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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pre Wedding Traditions: CHINA

In China, they believe that before a man and a woman is even born, the gods already gave them their destined future husband and wife, they believe that a red long cord connects them (which is invisible to our human eyes of course) until their paths meet. According to them, the cord is so strong that nothing can break its connection meaning the couple's destiny is unchangeable.

Because of the rich culture and history of China, their traditions are complicated. But here I'll try to give you a glimpse of their wedding traditions. Please note that this may vary on every Chinese family because over the years, many tend to incorporate Western and Eastern traditions.

Astrology. The engagement and wedding date are often consulted to fortune tellers for auspicious dates and both families should agree upon this.

Matchamakers. In a much older China, there's a matchmaker who can be hired by the groom's parents to act as go between when they see a potential bride for their son.

The Six Etiquettes. This forms the framework of Chinese Weddings and as I said, it may be varied depending on the style of the couple.

1. Request of Marriage. Most requests are done with a matchmaker as the negotiator and then the bride's family will host a tea party to meet the grooms family and begin the proposal. If the man is interested with the woman, he will leave a red embroidered bag on his saucer and when the woman takes it, it means she agrees on the match.

2. The matching of the eight characters (astrological). Because of their strong belief on fate, Chinese often consults on their astrological sign for good omen.

3. Initial gifts. The groom's family offers these gifts to the bride's family as a way of showing their gratefulness to their soon to be in laws.

4. Formal bethrotal Gifts. These, aside from the initial gifts are delivered to the bride's family a month before the wedding day. It is also common that as their gift, the groom's family offers to pay for the whole wedding.

5. Setting the Wedding Date. An astrologer sets the wedding date based on both families' astrological information.

6. Wedding day. The day itself has plenty of traditions and it merits another post because it's an entirely different story.

Whew! That's a lot to take in huh? I bet everyone of us has their own beliefs. :)

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