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Red coloured plastic dishes for offerings. The Kitchen God, also called Zao Jun, ascends to heaven every year during the Chinese New Year to present a report to the Jade Emperor, also called Yu Huang or Emperor of Heaven as to the good or bad behaviour of each family member.The Jade Emperor rewards or punishes each household accordingly. Jade Emperor and also Zao Jun are worshipped by lighting incense and food offerings are presented to welcome the Jade Emperor’s carriage. The Kitchen God will receive cakes made out id sugar and honey in order to bribe and sweeten him up, so he will report a ‘sweetened ‘ version of the family’s behaviour to the the Jade Emperor. Although the Jade Emperor himself is vegetarian, meat food offerings can be found since the Emperor might have non vegetarian guests; market scene, China Town, Bangkok

Photographer:Valeska Gehrmann
© 2008:Valeska Gehrmann at