A most traditional Chinese wedding ceremony in Beijing Grand View Garden

27/07/2010
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The other days, I came across a most traditional Chinese wedding ceremony in Grand View Garden. I thought that it should just be a show for the foreign tourists, but after asking someboday familiar, I got that it was held for real and it was a wedding ceremony held by the Honglouyan Hotel in Grand View Garden.

Here are some pictures I have randomly shotted!

traditional Chinese Wedding Ceremony

traditional Chinese Wedding Ceremony

traditional Chinese Wedding Ceremony

traditional Chinese Wedding Ceremony

traditional Chinese Wedding Ceremony

traditional Chinese Wedding Ceremony

traditional Chinese Wedding Ceremony

traditional Chinese Wedding Ceremony

Some clues about the Chinese wedding custom:

1. Traditional Chinese Wedding Custom

In feudal society, a marriage would be decided not by a young couple’s love, but by their parents’ desires. Only after a matchmaker’s introduction and when parents considered the two family conditions were similar and could be matched, would the marriage procedures go forward. Conditions that should be taken into consideration included wealth and social status. If a boy’s family was well-off or an official family, his parents would never permit him to marry a girl from a poor family.

Nowadays, it is also usual that the two family conditions are considered when getting married, but not as seriously as the ancient time.

2. A Wedding Ceremony Order

 The wedding ceremony began with the groom and his party meeting the bride in her home. Before this day the bride’s dowry would have been sent to the boy’s house. The dowry represented her social status and wealth, and would be displayed at the boy’s house. The most common dowries included scissors like two butterflies never separating, rulers indicating acres of fields, and vases for peace and wealth.

Before the meeting party’s arrival, the bride would be helped by a respectable old woman to tie up her hair with colorful cotton threads. She would wear a red skirt as Chinese believed red foreshadowed delight. When the party arrived, the bride, covered by a red head-kerchief, must cry with her mother to show her reluctance to leave home. She would be led or carried by her elder brother to the sedan. In the meeting party the bridegroom would meet a series of difficulties intentionally set in his path. Only after coping with these could he pass to see his wife-to-be.

On the arrival of the sedan at the wedding place, there would be music and firecrackers. The bride would be led along the red carpet in a festive atmosphere. The bridegroom, also in a red gown, would kowtow three times to worship the heaven, parents and spouse. Then the new couple would go to their bridal chamber and guests would be treated to a feast. Wine should be poured to the brim of a cup but must not spill over.

On the night of the wedding day, there was a custom in some places for relatives or friends to banter the newlyweds. Though this seemed a little noisy, both of them dropped shyness and got familiar with each other.

On the third day of the marriage, the new couple would go back to the bride’s parents’ home. They would be received with also a dinner party including relatives.

Of course, marriage customs differed by region, but these were the most common. They have been maintained for thousands of years, but in recent years (especially after the founding of modern China), people have tended to discard some of the details and advocate simplified marriage procedures and wedding ceremonies.