Cheng-Huang - Chinese god - China Religion
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Cheng-huang

clay tile roof over small nondescript building with stone streets
Cheng-huang temple in the Forbidden City

Each city or village in China had its own Cheng-huang god to protect it, and a small temple to that god. Many of them were based on real men from that town who had been well known while they were alive. After a great man died, if he became a god, he would send dreams to people who were still alive to let them know. Cheng-huang protected the moats and walls of towns when enemies were attacking them.

He also made sure the King of the Dead didn't take any souls away without Cheng-huang's permission. And if anyone was doing anything bad in the town, Cheng-huang would send you dreams about who it was so you could stop them.

Other Chinese Gods
Learn by doing: Chinese poetry project

Bibliography and further reading about Chinese religion:

Chinese gods

The Gods and Goddesses of Ancient China, by Leonard Everett Fisher (2003). . One page for each god, with lots of pictures and some historical context.

Five Heavenly Emperors: Chinese Myths of Creation, by Song Nan Zhang (1994). Stories .

Chinese Mythology A to Z, by Jeremy Roberts (2004).

Dragons and Demons : Myths of China, by Stewart Ross (1998). A few Chinese stories, retold .

Dragons, Gods and Spirits from Chinese Mythology, by Tao Sanders (1983). More of a child's encyclopedia.

More about Chinese gods

More about Chinese religion
Ancient China


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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
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