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Chinese Wedding Customs & Rituals

In Chinese legend, the fatherly God-in-the-moonlight ties a red string around the ankles of the man and woman who are supposed to be husband and wife someday.  Thus, no matter how far apart they are, they will eventually get married...



 

 

 

Proposal & Betrothal

Two families pick an auspicious date as the Betrothal Day.  This is a formal meeting between the parents of the perspective bride and groom. The groom's family presents various proposal gifts that represents fertility and prosperity in Chinese Culture, which is also known as "Grand Gift".  Thus, the two are considered officially engaged.  


Wedding Day Ceremony

On the day of the wedding, two families performs "hair dressing" ritual and "capping" ritual for the bride and groom respectively. Then the groom sets out to the bride's home, and he will inevitably be blocked at her door by her friends, and the bridesmaids will play door game with the groom and his attendants.  The bride and groom will then leave her home and proceed to meet the groom's parents for Tea Ceremony.  The wedding date ceremony ends with a feast which features elaborate Chinese wedding food.

 

Pre-Wedding Ritual

After the betrothal  meeting, both families will make announcement to their relatives and friends by sending out  "Double Happiness Cakes" along with invitations.  The bride's family then prepares dowry and give a list of the dowries to the groom's family. The groom's family performs "setting bridal bed" ritual...  The groom's family decorates the bridal house for the wedding, while the bride's family prepares household accessories, mostly bedding and dining necessities, for the new home. 


Wedding Night Ritual

The night of the wedding, the bridal room will lit dragon and phoenix candle to drive away the evil spirit, the newlyweds will drink wine from two cups tied together with a red string, arms crossed from each other. This is the formal wedding vow in Chinese culture. Then the bride will be offered dumplings that's boiled half-raw.  The pronunciation of "raw" is the same as giving birth to children, a indication of family prosperity.

Post-wedding Customs

The next morning of the wedding, the bride should get up early and make a meal for the groom's family to demonstrate that she is well-nurtured. Three days after the wedding, the groom and bride will go back to visit the bride's parents.

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