Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Fancy A Traditional Chinese Wedding? - RT/WW

It's rare for young Chinese couples who want a traditional Chinese wedding these days. There are too many customs and traditions to follow. I had to go through a traditional Chinese wedding because my 90-year-old grandmother was alive then and we had to respect her wishes. 

Must-haves for a traditional Chinese wedding :



A Chinese tea set for the traditional tea ceremony. The newly-weds have to serve sweet tea to their elders and eat a bowl of sweet dessert which symbolizes the sweetness in the new union.

Check the tea to see what are the elders' wishes for the newly weds.:P

Lotus seeds and red dates tea means they want the newly weds to bear children immediately. Longans and red dates tea means they wish for baby boys. :D




Boxes of traditional bridal cakes and a pair of Dragon and Phoenix candles.




I had a red basin like the one shown above as part of my dowry. My grandmother told me : The first morning of my life as a daughter-in-law, I have to wake up earlier than my parents-in-law and fill the basin with water for them to wash their faces. Then I have to prepare and serve breakfast for the whole family.

I woke up very early as I was told. Only to be shooed back to bed by my elderly in-laws who were in their 80s then. They were not particular about such customs. My mother-in-law even prepared breakfast for me. When my grandmother learnt about it, she chided me for being insolent. *sigh*  Not my fault, right?




The traditional spittoons that always cause quarrels between the elders and the young modern couple. :P

Who needs a spittoon in this modern time!?!

My spittoon which was also part of my dowry is still in my storeroom.... collecting dust. :D





First Commenter -day-dreamer

72 comments:

  1. Hello ECL! Looooong time no chop here so am hoping I made it for this post! :)

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  2. It all looks very traditional indeed and I really love that small cheongsam (is it?) in the basin, so cute! :)

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  3. LOL at not your fault, yeah lor u woke up early ready to fill the basin then ur MIL said no need... I think she kasi chance la cause first day as newlyweds mah! :)

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  4. I also heard that the chances of be-getting a male gender baby are better if a male baby belonging to the bride's relative is allowed to romp and play on the couple's wedding bed just before they consummate their marriage.

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  5. I guess if one have an elderly member who insisted on following traditional rites and the relative know the correct rites, it would be nice to follow traditional style wedding. (Hahaha I must be getting old) I finally appreciate all the customs that I found cumbersome when I was younger! :D

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  6. I think parents nowadays also may not want such a traditional wedding for their children! :p

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  7. Lina,
    The traditional rites might be cumbersome but some do make sense. As this is a joyous occasion, it is important that the newly-weds receive as much good blessings as possible.

    I'm considering a traditional Chinese wedding for my son. :P
    He said he would rather elope. hahaha.....

    I didn't quarrel about the spittoon. I had no say then. But I have seen a couple of youngsters making a big ho-ha when their elders insist on having the spittoon. -_-

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  8. I read about the chinese wedding ceremonies in the Pearl S. Buck books. Love the reaction of your in laws, lol ! Poor Grandma times change !
    I was not for a big wedding either with white dress and all this show, but my father insisted for his "relations" we were only there to be shown. I don't even remember the whole thing !

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  9. I think you want to have a traditional wedding for your son only to be washed by your DIL, lol !

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  10. Maurica,
    The sequence of my comments is haywire. First commenter is at 8:01pm.

    My parents-in-law are caring and considerate towards others. They lead a simple life and don't care too much about formalities.

    That is a cheongsum in the red basin.

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  11. stanley,
    You believe ah? :P

    To me, it's just a fun custom. I had a little boy jumped on my wedding bed. That must be the most fun thing and he got an angpow for doing it!

    My toddler son rolled on my younger brother's wedding bed but he has two daughters. Oops. hehe.....

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  12. Hello day-dreamer,
    Congrats on being the first commenter.

    Sorry, the sequence of my comments has turned haywire.

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  13. Gattina,
    A Chinese weddings can be a grand and elaborate affair. Preparation for the wedding may take months. It's very tiring for the newly-weds.

    Having a wedding in the family is a joyous occasion. The elders probably would have waited years to show off their child and new in-law.

    I think my plans for a traditional Chinese wedding for my son is probably just a wish. :(

    My poor son will be sandwiched between two women. haha....

