Haolong Li – Week 3- Description of a Ritual

I had to attend my sister’s wedding several years ago, and this is more like a combination of Chinese and Western wedding ceremony. In wedding day morning, the groom and groomsmen went to bride’s house to meet bride. When they arrived house, they cannot direct come and see bride. Bridesmaids stopped them at the door, and let them to complete their requirements, like ask lucky money, small spoof games. After this session, groom was allowed to see bride. Then new couple was offer tea to bride’s parents, which means groom was become a part of this family and made a promise to elders, he will take care of the bride in future, and received the blessings of elders. After finish these parts, new couple was back to groom’s parents house with groomsmen and bridesmaids. When they met groomsmen’s parents, they need to repeat things they did for bride’s parents offer tea and make promise, then receive the blessings of elders. While these parts all finished, it was about 3:00 pm, they came to couple’s new house, which is their future home. Groomsmen and bridesmaids came with new couple and take rest.

The focus of entire wedding is dinner. The new couple set dinner at the hotel ballroom. About 6:00 pm, guests started arrived in hotel, with lucky money and the blessing of new couple. This is a Chinese characteristics wedding gift. Guests were arranged on different seat, which decide by their relationship with new couple. The next part was reference the Western marry culture. Father held his daughter hands to groom, exchanged of rings, new couple’s parents shows their best wish for new couple’s future life. This ceremony is witness by all guests, which prove this new couple became husband and wife. Then the dinner started begin. Groom and bride needed to toast each guests as favor. At that time, the whole basic wedding processes were ended. New couple organized an after party, and young people are preferred to come. The party location was in club or KTV. The purpose is use a more relaxed way to celebrate their marriage.

There are many different parts between Chinese traditional wedding and Western wedding. For wedding gift, western people prefer specific items, like wine, tableware or other has special meaning. In China, people will bring luck money as wedding gift, and the amount of money has connoisseurship. Six and eight are lucky number in Chinese culture, so the amount of lucky money always becomes 666 or 888, maybe higher, this stand for guests’ blessing. The other important thing red and gold becomes main color in that day, because these two colors are stand joyous in traditional culture. In Chinese traditional culture, people was considerable emphasis on kinship, that the reason why new couple need to offer tea and make promise to both parents. Today, people will use wedding march in evening wedding ceremony like Western. In traditional wedding, we don’t use any special music, but will setting off firecrackers before new couple come, which means welcome and joyous. This may hard to find in the Western wedding ceremony.

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