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Chinese Culture >> Chinese Traditions, Society >> Chinese Marriage

Marriage in Chinese Culture

Chinese marriage is generally looked upon as an occasion for extending family. The whole process goes an elaborate marriage proposal and acceptance. Generally, middle man plays a great role in solemnizing the marriage.

Marriage proposal comes from the boy's side. Chinese Marriage is considered important for continuing the ancestral line and creating alliances. Important parties in proposal and betrothal negotiations were the parents of the prospective bride and groom.

When the boy and girl attain the marriage age, the search for the prospective life partner is started. Generally, the boy's parents after selecting a particular girl sent a middle man to her house. He is accompanied by number of gifts. If the girl's parents accept the proposal, they will tell the middle man date and hour of the girl's birth which will be recorded in a document.

This document is kept on family's alter for three days. If it does not present any bad omen like family quarrel or loss of property, then the girl will be considered favorable for the groom.

Only then the birth time of the boy will be conveyed to the girl parents. When complete compatibility is ascertained, face to face meeting is fixed by both of the parties. Education, family status and wealth are evaluated. Only after complete satisfaction, the marriage date is fixed.

Chinese marriage tokens are exchanged between the two families. Then the bargaining is made to arrive at the cost of the gifts and goods that will be given to the bride's family. An auspicious date is generally decided for the marriage.

The girl is given gifts by the bridal family which includes cash, tea, wine, tobacco and bridal cakes. Bridal cakes are distributed among friends and relatives. It is a form of announcement for the wedding. Boy's family is given the gifts by the girl's family.

Boy's family recognizes the efforts of the parents in raising up a girl so they sent a number of gifts for the girl's family and by accepting them, her parents pledge her to the boy. In Chinese marriage, girl is given to the family rather than to the boy alone.

After some days, dowry is sent to groom's house. It consists of pot consisting of coins and fruits. In this way, girl's family find an opportunity to display their wealth and love for their daughter.

In Chinese marriages, a girl generally lives a life of isolation away from daily routine. She is accompanied by her friends. Songs are sung. Often her friends would say taunts for the parents and middle man who have arranged for her separation with her parents.

On wedding day, girl takes bath in water containing the grape water and perfumes to ward off the evil spirits. Hair is done in beautiful style by a good luck woman. A good luck woman is that who is married and is having children.

Then she is carried on to the main hall by the lucky woman on her back. Then she puts on her jacket and skirt. Red shoes are put on in her feet. Her face is covered by the silk veil. Then she bowed before her parents to seek their blessings.

Groom is dressed in a long red gown, red shoes and a red silk sash over his shoulder; he bowed in front of his parents. Red cap is put over his head and the whole procession leads for the bride's house. Crackers are burnt and drums are played to ward off the evil spirits.

Groom takes meals with the girl's family where he is presented with chopsticks. Special dishes are served to him. Then bride is carried at a sedan chair to the groom's house.

Couple wed is decorated beautifully. Dates, grapes and pomegranates are spread on the bed and children are made to sit on the bed. This is done to bless the couple with lots of children and happy married life.

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