迎财神，/yíng cái shén/ Welcomed the God of Wealth in Chinese 又叫做“接财神”，是中国民间古老的传统节日习俗。因为中国民间传说正月初五是财神的生日，所以过了年初一，接下来最重要的活动就是接财神，在财神生日到来的前一天晚上，各家置办酒席，为财神贺辰。
Welcoming the God of Wealth, also called “receiving the God of Wealth”, is an ancient traditional festival custom among Chinese folk. Because Chinese folklore says that the fifth day of the first lunar month is the birthday of the God of Wealth, so after the first day of the new year, the next most important activity is to receive the God of Wealth. On the night before the God of Wealth’s birthday, every family sets up a banquet to congratulate the God of Wealth.
The custom of “receiving the God of Wealth” has many differences across China. In some places, the God of Wealth is received on the first day of the first lunar month, while in other places it is received on the fourth and fifth day of the first lunar month.
Since ancient times, Chinese people have believed in many gods of wealth, including the “Martial God of Wealth”, “Wen God of Wealth”, “Five-way God of Wealth”, “Quasi God of Wealth” and “Partial God of Wealth”.
The fourth day of the first lunar month (also said to be the fifth day of the first lunar month) is the origin of the God of Wealth, the Five-show God of Wealth or the Five-Way God of Wealth: Legend has it that there are five brothers whose first characters are all “Xian”, so they are called “the Five-show God of Wealth”. He robbed the rich and gave to the poor while he was alive, but after his death he still punished evil and promoted good, and protected the poor. There is the Five-Hand God of Wealth Temple outside Andingmen in Beijing.
The “God of Wealth and Wealth”, Cai Silk Xingjun, is also known as the “God of Fortune and Wealth”: His portraits are often listed with the three stars of “Fu”, “Lu” and “Shou” and the God of Joy, which together form Fu, Lu, Longevity, Happiness and wealth. Caibo Xingjun has a white face and long hair, and holds a treasure basin in his hand. This is where the four words “recruiting wealth and treasures” come from. Most people will hang this picture in the main hall during the Spring Festival to pray for wealth and good fortune. The origin of the custom of receiving the Silk Star Lord from the God of Wealth on the fifth day of the first lunar month is related to Wang Yuanbao, the richest man in Chang’an in the Tang Dynasty.
On the fourth day of the first lunar month, all shops open for business, and early in the morning gold gongs, firecrackers, and sacrifices (shēng lǐ) are prepared to welcome the God of Wealth. Gu Tieqing of the Qing Dynasty quoted a poem about bamboo branches by Cai Yun in “Qing Jia Lu”, which describes the situation of Suzhou people welcoming the God of Wealth on the fifth day of the Lunar New Year: “Five days for wealth, five days for wealth, one year’s wish will be rewarded in one hour; beware of other places to welcome God early, overnight Hurriedly hugging the road.” “Bao Lutou” also means “welcoming the God of Wealth”. Merchants who believe in the Holy Lord Guan will offer sacrifices to Guan Gong on the fifth day of the first lunar month, set off firecrackers, and burn gold paper to worship him, hoping that the Holy Lord Guan will bless him with good fortune for the year.
The custom of “receiving the God of Wealth” has many differences across China. In some places, the God of Wealth is received on the first day of the first lunar month, while in other places it is received on the fourth and fifth day of the first lunar month. In Suzhou, Shanghai and other places in the Qing Dynasty, early in the morning of the fifth day of the lunar month, people would beat gongs and drums, set off firecrackers, and place sacrifices to prepare to welcome the God of Wealth. Folks believed that whoever received the God of Wealth first would get more benefits, so they welcomed the God of Wealth. Gods and gods scrambled to be the first, for fear of being late and making the God of Wealth unhappy. From this, the custom of “jumping the road” was derived.