The Chinese Tea Ceremony is a symbolic introduction of a bride to her groom’s family. It is considered the most sacred ritual of a Chinese wedding and takes place on the morning of the wedding.
In China, serving tea has always been one of the most significant ways to show respect. This ceremony is an act of gratitude to the brides’ parents for the love and care they have provided her. It is a sign of respect to the groom’s parents and also acknowledges a change, as the couple are now considered a son and daughter to both families.
But why tea? It is the symbol of purity, stability and fertility. For the wedding tea ceremony, red dates, peanuts, longans and lotus seeds are added. Together these are a symbol of well wishes for the couple to have many children.
During the ceremony, the parents of the couple sit on chairs while the bride and groom kneel before them to offer tea. After grandparents, grand uncles and aunts, uncles and aunts, and elder siblings are also offered tea. Younger siblings and cousins will often assist in the serving of the tea too. It’s thought this will bless them with a happy marriage and abundant wealth!
After the drinking of the tea, the family give gifts to the bride and groom. These are often money in red envelopes or even the wedding jewellery to be worn.