In our second Wedding Traditions post we want to share with you the traditions and cultures of China. When a couple in China decides to get married instead of pulling a date out of a hat or using a popular one, they consult a fortune teller. Who then uses astrology and their birth dates to come up with the perfect day for their ceremony.
Instead of going for what we consider the traditional white wedding gown like a lot of countries do, Chinese brides wear a red silk dress intricately embroidered with a dragon and a phoenix. These animals symbolize love and passion and endurance, the couple is sure to have a long happy life together and be able to stand the test of time. They choose red because it signifies love, joy and prosperity. This also may not be the only dress the bride wears, she will buy as many as she can afford and change into them often throughout the day to show that her family is wealthy enough and worthy.
During an early morning tea ceremony with their families the bride and groom will instead drink a honey wine from goblets that are tied with red string or ribbon to symbolize the bond they have with one another. The wedding ceremony itself is very simple and small, usually only the bride, groom and their immediate families attend. After the ceremony guests at the reception should be prepared for a 10-12 course feast. This is another way for the couple and their families to show their wealth and worth. Some typical dishes served would be shark’s fin soup ($150 per guest), birds nest soup (used to be made from real birds nests) and a whole fish. The word for fish is similar to the word abundance which is why they serve a whole fish, to show abundance. Lots of traditional Chinese music and dances are performed throughout the reception in particular the “lion” dance. This dance is said to scare away evil spirits and ensure the bride and groom have a happy carefree marriage.
Check back for another posting of “Wedding Traditions around the World” and see what country we have next!