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Gong Xi Fa Cai

If you study Chinese , you probably will hear ”恭喜发财(ɡōnɡ xǐ fā cái)”.

“恭喜发财(ɡōnɡ xǐ fā cái)” means a good wish to making money. “恭喜发财(ɡōnɡ xǐ fā cái)” has been said to other people a thousand times during the Spring Festival. This is related to a man named “财神(cái shén)” in China. But who is “财神(cái shén)” ? According to the record from The Legend of Deification ,“财神(cái shén)” is named Zhao Gongming. At first, he had a monastic life in The Louvre Hole in Emei Mountain. He help Zhou “纣(zhòu)to fight with King wu“武王(wǔ wánɡ)”. But he died in the battle. After his death, he was confirmed with the honor of “金龙如玉正一龙虎玄坛真君之神(jīn lónɡ rú yù zhènɡ yì lónɡ hǔ xuán tán zhēn jūn zhī shén zhāo bǎo tiān zūn )”. And he ruled four subordinate “招宝天尊(zhāo bǎo tiān zūn)”, “纳珍天尊(nà zhēn tiān zūn)”, “招财使者(zhāo cái shí zhě)” and “利市仙官(lì shì xiān ɡuān)”. The four ‘s jobs are related to money “财(cái)”. Taoism are believe in “财神(cái shén)” who is Zhao Gongming. It is said that Zhao Gongming was from Mount Zhongnan. And he was a hermit to develop the Monastic Idea in remote mountains since Qin Dynasty. With success, he was confirmed by “争议玄坛元帅(zhēnɡ yì xuán tán yuán shuài)” which is called “赵玄坛(zhào xuán tán)” for short. Before that “财神(cái shén)” was described with fierce and black face, strong must, staring in anger, wearing iron crown, steel whip, shoe-shaped gold ingot and ridding black tiger. On this account , he was called “黑虎玄武(hēi hǔ xuán wǔ)”. A story is going about that the general Zhao was responsible for averting pestilence and ease from diseases. He would uphold justice when some one was treated falsely and could not get justice from anybody. If someone did business for money, he would make them get a profit. His original duty was not mainly for arranging money. But he made the people make profits and there was nobody to replace. So he was treated as “财神(cái shén)” by the commons. In the past, there were two type of “财神(cái shén)”. The two worked for different groups. One worked for civil family and the other was for military family. So people sacrifice t “财神(cái shén)” with their conditions. Although they did different works, they both can make money.

It is said that “财神爷(cái shén yé)” was sacrifice in rich family. However, it did not work in poor family. There is a custom in Shang Hai which is called “抢路头(qiǎnɡ lù tóu)”. They prepare to fete the “财神(cái shén)”sincerely with sacrifice, desserts , fruits, incense and wax candle and so on at midnight in the first month of the lunar year. The fifth day in the first month of the lunar year is the birthday of “财神(cái shén)”. In order to get the better market ahead, they do it advance in fourth day. So it is called “抢路头(qiǎnɡ lù tóu)/ 接财神(jiē cái shén)”

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