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    HOME    China Guide    China Culture


 Chinese Wedding


What is a typical Chinese wedding ceremony?

In all countries and cultures, wedding is regarded as one of the most important rituals in life. Traditionally in China, “redness” has a special meaning in its cultural connotation, especially during the wedding ceremony. It symbolizes good luck, happiness and celebration.


Preparing for the Wedding

The "Hair Dressing" Ritual of the bride and the "Capping" Ritual of the groom symbolize their initiation into adulthood and are important parts of the wedding preparations. Red, symbolic of joy, features prominently in the clothing and other ritual objects pertaining to the wedding.


For the "Hair Dressing" Ritual, a ‘good luck woman’ will attend the bridal preparations. She will speak auspicious words while dressing the bride’s hair in the style of a married woman. After her hair is styled, the bride will emerge from her retreat. She shall don a jacket and skirt and step into a pair of red shoes. And her face will be covered with either a red silk veil or a ‘curtain’ of tassels or beads that hung from the bridal Phoenix crown.


Meanwhile, the groom will be dressed in a long gown, red shoes and a red silk sash with a silk ball on his shoulder, and he shall kneel at the family altar while his father places a cap decorated with cypress leaves on his head.


Arriving at the Groom’s House

A small orchestra will play happy wedding music outside the groom’s house to welcome the bride, and all the household will be waiting to receive her.


The bride shall be requested to step over a high doorsill when entering the house, since in Chinese, the pronunciation of “sill” is the same as of “difficulty”. Stepping over the doorsill means conquering the big difficulty in past and the new couple will begin their smooth life from then on.



The Wedding

In contrast to the elaborate preparations, the wedding ceremony itself is simple. The bride and groom will be conducted to the main hall, where they pay homage to Heaven and Earth and the groom’s parents. Then they bow & show their respect to each other.


After these rituals finished, the groom will lead the bride to their bedroom with a piece of red silk and he can finally raise the red scarf and see the bride’s face. The bride and groom will light a pair of red candles together-symbolizing a good wish to their new life. In some areas, honey and wine were poured into two goblets linked by a red thread, and the new couple must exchange cups & drink it across each one’s arm. Then they will eat some jujubes, peanuts, longans & chestnuts-wishing them to have a baby soon.



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