Red Symbolizes Happiness
That magical feeling weddings give us is always the same, but the traditions people around the world follow to celebrate their love are very different! Welcome back to Weddings of the World, where we take a look at how different (or surprisingly the same!) weddings in far-away places are. Today, we’ll be learning about Chinese wedding traditions. Chinese culture is often known for strong family structure and respect for tradition – how do you think that shows in their wedding practices?
Beginning with the proposal and engagement, there is a lot of gift giving. If you’re a giver then this would be easy for you! Whether it’s food, wine, clothing, or jewelry, a new groom will use gifts to show appreciation and love for his new family Isn’t that amazingly beautiful?
Tea is an integral part of Chinese culture; nearly every restaurant serves it, and drinking it together is a popular social activity. In the wedding tradition, the Tea Ceremony is one of the most important events. Both the Bride and Groom are expected to serve their new family tea from a traditional tea pot while following specific etiquette. Drinking the tea together is symbolic of the two families becoming one! Ultimately, the Chinese wedding tea ceremony is a significant way to show respect and gratitude for a lifetime of care and love to the couple’s parents – after the ceremony, the man will love and care for his new wife. In addition to this beautiful ritual, we can’t forget about the iconic red envelopes! Chinese culture considers the color red lucky and symbolic for success, honor, fertility, and warding off of evil spirits. After the tea ceremony is over, the couple is presented with monetary gifts inside of small red envelopes decorated with gold characters and designs. Bonus: save the dates and invitations are usually in an envelope that looks similar to these, just larger and more ornate! Though red and gold are popular colors for traditional Chinese weddings, some couples choose to incorporate more white and other colors.
Here’s the good part… the wedding day! Customarily, the Bride wears a Chinse qipao dress. It’s becoming more and more popular to wear this type of dress and a white Western-style dress, too! Just like American brides switch dresses, it’s normal for a Chinese Bride to switch her outfit at least three times over the course of the reception. Unlike American weddings, though, a Chinese couple’s vows are said in private. The wedding isn’t a legal ceremony, but a celebration of a new marriage with friends and family. The food that follows the short ceremony is extravagant! There are normally between five and ten courses, with a lot of fish because it’s representative of abundance. Even when a Chinese couple opts for a mostly Western-style wedding, the banquet remains traditional out of respect for their families. Fun fact – guests sign a guest book along with their gifts. Attendants record the monetary value of the gift for the newlyweds to see; this way, they can give that person a gift of the same or more value. The day after the wedding, the Bride formally visits her new family, where she receives more gifts and blessings. After another few days, she will visit her own parents’ home as a guest, as she is no longer a part of her family. Chinese wedding traditions are different from American ones, but anyone can tell Chinese couples have deep respect for their families and culture!
Stay tuned once a month for our Weddings of the World blog. Where we will take a deeper look into the cultures and wedding traditions of countries around the world!
~ZG & AW~