The Gate Gods: A Chinese Fable
Many Gods are worshiped in China, especially during the Chinese New Year. At this time of
year many Gods are invited to be a part of their celebrations, tonight we would like to introduce
you to the Gate Gods.
It was said a long time ago there grew a peach forest. The king or largest of the peach trees shaded
two stone huts in which lived two giants who were brothers, Shen Tu and Yu Lei. Both of
them were so strong that in front of them lions would bend down their heads, leopards shivered
in front of them and tigers gave into them entirely to promise to serve as guards in the forest.
The two brothers lived there on the delicious peaches.
In the Northeast of Mount Duso, there lived a monster which was full of the spirit
of a bull. Because of his uncommon strength, he made himself king of that area.
When it was heard that there were delicious peaches on the mountain of Duso
that were magic and could turn evil into a god, he couldn’t wait to go there. Of
course, the monster was refused when he asked the brothers for peaches. The
monster was so angry he brought back 300 ghosts to fight the brothers. After a
fierce battle the monster was defeated and ran away. He still wouldn’t give up and sent a few
of the strongest ghosts to attack the brothers’ huts in the dark. Though the ghosts appeared with
blue faces, long buckteeth and dark red eyes, the brothers were calm and decided to give them
a hard blow. The elder brother fought with a hard stem of a tree and the younger followed with
a strong reed rope. When the older brother beat down one of the ghosts, the younger would tie
it hard and put it in the mouth of a tiger. The brothers, Shen Tu and Yu Lei, won the battle that
night and the ghosts never dared to annoy them again.
The brothers reputation spread quickly around the area, and they helped a lot
of people. Many years later when the brothers died, the people thought they
had gone into heaven and became the gate gods guarding the gates of heaven.
Because the gate gods once lived in the peach forest, people thought peach
trees were magic and they used peach tree branches tied to their gates with the
brothers names on them pinning their hope for peace on the two giants.
As we celebrate the Chinese New Year, let us consider Shen Tu and Yu Lei
and help others as we guard against evil and work for peace.