The Jade Emperor
The Jade Emperor is the Taoist ruler of Heaven and all realms of existence below including that of Man and Hell according to a version of Taoist mythology. He is one of the most important gods of the Chinese traditional religion pantheon.
The Jade Emperor is known by many names including Heavenly Grandfather which is used by commoners, the Pure August Jade Emperor, August Personage of Jade, the Xuanling High Sovereign, and his rarely used formal title, Peace Absolving, Central August Spirit Exalted, Ancient Buddha, Most Pious and Honorable, His Highness the Jade-Emperor, Xuanling High Sovereign.
The Jade Emperor's Birthday is said to be the ninth day of the first lunar month. On this day Taoist temples hold a Jade Emperor ritual at which priests and laymen prostrate themselves, burn incense, and make food offerings.
Chinese New Year's Eve is also a day of worship as it is said to be the day the Jade Emperor makes his annual inspection of the deeds of mortals and rewards or punishes them accordingly. On this day incense is burned in the home and offerings are made to the Jade Emperor and also to Zao Jun, the god of kitchen who reports to the Emperor on each family.
The Jade Emperor was originally the assistant of the Divine Master of the Heavenly Origin, Yuanshi Tianzun. Yuanshi Tianzun is said to be the supreme beginning, the limitless and eternal creator of Heaven and Earth, who picked Yu-huang, or the Jade Emperor, as his personal successor. The Jade Emperor will eventually be succeeded by the Heavenly Master of the Dawn of Jade of the Golden Door. The characters for both are stamped on the front of the arms of his throne.