Chinese Mythology

The Folk Gods and Spirits of the Middle Kingdom

ZAO JUN

Chinese Hearth God

Also known as Tsao-Chun, Zao Shen, Tsao-Shen, Zao Wang, Tsao-Wang

Picture of the Chinese Hearth God Zao Jun from our Chinese mythology image library. Illustration by Chas Saunders.

Domestic God of the Fireplace

He had one hell of a life as a mortal. It all seemed to be going so well... until he fell in love with another woman.

From there it was the old old story of losing his wife, going blind, losing his mistress, becoming a beggar and getting burnt to ashes in the kitchen stove.

However, as luck would have it, there was a vacancy for a Kitchen God and he got the job, helped by the piety of his grieving mistress. Now he can be found in every household, keeping an eye on things and offering protection.

Something of a celestial snoop, he compiles an official report on every family which is sent to the Jade Emperor on New Year’s Day. But he’s not above a little bribery. Next time you have a Chinese take-out, order some extra noodles or honey cakes to keep him happy. And he does like a drink.

Zao Jun Facts and Figures

Name: Zao Jun
Pronunciation: Dzaow Joon
Alternative names: Tsao-Chun, Zao Shen, Tsao-Shen, Zao Wang, Tsao-Wang

Gender: Male
Type: God
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: the Hearth
Area of expertise: Hearth

Good/Evil Rating: NEUTRAL, may not care
Popularity index: 1029

Cite this article

Here's the info you need to cite this page. Just copy the text in the box below.

Article last revised on September 25, 2018 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

Permissions page