Friday, October 14, 2011

Lesser known Chinese wedding customs

When one of my cousins on my mum's side got married, they hung a pair of his older brother's trousers over the front door. He and his bride had to walk under it (obviously) before the tea ceremony. 

I think it has something to do with paying your respects to your elders if they're unmarried, as the elder brother does indeed have a serious sweetheart, but chose to let his kid brother tie the knot first on account of limited finances.

You need the following at a tea ceremony:
1. Bride and groom
2. Both sets of parents
3. Assorted aunts and uncles
4. Bossy wedding planner
5. Tea (doh)
6. Whole roasted suckling pig

Why would you have this last item at what is essentially a ceremony for everyone to toast one another? It's supposed to symbolise the bride's purity, i.e., virginity.

Why a pig? I have no idea. Maybe because it gets "eaten" in the end (a euphemism)? No amount of prodding would get my prudish mum to explain. But maybe she doesn't know why either.

If 2 good friends, who are both Chinese, register their marriage within 3 (or 6) months of each other, both are not allowed to be part of the bride-collection entourage on the day of the traditional wedding ceremony. This is to avoid bad luck, but I think it has more to do with neither groom's wedding overshadowing the other.

If you are Chinese guy and have registered your marriage at the National Registration Department but haven't performed the traditional tea ceremony yet, it is perfectly acceptable for your legal wife to demand request a second proposal because the first one "wasn't impressive enough".

This is a true story that happened to Bro1's friend. Bro1 and another friend headed out in to the night one night, armed with tea lights and rose petals (of course), so that said friend could again present to his wife the ring that cost 5 figures.

If I had 5 figures to spend, it wouldn't go towards whatever number of carats, and the ring that'd make me really happy is one that bears the keys to a nice house. But then, I'm not a yuppie.

Not that I know the wife, but for god's sake, woman, do you think money grows on trees?? Maybe I'm bitter. Yes, that must be it.

Or, maybe I've read so much about this stuff in my line of work that rose petals and a slice of cake that the restaurateur deems "romantic" appears unimaginative and has been done countless times everywhere else around the world, maybe even 3 times in the same evening, although I suppose it's a pretty good effort for a Monday night.


Snuze said...

5 figure ring?

Let's pray that the marriage augurs better than Kim Kardashian's. If the guy is rolling in the dough, it wouldn't matter but if the dude had to borrow from Paul AND steal from Steve for the what-ever-carat ... hoo boy ...

Angela Gripesalot said...

Maybe it was 2 rings that added up to 5 figures... I wouldn't know, I'm not a yuppie XD

The couple's been together for a few years now, though, so I imagine the union is on stronger ground that that of La Kardishian.