Every culture follows a different set of wedding traditions. Today, as we explore weddings in China, we realize that all the rituals preceding the wedding, are steeped in ancient traditions.
Did you know – In China, the groom has to send 3 formal letters to the bride’s family if he wishes to marry her. Without these letters, the marriage will not be considered culturally valid!
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To a large extent, traditional marriage customs reflect the traditional Chinese culture, which could vary from one area to another and even from one dynasty to another. Six rituals of the traditional Chinese marriage customs have essentially remained over time, known as “Three Letters and Six Etiquettes”, which have been passed down from one generation to another.
Photo Source: 983 Invitations
- Request Letter – confirming the formal arrangement of a marriage. Sent by the groom’s family, along with the initial gifts for the bride’s family
- Gift Letter – encompasses a gift list recording the description and quantity of the formal gifts sent by the groom’s family
- Wedding Letter – presented to the bride’s family on the day of the wedding, confirming the act of bringing and welcoming her into the groom’s family
The process involves following 6 etiquettes:
- Request for Marrying the bride
- Birthday Matching according to Chinese Zodiacs
- Presenting Betrothal gifts to Bride’s family
- Presenting formal gifts to them
- Selecting the Wedding Date
- Wedding Ceremony
Photo Source: Le Knot
Installation of the bridal bed – A woman of good fortune sets up the bridal bed, adorning it with red or pink bedsheets and a few condiments like dried longans, lotus seeds, red dates, etc are placed on the bed.
Combing hair – Bride’s hair is combed four times (implies four different meanings) by a respectable old woman, and is then tied up with colorful cotton threads
Photo Source: Epoch Times
Crying and picking up the bride – The bride, covered by a red head-kerchief, must cry with her mother to show her reluctance to leave home. She would be led or carried by her elder brother to the sedan. In the meeting party, the groom would meet a series of difficulties intentionally set in his path. Only after coping with these could he pass to see his wife-to-be.
Photo Source: Stories.My
The wedding banquet – Often regarded as more important than the wedding itself, wedding banquets involve ‘tea ceremonies’, wherein the bride presents wine or tea to the elders of the family.
Lots of love and positive vibes,
Namrata The Scriptwriter