China is a lovely country, rich with culture, traditions and history. Chinese people have unique rituals and their customs are interesting. One of such interesting events in Chinese tradition is a Chinese wedding. A Chinese wedding has so many interesting and meaningful components that a non-Chinese is sure to get amazed with them. Amongst these, there is the world-famous tea ceremony too. But let’s first see the various steps of a Chinese wedding during which we can take a look at the Chinese wedding tea ceremony steps too.
In Chinese weddings, parents are involved in the planning right from the beginning, as a wedding is considered the union of not only two individuals but two families. Both the families together pick an auspicious date and time for the wedding. During this formal meeting, various gifts denoting prosperity and fertility are given by the groom’s family. These gifts are called Guo Da Li, meaning Grand Gift. The gifts need to be in even numbers, as a symbol of doubling of good things. This way, the bride and groom are officially engaged.
Chinese wedding cakes have a special meaning. These cakes are distributed to the other relatives and friends of bride and groom by both the families as an official announcement of the wedding. They are called Double Happiness Cakes. Wedding invitations too are sent along with the cakes. Cakes are in Dragon & Phoenix styles, i.e. they have imprints of dragon and phoenix on them. Some cakes have fillings of green bean paste, red bean paste or lotus seed paste.
The groom’s family also presents cakes to the bride’s family and the latter then presents some of the cakes to their ancestors and sends the rest to relatives and friends, along with invitations.
Wedding Day Ceremony Steps
Hair styling or Shang Tou is an important step in Chinese wedding, particularly for the bride. This is done by a “good-omen” woman, i.e. a woman with both parents alive, and having spouse and children. Such a woman will dress up the bride’s hair while uttering auspicious words.
The groom’s family conducts “capping” ritual (Jia Guan).
The hair styling ritual is performed to denote that both the bride and the groom have entered adulthood.
The actual wedding includes wedding vow, after which the newlyweds kneel thrice to the heaven and earth, then to the tablets of ancestors, then to parents and then to each other. In modern times, this part has been replaced by bowing.
After this the bride serves tea to the parents and relatives in the order of seniority. Upon receiving the tea, the recipient usually presents gifts to the bride, such as money or jewelry. This is the official conclusion of wedding ceremony, after which the wedding parties proceed to the banquet venue.
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