Chinese Marriage Customs

With the largest population in the world, China also has a very old culture and some long-standing traditions. There are around 56 identified ethnic groups here and hence a diverse culture. So, there are no one-way fits all here when it comes to customs but we can dive into the mainstream which is led by Han Chinese culture.

Chinese constitute a collectivistic society and give much importance to others thoughts and opinions. Before committing to anything, they will try to ensure that they are acting right and won’t make way for any abuse from elders. Marriage is one of the three important aspects of life for Chinese people and often considered the most pleasant moment of life.

In the present age, the relationships between couples have witnessed a lot of change from the very conservative people to a very broad-minded people. Dating in public is very common in urban cities and many romances have ended up in love marriages here. Chinese have their particular days of celebration. Even their version of Valentine’s Day is celebrated on a different day (They follow the lunar calendar, not the English calendar).

In ancient time, polygamy as well as having many concubines were allowed in China, but was later stopped by law. These days arranged, as well as love marriages take place here. Even for love marriages, couples get prior permission from their parents before they step into their wedding. Traditional Chinese weddings witness six major procedures like matchmaking, girls name knowing, betrothal gift, engagement, wedding date and finally the wedding.

The weddings are usually decided by the couple’s parents. Matchmakers also play a vital role in Chinese weddings. Fortune tellers will help the parents to find if the match is suitable with the help of the girls name and birthday. In this present age also many of the couples get to see each other for the first time only on their wedding day. But they never have any complaint on this since they consider it as the most precious gift they ever get from their parents.

The youth’s family has to visit the girl’s house for the girl with a betrothal gift which ends up in engagement. In return, the girl’s family will visit the youth’s family where the in-laws would have prepared some delicacy for the girl. Dowry in the form of clothes, utensils, other accessories is to be handed over to the groom before the wedding by the bride’s family.

With the wedding day being considered as a highly important day it is held on a very auspicious day, this may be from the lunar calendar, from traditional dates or from modern social trends. You will notice a lot of weddings taking place on dates that match auspicious numbers on, such as the eighth day of the eighth month.

If a wedding party is held, weddings are usually a grand ceremony with the groom dropping at the bride’s house to pick her for the wedding ceremonies which will be held at a banquet location of choice.  Post wedding the couples either opts to stay with the grooms family or stay separate, depending on the financial strength.

Much of the current generation omits majority of the marriage rituals as they think it’s a waste of money and step onto simple wedding procedures. That includes simply going to the registry with the customary photos and making it official.