Yü-huang (Chin., ‘Jade Emperor’). Deity of wide importance in Chinese folk religion and religious Taoism (tao-chiao). He is one of the three Pure Ones (san-chʾing), who determines all that happens in heaven and on earth. His earthly deputies are Tʾai-yüeh ta-ti (mountain deity who rules the earth and all people, deciding the moments of birth and death), Cheng-huang (guardians of cities who guide the souls of the dead), Tsao-chün (the lord of the hearth, who observes all that happens in the home), and Tʾu-ti (guardians of particular parts of cities or towns). He is portrayed usually on a throne in a robe decorated with dragons, holding a string of thirteen pearls and a ceremonial plaque. His feast day is the ninth day of the first lunar month.
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