Earth God or Ông Địa

The Earth God (Vietnamese: Ôn Địa, Thổ Công, Thổ Thần) is a god belonging to the folk belief in East Asian cultural region (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam) who is responsible for governs a land region.

The Earth Gold is described as a man with a stout body, a big belly, a smiling mouth, simple clothes. He has a duty to manage a land region. He knows clearly everyone, everything and all phenomena that occur in his area of management. Especially, he usually helps people search lost belongs and combines with the God of Wealth to help the poor in the area. In addition, he also helps people earn for living.

Earth God Ông Địa and God of Wealth or Thần Tài

Earth God Ông Địa (left) and God of Wealth or Thần Tài (right).

Believing in the support of the Earth God, people usually set up a small temple to worship him in the village communal house, in the land area they are living or set up an altar in right their home. On the altar, there is always a plate of fruit, a vase of flowers, especially a garlic plate. Every morning, people burn incense, offer water. Especially, those who live by trading also give him coffee and cigarettes. Every month, on the 1st and the 15th of the lunar calendar, people lay their offerings better than usual. On the occasion of the death anniversary or Lunar New Year, people give him a private tray of food and invite him first and asked him to let the spirits of ancestors and relatives enter the house. On the occasion of the Lunar New Year, people organize lion dances in public places or in each private house. In the performing group, there is always a man acting the part of Earth God with a humorous posture and usually kidding with children.

The image of the Earth God has been in the hearts of East Asians for thousands of years. In the minds of East Asian people, the Earth God is very close and familiar, always supporting them to have a peaceful and prosperous life. They always worship him very solemnly.

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