China has one of the oldest cultures on this Earth. Their wedding traditions are quite a sight to see. Did you know a Chinese wedding does not only consist of a grandiose ceremony? It turns out there are six parts to it and five of them are mere preparation for the main event. In today’s article, we are going to take a look at what are the five Chinese weddings that pave the way for the grand ceremony itself.
1. Setting a Date for a Chinese Wedding
The Chinese place a lot of importance on auspicious dates. There are some days that are said to determine what the right time for any big event is. Locals think that on those days, forces of the universe conspire together to guarantee success. Therefore, couples are cautious when selecting a date for their wedding. People take the date and exact time of the birth of the bride and the groom into consideration for figuring the ideal date out.
2. The Betrothal
One the couple has set the date, next the betrothal is carried out. It is an agreement of the two families who marry their children. A betrothal symbolizes a unification of the two families. It is similar to the engagement party. During this event, families offer each other symbolic gifts that bless the couple. A fascinating Chinese wedding tradition is where the bride’s family gets the “bride price”. It is a sum of money for (seemingly) the bride.
3. The Dowry
The dowry is a celebration of the bride. The bride is honored by her parents. The event itself is the bride receiving gifts. The vast majority of them are household items for the couple’s new home. Among them are symbolic gifts that bless her with prosperity and fertility.
4. A Bridal Bed
This is a Chinese custom where an older woman from the community is picked out of a crowd. It is a great honor to receive. The women selected are usually seen as excellent wives and mothers. The person is responsible for preparing the bed where the newly married couple spends their first night together. The sheets get adorned with red sheets for fortune and love.
5. The Hair Combing Ceremony
The fifth Chinese pre-wedding ceremony takes place on the night of the wedding. Both the bride and groom bathe in water that is infused with pomegranate leaves. Next, they change into a new outfit. Then they are seated by an open window, preferably under the moonlight. Someone from the woman’s family will comb her hair while blessing the couple out loud.