said...

cquek இ tQ for dropping by love your post on the Great Wall.

Leovi said...

Yes, in my marriage there are too many unresolved silent wars!

இBananazஇ said...

Leovi இ Silent wars ~ people talking without speaking, people hearing without listening?

Leovi said...

Yes, best not to have faced the gods!

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Bananaz, wow, I learned something today...very interesting.
I guess Chinese people tend to have all these beliefs....being legends handed down.
I have a small 3 legged frog next to my front door, for luck.

There's kitchen God too I used to see in my MIL's place...
Hey, how's your eyes now? Ok? Can see miniskirts 75 yards away? Ha ha ha.
Lee.

HappySurfer said...

Good morning, Bananaz! TGIF? :D

இBananazஇ said...

Leovi இ Cover up haha

Uncle Lee இ tQ eyes OK boleh tahan can only see miniskirts but not the legs yet haha

HappySurfer இ Bananaz loves TGIM haha. Have a great weekend

EastCoastLife said...

Minions and angry birds lanterns..... the shopowners want money from me. Young nephews and nieces asked for these even though last year's outdated lanterns can still use. aiyohhhh....

இBananazஇ said...

EastCoastLife இ Time has changed, those days during our time we have been using the same old chicken lantern for many many years haha

HappySurfer said...

Happy new month, Bananaz!

இBananazஇ said...

HappySurfer இ Yeah Happy new month and still stuck with one post for 2 weeks hehe. Pretty busy busy busy

Leovi said...

Possibly the grasshopper Kung-Fu

Fay Jesselton said...

ayyyy.. you no update de..

Keerthi said...

I think I saw this ghost month in a movie once...
btw how many languages do u know? That ques suddenly popped in my head as I scrolling down ur site :D
nd lovely minion nd banana video :D

Keerthi said...

4got to tick follow-up comments :D

இBananazஇ said...

Leovi இ haha grasshopper Kung-Fu

Fay இ Sorry lah being pretty busy again tQ for reminding

Keerthi இ Namaste. tQ for dropping by. Read & write our national language ie Bahasa Malaysia & English, the rest a bit here and bit there haha. Love your Hindi songs.

Keerthi said...

lol bit here nd there :D
ty for dropping by too :)
I am sorry couldn't reply on my blog as stupid comment system deleted the comments :( :(
I think only blogging comment system would never delete my comments :(

Willie a.k.a Reptoz said...

Oooo..I should have door gods on my door. But i must be careful on how to put them.

இBananazஇ said...

Keerthi இ Namaste! One of those technical glitch getting naughty

Willie இ Haha safe guard the house huh

Keerthi said...

haha true :D

HappySurfer said...

Happy holiday, Bananaz!

இBananazஇ said...

Keerthi இ Life is like that lolz

HappySurfer இ Missed the happening out of country for a week.

Leovi said...

Yes I also see the fallen gladiator!

Small Kucing said...

wei this blog no longer growing pisang tree la....growing lalang jor...faster update new post la

இBananazஇ said...

Leovi இ really great

Small Kucing இ yalor need weed killer lolz

HappySurfer said...

Hello Bananaz, happy Monday!

இBananazஇ said...

HappySurfer இ Bananaz out of country twice juz got back shall be back on Sat. Hopefully shall be back in action once more settled. Happy TGIM

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Bananaz, just to let you know I'm checking out.
Been nice knowing you.
Keep well.
Best regards.
Lee.

Mr Lonely said...

same goes here~ =D

HappySurfer said...

Hey Globetrotter, welcome back! Trust you had fun fun fun! :D

இBananazஇ said...

Hi Lee இ Keep blogging man. Huh aiya not able to 'open' your blog now not in your list?

Mr Lonely இ Sama sama? ,);

HappySurfer இ Still jet lag haha excuses and excuses haha. Sure had great thrilling fun, shall find time to blog about it

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Bananaz, how you doin? Hey....re your message, I put up 2 postings mentioning to give me your email leave it at my Immigration...so I can invite you.
My message was there more than 2 weeks...
I guessed you somehow missed it.
Anyway.....you can always leave your email at my now closed down blog, I get back to you...I will not expose it but note it down.
Have a nice day.
Lee.

Mr Lonely said...

well, i dun really have one of those in my doors~

HappySurfer said...

Wei, wei, how are you doing? Busy with wrapping up the year - with play? haha..

HappySurfer said...

Happy Holidays, Bananaz!

Ai Shiang said...

இBananazஇ
Merry Christmas & happy new YEar!

 
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