The written word and tradition in China

Day 4 of the Spring Festival

The Chinese character 灶 ("zao"), meaning kitchen, is the keyword for the fourth day of the Spring Festival. This year, it falls on Jan. 25.

According to Chinese folklore, the Kitchen God goes to heaven to make his annual report to the Jade Emperor (the supreme deity of Taoism) on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month, the last month of a year, before returning later on the fourth day of the lunar new year. People usually burn incense and offer sacrifices on this day, including a wide range of delicious foods and fruits in the afternoon or evening. People will also set off firecrackers and burn paper money to welcome back the Kitchen God with the greatest respect, hoping that he can continue to oversee and protect the household in the year ahead.

Read more about Spring Festival customs:

Day 3 of the Spring Festival

Day 5 of the Spring Festival