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DESTINATION CHINA

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Chinese Wedding Traditions...

June 2011


Chinese Wedding Traditions

Traditional Chinese weddings are full of rituals and are an elaborate affair. While many of these customs are no longer followed in the modern Chinese society, there are still a few that have survived the centuries and are a part of modern weddings.

Red is central to the wedding theme in China. It signifies love, joy and prosperity and is used in a variety of ways in Chinese wedding traditions. The bride's wedding gown is often red, as are the wedding invitations, gift boxes and envelopes for cash gifts. Even the bride and groom's homes are decorated in red on the wedding day.

The wedding date in China is carefully chosen by the parents of the bride and the groom. They select the most auspicious day for the wedding with the help of Chinese calendar. Chinese people strongly believe that the numbers of the month and day have to be lucky and the moon and stars have to be properly aligned for wedding ceremony.

On the morning of the wedding day, the groom arrives at the house of his bride on the way to the wedding site. The bride’s closest friends are in her house and pretend to be unwilling to open the door for the groom. The groom needs to bring gifts of cash, wrapped in red tissue, to give to his bride's friends, in exchange for 'letting her go'.

When arriving at the bridegroom's home (at present normally at a restaurant or a hotel ballroom), the bride steps over a brazier, which means their life will be prosperous as the fire. And then they step over a saddle with an apple on it, which means their life will be restful and joyful.

The ceremony is held by a MC. First, the couple bow to the bridegroom's parents, the heaven and earth, and to each other. The groom uses a weigh beam to pick off the covering on bride’s head. That means they will be well-content in their future.

Then the happy couple serves tea to the parents of the bride and groom and other esteemed wedding guests, in order of seniority. On their part, the guests present the couple with gold jewellery and money in red envelopes.

Before the banquet, the bride changes into another gown (following the tradition that a Chinese bride changes into four to five dresses on the wedding day).

The wedding banquet is the most important part of a Chinese wedding and is an extremely lavish affair. Chinese people do their best to host the most sumptuous wedding banquet as it is considered to be a matter of prestige.

After the feast, comes the last part of the marriage. Most relatives and friends would leave one after another, but some friends and relatives of the same generation would crowd to the bridal chamber, playing all kinds of games to add more joy to the wedding.

 

For more information, please contact Brian Yin at china@euromic.com

Chinese Wedding

Chinese Wedding

Chinese Wedding

Chinese Wedding

Chinese Wedding

Chinese Wedding