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___ Golden Flower

A leave-like shaped offering made out of cardboard or foil in golden color to be offered at temples or home altars and shrines. Other names for the Golden Flowers are: Jin Hwa, Jinhua, Gim Huey or Chin Hua.
 

At house altars or shrines, these offerings will be changed once a year during New Year’s Celebration.

Attached on the top of the Golden Flower is a peacock feather, which is supposed to blow out bad fortune from last year, while enhancing positive energies for the upcoming year.

According to Feng Shui believes, the peacock is another manifestation of the heavenly Phoenix on earth. It has a hundred eyes on its tail which would activate fame, luck, promote public admiration and bring positive motives from other people.

The peacock with its tail of 100 eyes is also associated with the goddess Guan Yin. The peacock can feed on poisonous snakes and transmute evil into beauty, as the goddess Guan Yin helps the suffering and thus transmutes evil into beauty. In this sense, the peacock resembles protection and holiness.
In China, the bird was a symbol of the Ming Dynasty, representing divinity, rank, power, and beauty.

The lower middle part of a Golden Flower has embossed designs directly on the cardboard. Some versions of the Golden Flower show a separate, heightened piece of cardboard in a similar shape, though in smaller dimensions. The latter at times shows human figures. The pictured are Jade One (a Girl) and Golden Child (a Boy) , acting as a kind of butler, secretary, guard, errant boy or messenger, helpers of every day tasks, and protectors of the household, temple or deity they support.
 

Golden Flowers
Incense and Golden Flower offering in front of Leng Buai Ia Shrine, China Town, Bangkok.
Photo © Valeska Gehrmann

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