National Geographic : 1936 Dec
PEIPING'S HAPPY NEW YEAR The second day of the First Moon is in Pei ping the great day for worshiping, or rather asking favors of, the im ages in the Tem ple of the Five Efficacious Gods of Wealth. These deities, according to one of the many tales asso ciated with the little temple, were once real men, Chinese Robin Hoods, who took the money of the un righteous rich and bestowed it upon the deserv ing poor. "THE FIVE EFFI CACIOUS GODS OF WEALTH" The grateful populace buried them here, and in the reign of Chien Lung (1736 1796) the temple was built. It is known to be an especially effica cious shrine that stands among the farms a few miles outside (c) einz von 'erckhammer "WHO GOES THERE?" Through a moon gate peers a temple watchman, paper lantern in hand. In Peiping a doorway may be a gem of art. Many are vase-shaped, with ex quisitely carved stone borders. the Chang Yi, a gate toward the southwest part of the city. That a shrine or small temple stood on the spot at an earlier date is proved by an inconspicuous black tablet carved with Chinese characters and embedded in the bricks of the east wall of the main hall of worship. Important statements therein are translated as follows: "The Temple of the Five Efficacious Gods of Wealth in Willow Lane Village was built during the Ming Dynasty, but there is no way to discover the exact date. From the Second to the Ninth Moon of this year (1786) donations have been collected, so that the main hall of worship and the two side buildings have been completed. Then to one side this tablet was erected. On the fourth day of the Tenth Moon, philanthro pists (of this temple) met and reverently offered theatrical performances (to the Five Gods of Wealth). "In the thirty-third year of Chien Lung (1768), donations were obtained by the priests to build the stage, the temple gate door, guest rooms, monks' dormitories. Again contributions were gathered in pub lic places to the extent of some hundreds of ounces of gold to put up a requisite building: namely, the three rooms of the west hall. Now it is the fifty-first year.