Chinese Marriage Traditions
Dating back centuries, many ideas still influence today
By Linda Ray
The chief objective of a Chinese marriage is to join two families and continue with a prosperous succession. Chinese marriage traditions that date back as early as 400 B.C. have been modified and updated, but they still influence modern Chinese weddings.
Engagements are negotiated by a third party who acts as an agent between the bride's family and the groom's family to make sure succession is upheld and both sides prosper from the marriage.
Auspicious wedding dates are chosen based on a number of forecasts to find the luckiest day on which to hold the wedding ceremony. Almanacs, fortunetellers and horoscopes might be consulted to find the best day for the marriage to take place.
The bride goes into seclusion with her friends while the groom prepares the wedding bed the day before the ceremony. Children are invited to play on the bed to bring good luck to the couple so they bear children.
The wedding bed is spread with peanuts, figs, pomegranates and other fruits that the children scramble for as they play on the bed, infusing the ritual with fun.
A Chinese bride bathes in pumelo water, which is water infused with a fruit similar to grapefruits, to rid her of evil spirits on the dawn of her wedding day. The groom dons a long gown, red shoes and a red silk sash and kneels before his father, who places a cap of cypress leaves on his head.
The groom arrives at the wedding altar amid the noise of firecrackers and drums, while the bride is carried on her back on a sedan chair.
About the Author
Linda Ray is a freelance writer and contributor to DexKnows.
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