Humanities › History & Culture The Kitchen God's Significance During Chinese New Year Share Flipboard Email Print Depiction of the Kitchen God, named Zao Jun in Chinese mythology. Flickr/ePi.Longo History & Culture Asian History East Asia Basics Figures & Events Southeast Asia South Asia Middle East Central Asia Asian Wars and Battles American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture European History Genealogy Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Lauren Mack Journalist M.S., Journalism, Columbia University B.A., Humanities, Florida Atlantic University Lauren Mack is a journalist who covers Chinese culture and history. She studied Mandarin Chinese in Beijing and Taipei and has written for Newsweek International, Elle Girl, and the Chicago Tribune. our editorial process Lauren Mack Updated December 20, 2017 The Kitchen God is assigned by Yu Huang, the emperor of heaven, to watch over each family and record what they do throughout the year. A paper picture of the Kitchen God is hung in a prominent location in the kitchen. Each year during Chinese New Year, the Kitchen God returns to heaven to report on what the family has done throughout the year. The family has a thank you dinner in which a bowl of sticky rice is placed in front of the Kitchen God. It is believed that if the Kitchen God’s mouth is full of glutinous rice, he will not be able to speak about the family’s activities. Others give glutinous rice balls served in sugar soup and brown sugar bars as a bribe for the Kitchen God to say favorable things about the family. After the thank you dinner, the picture of the Kitchen God is burned and thereby sent back to heaven. A new picture of the Kitchen God is hung in the kitchen after the start of Chinese New Year festivities.