Chinese Wedding Traditions - Marriage Customs
In the ancient days, communication is done through letters which played a vital role in the betrothal and marriage process. Three letters being sent during those times. First is the request letter which serves as a confirmation of the formal arrangement of marriage. This is sent by the groom's family to the bride's family along with gifts. The second letter is called the gift letter. It serves as a gift record that describes the value of each gift. The third one is the letter which is given to the bride's family on the wedding day itself.
In other countries nowadays, the bride's family handles the expenses of the event because it is said to be the "bride's day". In some other countries, both the bride and the groom take care of the wedding expenses. However, for Chinese traditions, it is the "groom's day" when it comes to the customary. This means the groom's family handles all the festivities before, during and after the wedding.
Before the Big DayBefore the wedding, the ritual is that the bride is isolated with her closest friends. In this custom, the bride-to-be symbolically mourns the loss of family and friends. On the big day, the bride is bathed in water which is infused with pomelo in order to cleanse her from bad influences.
Wedding Date and Chinese CustomsIn terms of Chinese customs, a traditional Chinese couple is very picky when it comes to choosing the date for the event - it should be a lucky one. Most Chinese families choose a date which is according to the lunar calendar. Aside from that, they also make sure that the moon and stars are properly aligned on the chosen date. It is also customary that the couple should marry on the half-hour rather than at the top hour of their wedding day. In this way, the hands of the clock are moving up instead of down. This is associated with the belief of Chinese wedding traditions that the couple could begin their lives on an upswing if that custom is followed.
Chinese Wedding Traditions - The ColorsThe color red plays a vital role in the wedding festivities of the Chinese people. Red is considered by then as a bold and lucky color. In addition to this, the color signifies love, prosperity and happiness; therefore, everything is in red when it comes to Chinese wedding customs - invitations, gift envelopes and the bride's dress. It is also important that the symbol for double happiness is placed on invitations, envelopes and venue decorations, and accessories.
A New Bed for the CoupleIn traditional Chinese families, the parents of the couple usually provide a new bed complete with pillow cases, comforters, pillows and sheets. A night before the wedding, the groom is required to sleep on the bed and a young nephew will have to jump up and down the bed to give luck to the couple. As per the customary, it is said that this practice gives hope on the fertility of the couple and will make them produce an heir soon.
Chinese Rituals - The Big DayOn the big day, the couple will need to serve tea to both parents and family and guests. In return, they will be presented with jewelry and money placed in red envelopes.
Without any surprise, the bridal gown will be red in color when it comes to Chinese wedding traditions. Yet, the case is a bit different nowadays. There will usually be three different dresses for the bride for nowadays. The white dress with veil is worn during the ceremony. The second dress is a traditional Chinese bridal dress. It is usually used at the banquet. The last one is called the bride's going away dress. This dress is worn before the bride leaves the banquet.
The feast or banquet is an important part during the wedding. The banquets are to thank family and friends for the kindness they have shown throughout the years. Most feasts will serve a twelve course meal including delicacies like roasted pig and shark fin soup. Sometimes fried rice and abalone will also be served
A post ritual for Chinese wedding traditions and customs happens after the day of the wedding. The bride should wake up early to honor her ancestors. On this day, the bride is formally introduced to the groom's family, relatives and friends. Older relatives will be giving her small tokens. Three days after the wedding, the bride will visit her family where she is welcomed and received as a guest.