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The God that Catches Ghosts - Zhong Kui

Zhong Kui is one of the Chinese famous folk gods and later was brought into the deity system. His main function is to catch ghosts.

It was said that in the Tang Dynasty, Emperor Xuanzong was suddenly sick seriously on the way to patrol. He couldn't get better after many treatments. He was very anxious. One night, he dreamed of a devilkin in red stealing his treasures. The Emperor scolded the devilkin angrily. Just then, a tall ghost with a shabby hat appeared and caught the devilkin then ate it. The Emperor asked who the tall ghost was. He said he had been a successful candidate of Shaanxi Province in the highest imperial examinations, named Zhong Kui. The Emperor disliked his ugly appearance and decided not to enroll him. Zhong Kui was so angry that he threw himself to the step of the palace and died. After his death, he began to engage in catching ghosts.

When Emperor Xuanzong was awake, he recovered. So he ordered the most famous artist at that time, Wu Daozi, to draw the portrait of Zhong Kui. As this Emperor himself is a crazy Taoist adherent, with his great support, Zhong Kui gradually established his position as the god that catches ghosts.

Besides stories of catching ghosts, there are a lot of other stories about Zhong Kui, such as Zhong Kui Married off His Little Sister. Ordinary people make all kinds of art works with his portrait and place them in the house or at the gate, hoping to drive away the evil and gain safety. There are still countless literary works about him, including dramas, novels and so on.

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