12 Classic Chinese Wedding Traditions
In traditional Chinese wedding customs, pre-wedding and formal wedding are the main procedures, so what is the formal wedding process and what are the main Chinese wedding traditions? Below are the most classic Chinese wedding traditions.
1. Ancestor sacrifice
Before the groom goes out to marry the bride, he first worships the gods and ancestors at home to pray for a safe and smooth marriage process. The man’s family usually also performs a bed-resting ceremony the day before the wedding. After the ceremony, the young boy of relatives will be invited to roll over on the new bed and pray for a having a baby early. Finally, sprinkle various types of dried fruits such as peanuts, red dates, longan, lotus seeds and so on.
2. Departure to marry
The number of people in the wedding team should be even numbers, but avoid number of 4, and the multiple of 6 is the best. The first car is used as the leading car, and the bridal car is usually arranged in the second position. The decoration of the wedding car is different so to inform passers-by that this is a wedding fleet.
3. Bride dinner before marriage
The dinner is held at the night before the bride get married, the bride and his parents, brothers and sisters dine together to say goodbye. The number of diners is singular, plus the brides make up even number. 6 ~ 12 dishes are served with auspicious meanings. The elders in the family will give the bride a blessing and speak auspicious words.
4. Comb hair
When the bride dresses up, she invites an honored female elder to comb her hair, which also means bed-resting. The combing will bless the bride with wealth and no worries, without disease, and with many children and longevity, wishing the bride and groom to be together forever.
5. Set firecrackers
When the wedding fleet is about 100 meters before the bride’s house, the leading car will set firecrackers to inform the bride’s family that the groom is about to arrive. The bride’s family will also light firecrackers to respond and prepare to greet the wedding team. (However, setting firecrackers is forbidden in urban areas today, many people now scatter ribbons instead.)
6. Haggle with the bride’s friends or relatives
At this time, the bride’s sister and female friend will stop the groom and ask him pass some tests. They will set out tasks or stunts for him to perform and then expect him to hand over red packets of money before seeing the bride.
7. Tea Ceremony
The bride and groom need to pay tribute to bride’s parents and thank their parents for upbringing.
8. Take the bride to the wedding car
The groom then take the bride to the wedding car. The bride should not step on the threshold when going out as stepping on the threshold means disrespect to the elders.
9. Set firecrackers and leave
Set firecrackers before the wedding fleet leave. The departure and return route need to be different, symbolizing not to go back the same road.
10.Greet the bride
When the wedding car arrives at the groom’s house, one boy from the man’s family holds two oranges (or apples) and opens the door. Before the bride gets out of the car, she should touch the oranges (or apples) and give the boy a red envelope with money.
11. Ancestor sacrifice
After the bride enters the door, she first offers incense and worships the god and ancestor of the man. Then the first kowtow is for the heaven and earth, the second for the parents and the third for each other!
12. Drinking together
In traditional customs, the groom lifts the bride’s veil, and the bride and groom drink “cross-cupped wine” from one another’s glasses.