China has one of the most fascinating cultures on this planet. Their wedding traditions already are an amazing experience to have but did you know that Chinese weddings aren’t only composed of the wedding ceremony? There is actually 6 parts to a traditional Chinese wedding including the ceremony. The other 5 are preparations for the main event. This article introduces 5 Chinese pre-wedding customs.
In China there is a belief in the importance of auspicious dates. They are the days that are supposed to determine the optimum time for a big event and bring all the forces of the universe together for the success of the it. Couples are very careful with selecting a date for their wedding, as the wedding is one of the most important events in a persons life. What the couple takes into consideration are the couple’s birthdays and times, and select a date from there.
After a date is selected, the betrothal is carried out. A betrothal is an agreement of two families to marry their children as an act of uniting the families. In western culture the equivalent would be the engagement party. During a betrothal families exchange presents of symbols that bless the couple even more. As is traditional the bride’s family receives the so called “bride price” or sum of money that is seemingly in exchange for her.
This is a celebration of the bride by her parents. The bride’s dowry are a set of gifts. Most of them are household items that will become very handy. Along with those, the bride also receives symbolic gifts that bless her with fertility, prosperity and children.
The Bridal Bed
The bed where the married couple will spend their first night together is prepared by a woman in the community who is seen as a great wife and more than that a great mother for many kids. She must adorn the bed with sheets that are red for great fortune and love, plus place plates of symbolic fruits onto the bed.
The Hair Combing Ceremony
The very last Chinese pre-wedding tradition is a hair combing ceremony. It takes place on the night of the wedding where both the bride and groom will bathe in the water that is infused with pomegranate leaves. After that they change into new clothes and shoes. They will be seated by an open window under the moonlight. The woman’s family will gently comb their hair and bless them aloud. Blessings are for eternal love, a peaceful marriage, many kids and also longevity.