Chinese Culture: Wedding Ceremonies
Weddings in China
Celebrating a wedding with the local population is indeed a great honour and something very enjoyable. As guests one is made to feel very welcome at Chinese weddings.
There are many variations of wedding celebrations in China. Traditionally the ceremony starts with fire crackers, lots of confetti, noise, dancing and walking to the celebration point.
Alternatively, weddings may start with everyone meeting in a park or a beautiful setting and greeting the bride and groom outside.
At this point the bride is often dressed in a white western style gown and the groom dressed in a western style suit.
After this, if you are not already indoors you will either move indoors or move to a marquee, to enjoy the ceremony, speeches, food and drinks.
Depending on the wealth of the families involved you will see the bride and groom in various outfits during the celebrations. Some weddings involve the happy couple appearing in traditional costumes to exchange greetings and vows according to centuries old traditions; this really is something special to enjoy. You will usually see rings exchanged, certificates presented and the couple greeting both sets of parents and serving them tea, as part of this happy celebration.
The banquets usually contain many delicious dishes with a wide range of meats and vegetables, accompanied by various non-alcoholic or alcoholic beverages. All guests are usually given sweets and cigarettes to take away as a "thank you" gesture for helping celebrate the special occasion.
Chinese weddings are a wonderful time to relax and enjoy life with local Chinese people.
The age of consent for marriage in China is 22 years of age for men and 20 years of age for women.
Auspicious days are chosen for the ceremony by consulting an almanac or fortune teller. Red, the color of happiness is the overwhelming color of traditional Chinese ceremonies and invitation cards are usually printed with the character for 'double happiness' in red ink.