The Chinese marriage is a revered ceremony. The traditional event signifies the transition from childhood to adulthood. The Chinese wedding dress one of the most important elements. A “good luck woman” attends the preparation of the bride and speaks words of wisdom to her.
The style of the bridal dress varies in each region, but always includes the color red, which symbolizes good luck and guards against evil spirits. It also indicates prosperity, joy and love. You’ll rarely see dark colors as they denote sorrow and grief in the Chinese tradition.
Depending on the region, it can either be one or two pieces. If you are a Chinese bride living in the North, you wear what it is called a “qi pao” or “cheongsam”, which is a form fitting, long, one-piece garment embroidered with elaborate gold and silver designs. If you are a Chinese bride living in the South, you wear what is called a “hung qua”, which is a two-piece garment that consists of a long decorative jacket over a long embroidered skirt also elaborately decorated with the golden phoenix and dragon.
In extravagant situations, the bride wears a crown-like headdress, often made of silver and decorated with pearls and feathers. This adornment may also feature a red silk veil which covers the bride’s face as she makes the transition coming from her family’s home to her husband’s home. In the previous generations, the bride would wear this veil to cover her face for the entire ceremony. The newlyweds do not see each other until the night of their wedding.
Before the wedding, the bride bathes in water infused with pomelo or pomegranate leaves. The Good Luck Lady performs the hair combing ceremony, known as “shutou” to further bless the bride with luck for a bountiful union.The four bridal comb blessings include: (1) First combing ensures that bride and groom will be together all their lives, (2) Second combing brings harmony to the marriage, (3) Third combing blesses the couple with many children and grandchildren, (4) Fourth combing is a blessing for longevity.
What cultural traditions do you like to include in your wedding?
Until next time,