Earth Deity

Beside each grave, there will always be an altar to worship the Earth Deity, the Chinese earth god. This is to thank the Earth Deity for allowing the deceased person to use the deity’s land to return his body to the earth. Depending on the economic background of the deceased, a shrine for the Earth Deity can be as large as a normal tombstone (Ong Sam Leong) or as small as a simple brick. A sculpture of the Earth Deity might also be constructed at the shrine. In most cases, the Earth Deity is depicted as an elderly man, dressed in a golden hat and robe, with an ingot on his left hand and a wooden staff on his right hand. When a family pays respect to their ancestors, they also light up joss sticks and place offerings in front of the Earth Deity altar.