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Nations & Customs
Chinese Wedding Customs & Rituals(1)

In Chinese legend, the fatherly God-in-the-moonlight ties a red string around the ankles of the man and woman who are supposed to be husband and wife someday.  Thus, no matter how far apart they are, they will eventually get married...                                          

1. Proposal & Betrothal

Two families pick an auspicious date as the Betrothal Day.  This is a formal meeting between the parents of the perspective bride and groom. The groom"s family presents various proposal gifts that represent fertility and prosperity in Chinese Culture, which is also known as "Grand Gift".  Thus, the two are considered officially engaged.  


 "Grand Gifts" is a set of elaborate gifts to be presented to the bride"s family by the groom"s family.  All gifts should come in even numbers, meaning "good things double". Some gifts on the list are seasonal or not readily available in some parts of the world.  As long as you present some of the gifts on the list in even numbers, it is a wonderful gesture that shows respect to the bride"s family.

1.
Li Shi Money. The amount is determined by the groom"s family, usually contains the number 9, such as $99, $999, etc.
2.
Jewelries, such as gold dragon-phoenix bangle. Two families discuss the design and cost before purchase.
3.
Two pairs of dragon-phoenix cakes, and certain amount of Chinese and western cakes.
4. 
Dried seafood and mushroom and Fat Cai. Fat Cai is a must as it symbolize fortune and prosperity. Seafood to be presented in four, six or eight items, which include sea cucumber, clam, shrimp, squid, shark fins, etc.
5. 
Three poultries. Two pair of raw chicken, two males and two females; 2 to 4 kilograms of pork, shoulder-cut, meaning "double fly".
6. 
Fish. Two pair of fish to bring "fish smell", same pronunciation as "lively air."
7.
Coconut. Two pair of coconut, which pronounced as "ye zi", same as "grandfather and son."
8.
Wine or liquor, four bottles together.
9. 
Four Peking Dried Fruits, dragon eyes, leechy, chestnuts, shelled peanuts, contained in a red, wooden decorated box named Tie Box. Other items in the Tie Box include lotus seeds, lily, cypress leaf, sesame, red beans, green beans, red dates, and red string, Li Shi money, dragon-phoenix candles a pair, and red banners one set.
10. 
Raw fruit, certain amount, to indicate "sheng", a word to express liveliness.
11.
Bin Lang, two pairs.
12.
Tea, two cans. Tea is planted with seeds. Tea as a gift implies that the family will have more seeds after the wedding.
 
   
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