The Door gods are the earliest gods worshipped by the Chinese. They are regarded as the Spiritual Guardians of the Entrance. An altar is usually placed beside the entrance, where offerings are given daily.
According to the legend, the Door gods were formerly imperial generals, Qin Shu Bao and Wei Chi Gong. They were both assigned to protect Emperor Tai Zong ( 太 宗 皇 帝 ), from ghosts and demons during the Tang dynasty. It was believed that the Emperor had nightmares whenever he sleeps during the night. He would always be pursuit by ghosts or demons in his dream, it could be his karma manifesting to him as he had killed numerous people before he was enthroned as the Emperor. His siblings were also killed.
Whenever the two generals stood guard outside his room entrance, he would be able to sleep soundly without any nightmares. It was believed that ghosts and demons dare not enter the emperor’s room whenever the two generals are present.
As the two generals are mortals, the Emperor Tai Zhong feared that the generals would suffer from fatigue having to keep watch over him every night. Hence, he ordered portraits of the imperial generals to be hung on each side of the door.
They wear warrior robes, have gentle dispositions and are usually shown as standing. Qin Shu Bao holds a slender club, whereas Wei Chi Gong holds a mace.
The portraits of the Door Gods are usually changed just before Chinese New Year. Worn out portraits do not have the ability to keep away evil spirits and to protect the house.
Articles Source from Taoist Secret Website.
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