10 of the Most Enchanting Wedding Traditions in China

Weddings are joyous occasions that celebrate the union of two individuals in love. Every culture has its own unique set of wedding traditions, and China is no exception. Chinese weddings are steeped in ancient customs and rituals that have been passed down through generations. In this article, we will explore ten of the most fascinating wedding traditions in China, showcasing the rich cultural heritage and timeless beauty of Chinese nuptials.

10 of the Most Enchanting Wedding Traditions in China

1. The Red Color Symbolism

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Photo by East Meets Dress on Unsplash

In Chinese culture, red is considered the color of happiness, luck, and prosperity. It is believed to ward off evil spirits and bring good fortune to the couple. Hence, red plays a prominent role in Chinese weddings. From the bride’s attire, called a qipao or a cheongsam, to the decorations and invitations, the color red is ubiquitous, symbolizing joy and auspicious beginnings.

2. The Tea Ceremony

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Photo by Jackson Wong on Unsplash

The tea ceremony is a cherished tradition in Chinese weddings, representing the respect and gratitude the couple has for their parents. During the ceremony, the newlyweds serve tea to their parents and elder relatives as a way of expressing their filial piety and seeking their blessings. It is a touching and intimate moment that highlights the importance of family in Chinese culture.

3. The Double Happiness Symbol

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Photo from Elyse Whall of Plum & Oak Photo

You might have come across the iconic Chinese character “囍” (pronounced as “xi” in Mandarin), known as the “Double Happiness” symbol. It is often displayed prominently during Chinese weddings. The character is a combination of two “喜” (xi) characters, representing the joy of the union between the bride and groom. It is considered a talisman for marital bliss and is found on various wedding decorations, such as the couple’s attire, invitations, and even the wedding cake.

4. The Dragon and Phoenix Motif

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Photo from East Meets Dress

The dragon and phoenix hold significant symbolism in Chinese culture, representing masculine and feminine energies, respectively. In weddings, you will often find the dragon and phoenix motif incorporated into the couple’s attire, especially on the bride’s gown. This symbolizes the harmony and balance between the couple, as well as their wish for a successful and blissful marriage.

5. The Nuptial Bed Games

One of the lighthearted traditions in Chinese weddings is the nuptial bed games. Before the wedding night, friends and family of the couple play games and pranks to create a joyous and festive atmosphere. The games are meant to symbolize the challenges and humor that come with married life. It is a fun-filled tradition that adds a touch of playfulness to the celebrations.

6. The Firecrackers

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Photo by Zuza Gałczyńska on Unsplash

Chinese weddings are often accompanied by the loud sounds of firecrackers. The purpose of the firecrackers is twofold. Firstly, they are believed to scare away evil spirits and ensure a harmonious beginning for the couple. Secondly, the loud noise of the firecrackers is thought to attract the attention of the entire community, announcing the joyous occasion and inviting well wishes from neighbors and friends.

7. The Betrothal Gifts

Betrothal gifts, known as “Guo Da Li,” are an important part of Chinese wedding customs. These gifts are presented by the groom’s family to the bride’s family as a gesture of goodwill and respect. The gifts typically include items such as tea, dried fruits, jewelry, and even money. The act of giving betrothal gifts symbolizes the sincerity of the groom’s intentions and his ability to care for the bride.

8. The Bridal Sedan Chair

In traditional Chinese weddings, the bride is carried in a beautifully decorated sedan chair from her family’s home to the groom’s house. The sedan chair, adorned with red tassels and auspicious symbols, is carried by four or six bearers. This practice symbolizes the bride’s transition from her family’s home to her new life with her husband. It is a visually captivating tradition that showcases the elegance and grace of the bride.

9. The Wedding Banquet

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Photo by Perpixel Photography

Chinese wedding banquets are grand affairs that bring together family, friends, and well-wishers to celebrate the union of the couple. The banquet typically features multiple courses of sumptuous dishes, symbolizing abundance and prosperity. Traditional Chinese delicacies, such as Peking duck, sweet and sour fish, and longevity noodles, are often served. The wedding banquet is not only a feast for the palate but also an opportunity for guests to toast and offer their blessings to the newlyweds.

10. The Red Envelopes

Photo from Elyse Whall of Plum & Oak Photo

Last but not least, red envelopes, known as “hongbao,” are an integral part of Chinese wedding traditions. Guests present these envelopes containing money to the couple as a gesture of good luck and blessings. The amount of money is usually an even number, as odd numbers are associated with funerals. The red color of the envelope symbolizes good fortune, and the act of giving hongbao signifies the guests’ support and well wishes for the couple’s future.

Posted in Trending, Wedding Traditions by wedded wonderland

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