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Se Gong - God of Earth (The Gnome)

"The god of earth, the gnome, has magical power over growth of the 5 grains." Originated and evolved from the gnome, the god of earth acts as a local guardian. ("Se" literally means the land owner of a community, quoted from the Confucian classic Li Ji - the Classic of Rites.)

Se Gong - God of Earth (The Gnome)"Se" also signifying worshipping of earth and fundamentally a yang element, is God's way to bless earth. Millions of living things thriving on earth are created by heaven as ideas and materialized as forms on earth and are nonetheless reliant on cosmic energy. Hence heaven is to be revered and earth to be cherished. (Quoted from the Confucian classic Xiao Ching - the Classic of Filial Piety).

Apart from gaining good harvests, the gnome also bestows local protection from drought, flood, fire, etc.. Being omnipresent and omnipotent the gnome possesses protective characteristics. From small scale in protecting a household to large one protecting the country, gnomes are established across China.

The gnome dictates the prosperity of people and livestock, the peace in the locality, and disposes subduing power over wild beasts. At the same time the gnome is the protector of the underworld and is in fact god of earth, revered in shrines in countless streets and villages. Neighbouring residents come to worship in these shrines, though small and modest, by burning joss sticks and offering sacrifices on the 1st and the 15th day of the month in the lunar calendar.

In ancient times people impersonated trees as idols of the gnome, for earth gives lives to millions of things, especially to trees. An immensely tall tree standing in magnificence is awesome stirring respect and reverence.

People of the Hia Dynasty (about BC2100) used pine trees to incarnate god of earth, and people of the Yin Dynasty used stone or cypress, whereas residents around Southern China see the banyan tree as the symbol. Trees around the incarnated tree are not allowed to be chopped down to avoid angering the spirits. In quite a number of locations on Peng Chau there are shrines of the god of earth and gnome worshipped by some local residents who still follow the custom.

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