Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Chinese Wedding Traditions and Customs You Must Know

When it comes to weddings, Chinese weddings must be written. Like most weddings,  Chinese traditional weddings are marked with customs and seen as a rite of passage. Now, let's talk about Chinese traditional wedding.

Traditional Chinese wedding paper cut

The clock starts ticking down toward a Chinese wedding only when mothers have been informed. According to the Chinese Wedding Guide, the timeline to a wedding starts when the bride-to-be's mother has been informed of the engagement. Following this step, families must set auspicious dates for activities leading up to the wedding. These include, but are not limited to, the betrothal date and the installation of the bridal bed. And there are said to have been 'three letters and six etiquettes' that had to be followed in order for the couple to be married.

The three letters consisted of the following:
  1. The Betrothal Letter, which was a contract between the two families; 
  2. The Gift Letter, a list of gifts that came with the bride's dowry
  3. finally the Wedding Letter, welcoming the bride into her new husband's home.
The six etiquettes were the following:
  1. the proposal
  2. find the bride's name and birthday
  3. visit the fortune teller
  4. prepare and send wedding gifts
  5. choosing a ceremony date
  6. the big day
The Color Red
red sleeves lace wedding dressThe color red plays an important part in a Chinese wedding. This symbolizes love and joy. Red is the dominant color for Chinese weddings, from clothing to candles on the tables to red firecrackers. The bride sometimes changes her outfit 3-4 times during the wedding day. At some point, she may also be wearing a red cheongsam, chinese says 旗袍 (qípáo), while the groom will wear red, black or sometimes dark blue outfit, called Chinese tunic suit(中山装).

Wedding Banquet & Serve tea
Today after getting legally married by officials in the offices of the Civil Affairs Bureau, there's the party or banquet part (as westerners would call it, the reception). At the banquet, guests will bring a red envelope. Another gift is to prepare fruits consisting of dates, peanuts, longan and lotus / chestnuts. This is because these fruits are a synonym, meaning "early have child", blessing the couple fast have healthy baby. In addition to the ceremonial congratulations of the newlyweds' speeches and toasts, the couple will also make toast for each table during the banquet. The bride, according to custom, should serve tea to her parents on the morning of the wedding. This should be done in her home before the groom arrives.
Perform a tea ceremony at the wedding ceremony, in front of the guests. The couple should serve the tea to their parents as a sign of respect.

Bridal Chamber
Traditionally, the bride and groom will be guided into the bridal chamber, where the newlyweds will cross the arms to drink the wedding wine and then swap the cups to bring it down. Obviously, embracing wine means the couple's unity. The bridal chamber will remain open on this day, friends and relatives can enter and play tricks in the couple. This tradition is known as "disturbing the bridal room" (闹洞房 - nàodòngfáng). These games encourage both family and friends to get together and have fun, so shy newlyweds, like husband and wife.

Top 3 Words for Modern Chinese Wedding Customs
1. 喜酒 (xǐ jiǔ): wine drunk at a wedding banquet
2. 嫁妆 (jià zhuāng): dowry
3. 拜天地 (bài tiān dì): formal bows by the bride and groom that are made to heaven and earth, Parents and each other.