Sometimes when we are living our busy lives in modern times, it’s very easy to forget the traditions that used to be very important in the society. Some things get updated and some are forgotten. But with chinese weddings we are reminded of the olden times and there are a few important things one should know about the ceremonies and traditions.
1. Do not take off your shoes until your chinese wedding ceremony is over.
Moreover the bride and groom should wear new shoes that match with their outfits. The shoes are kept on even at the tea ceremony and when visiting the brides family home. Shoes have a lot of special meaning in chinese culture and sometimes they are also given as betrothal gift.
2. The bride and groom will first enter the groom’s family home under the pants of the groom’s unmarried elder brother.
This tradition is not so widely practised anymore these days along with the traditional ritual prayers that go along with it. Naturally when planning the wedding, one should talk with both families and try to match their traditions to avoid any conflicts.
3. Parents are served tea before grandparents at the chinese wedding tea ceremony.
Typically it would be lotus, longan and red dates tea that is being served and they symbolize fertility and male children. The tea ceremony is still very common practise and one of the highlights of a chinese wedding in my opinion. If you are following the tradition by the letter, you should serve the tea kneeling, but it really depends on how conservative your views are.
4. The bride must change clothes before her home visit to symbolize the passage of three days.
Bride can either change to another western style dress, a cheongsam or traditional red wedding dress.
5. A whole roast pig with tail is given to the bride’s family at the bride’s home visit to declare that she was a virgin before marriage.
According to the tradition, the groom is satisfied with the virginity of his wife if the pig has its ears and tail intact. If not, it has the opposite meaning 🙂
Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg and it’s always different depending on how closely you are following the traditions. One must also remember that it is not just the bride and groom, but their families and relatives as well who might have an opinion on what ceremonies to have and which traditions to follow.