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  14. I love reading about traditions around the world, enjoyed your ruby wedding ones!!

    Happy Ruby Tuesday!

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  15. So scared of the traditional Chinese wedding! So many customs and traditions - what a hassle!!!

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  16. Haha! No one need spittons nowadays! But it can double up as a potty. LOL!

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  17. foong,
    potty for who? :D

    ECL,
    I'd love to arrange a traditional Malay wedding with all the pomp and splendour for my son someday even though I had to argue my way for my own rather simple wedding. ;)

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  18. i want a chinese wedding for myself! somehow it feels so much more grand n cheerful. :)

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  19. How come you must always remind me of my nightmare?! :O

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  20. Not only the chinese, the malays are also opting for simpler traditional wedding and omitting some of the customs from our grandmother's days.

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  21. foongpc,
    No need to scare lah.

    One of my nieces has a traditional Teochew wedding, the elders and the couple's guests are still talking about it every time they see one another. It's more memorable because it is seldom held the traditional way these days.

    That potty is not practical. Adults and teens will not use it. It's too big and high for toddlers.

    And who wants to dispose the waste and wash it after using? Yucks.

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  22. Mar,
    Thank you. If you have a chance to be invited to a Chinese wedding, it will be interesting and fun for the guest. :)

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  23. Lina,
    If you manage to arrange a traditional Malay wedding with all the pomp and splendour for your son, you must invite me. I'll blog about it. :D

    And if my son agrees to a traditional Chinese wedding, I'll invite all my blog friends who would like to attend and experience a traditional Chinese wedding. :D

    Deal?

    Any Indian bloggers?

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  24. levian,
    Good for you!!

    It will be a memorable wedding for you. The hassle is worth it. It's a once in a lifetime affair.

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  25. tigerfish,
    Why nightmare?

    Let me see your wedding photos and watch the wedding video (if you have one). I'm sure you looked radiant and was smiling all the time.

    Did you have a little boy roll on your wedding bed? :P

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  26. Jama,
    Yes, I heard from a few Malay friends regarding this. I like to attend Malay weddings, not just for the food but I love the kampung spirit displayed by the Malay community.

    I hope to blog about a Malay wedding one day.

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  27. Bet that spittoon would make a great flower vase. You are really fortunate to have had a traditional wedding. Maybe one day you will insist for your granddaughter :)

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  28. I'm sure it's good to be on the revceiving end of the customs! Happy WW

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  29. It's true that people rarely want traditional weddings these days. But the tea ceremony is still a must for Chinese weddings.

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  30. Sukhmandir Kaur,
    I was invited to dinner at an American expat's house and she use this red spittoon as a flower vase on the dining table. I was horrified.

    I like how she turned this into a flower vase but it is disrespectful to a Chinese to have a spittoon or potty right in front of them when they eat. I had to tell her as she doesn't know this. :)

    I'll insist on a traditional Chinese wedding for my son and grandchildren. *puts her foot down*

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  31. jams,
    Yes, and I feel good to see our Chinese customs being passed on to the younger generation. :)

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  32. Mei Teng,
    The tea ceremony is a must because got angpow (red packets of money) and expensive gifts mah. :D

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  33. Wedding these days is getting more and more simpler. :)

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  34. BK,
    Simpler but costlier. The young couples love to hold their weddings at 4 or 5 star hotels.

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  35. It would be tragic to let such traditions die out. I am not sure about the spittoon kinda has an ewwww factor but if is part of the tradition....Happy WW!

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  36. This was a very interesting post. Interesting learning about the traditions.

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  37. Well... I personally would have loved to have a Chinese Traditional Wedding. :)

    Allison
    My Wordless Wednesday

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  38. Sounds like quite a complex tradition, but the objects displayed here are quite beautiful.

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  39. I just want something that is elegant and chic but as simple as one, two, three LOL! :-P

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  40. I fancy a traditional wedding too. :) The pot reminds of my grandma.

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  41. I better take note of this since BIL has a chinese gf and I bet he'll have to know these things!

    happy WW!

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  42. I loved your post and had to chuckle at the spitoon! I would be afraid to have them around...I think my son would LOVE to use them...scary!

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  43. Very elaborate indeed! It is most interesting to see the gifts and dowry at an engagement party! