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Nations & Customs
Chinese Wedding Customs & Rituals(4)

3. Wedding Day Ceremony(2) 

Tea Ceremony

When the bride finally goes out to ascend the car, a bridesmaid will hold a red umbrella over her head, meaning "raise the bark, spread the leaves." Other relatives will scatter rice, red bean and green bean on her. The red umbrella protects the bride from evil spirit, and the rice and beans are to attract the attention of the gold chicken.
When the bridal sedan ( motorcade nowadays) arrives the groom"s home, firecrackers and music with gongs and drums greets the bride. The bride will leap over a iron basin with lit charcoal inside. It is a ritual to bring prosperity and keep evils away. 

Then at the official ritual that equals to the wedding vow in western wedding, the newlyweds kneel three times, to the heaven and earth, to the ancestral tablets and to their parents. The two then bow to each other.  The bride then present tea to the parents and relatives in sequence of seniority.
 

 

Those who receive the tea usually give the bride gifts such as jewelry or Li Shi money wrapped in red envelope.  Thus it"s the end of the ritual and the wedding proceeds to the banquet venue.

Wedding Food

Certain types of food are commonly served at the Chinese wedding banquet, which include fish, roast suckling pig, pigeon, chicken cooked with red oil, lobster and desert bun with lotus seeds stuffed inside. The pronunciation of fish is the same as "abundance", meaning the newlyweds will have plentiful of wealth. Roast suckling pig is usually served whole, a symbol of the bride"s purity (virginity). Pigeon implies peaceful future. Chicken also means phoenix, cooked in red oil to symbolize the wish for a prosperous life ahead for the newlyweds. Lobster is literally called "dragon shrimp" in Chinese. Having lobster and chicken together at wedding banquet indicates that the dragon and the phoenix are hormones together, and the Yin and Yang elements in this family is balanced. 
 

 

 
   
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