Traditional Chinese Wedding

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Today Sarah, Laura, and I present on traditional Chinese Weddings in China. Traditional weddings are not very common in China anymore but they are very interesting. There are many components that go into a Chinese wedding but they overall scope goes a little something like this; first and foremost the bride is the most important part of the wedding. The wedding starts by first hiring a matchmaker. The matchmaker does all the negotiating between the families. If the Brides family accepts that proposal made by the Grooms family, then the marriage will be on. Sometimes in traditional wedding the Bride and Groom never met till their wedding night.
Three days before the wedding, the Grooms parents' home was very busy. All of this family would come to the house and stay for three days. They would eat and drink and socialize in the home. They would also get gifts ready for the Bride's family for the day of the wedding. On the day of the wedding, there would be a precession from the Grooms home to the Brides home. The procession consisted of many people and they played loud music with drums and symbols. Also about six men carried a red carriage that the bride would sit in on the way back to the wedding ceremony. When the groom finally reached the brides parents home he would grab the gifts and proceed towards the home. The gifts consisted of many different things like;
• Bride's price as a gift from the groom to the bride's parents for bringing her up
• Two pairs of dragon and phoenix candles to signify the couple is a perfect match
• To most dialects, it would be 2 pairs of candles with the bride's family keeping the dragons and returning the phoenix to the groom's family.
• For all dialects, Mandarin Oranges refers to good fortune and hence are often presented in even numbers.
• 2 bottles of Brandy are often the standard items for this exchange while 6 types of grains consisting
• 1. Red Dates - symbolizes the bearing of a male child
• 2. Red Beans and Green Beans - represents offsprings
• 3. Dried longans - often with their shells to represent completeness
• 4. Lotus Seeds - symbolizes the bearing of many child
• 5. Lily Bulbs - symbolizes everlasting marriage
• For Hokkiens, one of the items given by the groom's family is Pig Trotters. This is to serve as a gift to the bride's mother for washing and cleaning the bride when she was young.
As the groom proceeded towards the home, family members of the bride would stop him and ask for gifts. He enters the house with a red flower (looks like a big red bow with two long pieces of fabric attacked to it) and then Bride and Groom hold this together at their wedding ceremony. When the groom first sees' the Bride she is wearing a tradition red dress and her face is covered by a red fabric, she cannot see anything. Then the Bride and Groom perform three bows; first bow is to the heavens, the second bow is to the parents, and the third bow is to each other. The Bride is then walked out of the house and helped into the carriage. The Brides parents spill water and rice over the carriage to symbolize the fact that she is never coming back home, just like they will never get the rice and water back.
On the way to the wedding ceremony the band plays and many people stop and watch the procession. The Bride sits in the carriage and the groom heads the procession on a horse. Finally when they get to the wedding hall the bride is escorted in and before she enters she touches two oranges from a batch of oranges. The two that she picks are set aside for later in the wedding chamber and symbolize long life. Bride go into the hall, cross the Hibachi, which means she will drop all of the sadness and unlucky memories. Then she goes into the wedding chamber to wait for her husband. All the time that she is in the wedding chamber her husband is entertaining the guests. It is tradition to have a drink of shot with every person or table at the wedding. Each wedding is different. Usually there is about 38 tables at a wedding and each table consists of 10 people. This means that the groom is getting very drunk while his bride awaits him in the chamber. There is dancing and food during this time but the Bride doesn't take part in any of it. She must wait for her husband to come for her. After a long time and when all the guests have left, the Groom goes to the wedding chamber and finally lifts her vial. This is usually the first time they have seen each other. This is also the first time that the Bride gets to eat or drink that day. After that the Bride and Groom stay in the chamber for the night.
There are many more small components to a Chinese traditional wedding but this is the jist of it. I find it very interesting and I am glad to have learn so much about it.

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This page contains a single entry by baill052 published on June 12, 2012 2:09 PM.

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