Chinese Traditional Wedding
Chinese Traditional Wedding In the different culture, there are many different customs and traditions in festival celebrations. Wedding customs are one of the most representative and symbolic customs in revealing the differences. Wedding ceremony shows not only the love of couple or two families involved, but also reflects the heritage of Chinese civilization. Ever since ancient times, the most delightful moments in one’s life come with success in marriage and birth of son. Chinese wedding decorates with one primary color is red which causes the Western culture to find out how they celebrate their wedding.
In this essay, I introduce to Chinese traditional wedding ceremony such as the symbols, preparation, and procession of wedding. According to Wang (1998), he explains a man side has the opportunities to choose what kind of a woman to be his wife or mother of his children. First, a man finds a woman to marry who has never dated with anyone before. Second, a man meets woman’s parents to engage with her. Additionally some of marriages are blind because marriage is not built up from a love but it was a family connection.
Marriage is being arranged between two families: pride and groom do not know each other. Without asking from their parents, many women were forced to marry with the men they never knew before. Lastly, Wang mentions that men are looking for a “value women” which means a woman appears “docile, quiet, and sweet. ” He claims that a man marries only to virgin woman in fact prefer to a woman who have never dated with anyone else beside him. In the Chinese belief, a virgin woman gives honorable to her husband’s status and can bring love and peaceful to the family after a marriage.
In a Chinese legend, Chinese people believe in god of love who ties a red string to bind man and woman into a loving couple. The power of red always bring the couple together even from a great distance. The color red becomes a dominant color in the wedding ceremony: red dragon, red wedding costume, red candle…etc. Red is a symbol of utmost double happiness and joy. During Chinese wedding ceremony, they choose the red peonies and orchid represent love, new family, safety and peace is the characteristic of Chinese culture (Xie, 1970).
Unlike the flowers use in Western weddings, traditional Chinese never used white flowers in ceremonies except funeral. In the past, a family often hires a matchmaker to go search for a matching bride and groom as their parents’ requests. Then, both families get to know each other, and consult a fortune teller to analyze that the man and woman’s birthday, name, and other information. Chinese people believe that a marriage deal can be brokered unless the fortune teller tells that couple is good matching (Mack, 2007).
It is Chinese culture to believe in supernatural. Contrary to Chinese culture, American culture just set a wedding date according to time availability. American people believe that a marriage needs to build up from love; not a family relationship. Xie explains that there are many things to prepare before a wedding date for both families. The traditional marriage is not only about two people but also two families cooperate together to celebrate this wedding. Both families prepare a meeting day to discuss about wedding of their daughter or son.
Then, they come together to pick an auspicious day which they believe a lucky day according to astrological signs. After this meeting, this couple considers as legally engaged through both sides of parents. This gives an opportunity for the groom’s family prepares to send the gifts called “Grand Gifts or betrothal Gifts” to display their honest and financial ability to the bride’s family. Grand Gift is a set of gift to be represented to the bride’s family by groom’s family. All gifts should in even numbers meaning a love of couple.
Furthermore, red eggs would wrap in pairs to a symbol “good things in double”. Li Shi Money is the amount of money to determine by groom’s family, usually contains the number 9 such as $99 or $999. The traditional Chinese beliefs still exist till today and the next future Chinese generation with a to hope to live in happiness and peace after married. Both families are busy to prepare for their daughter and son wedding in the few months before wedding. Bride’s family would prepare dowries which consist of the gifts that the bride would bring to her husband’s home after marriage.
Once a woman marries, she considers as a part of her husband’s family. The value of the dowry is used for a woman’s status in her new position as a wife and a daughter-in-law. Her responsibility is not about her family anymore but her husband’s family (Mack, 2007). At the same time, Xie also mentions that the groom’s family is busy to decorate the bridal house or room such as “double happiness” signs, red dragon and phoenix design, and red candle to represent love to the last. The wedding’s unique ritual and tradition make the ceremony meaningful and solemn.
The two rituals such as “Hair dressing and Capping rituals” would be held in the bride’s and groom’s house on the morning of the wedding day. “Hair dressing” ritual takes place in the bride’s home. Bride’s parents choose a lucky woman who lives with parents-in-law, children and husband, to help the bride to make her hair in a bun which was a common style for traditional married woman when she becomes an adult and a married person. Similarly, “capping” ritual takes place in the groom’s home, and hairstyle changing is usually done by his mother (Costa, 1997).
According to Mack, the traditional wedding day is “the groom would bring a sedan chair with trumpet blaring to bring his bride to his family. ” Finally, the last step is the tea ceremony when the new couple serves tea to their parents to show their respect to them. Moreover, the gloom parents give the gift with money to their daughter-in-law and son after drinking tea because this gift would encourage them to have children as soon as possible. After this ceremony, the new couple can have their private time together.
Chinese wedding is complicate and too long because there are so many steps that the bride and groom have to follow before marriage or a day of marriage. If we compare to American wedding day, American people celebrate their wedding ceremony in church with a short amount of time. American parents give more right to their daughter or son to choose the day of their marriage, location of their marriage, and pick up their wedding costume (white). White color represents purify of woman with honest and love.
The Chinese traditional wedding ceremony is considered a spiritual ceremony and the display of long history and heritage of China. This research paper divides into three general focus points such as symbol, preparation, and procession. First, the symbol is about the color represents the Chinese culture and how they believe about the legend tale. Secondly, both families prepare everything for their son and daughter in the wedding day. Thirdly, the process of wedding day when the bride and groom get to meet each other and the groom brings his wife to his home with love and joy.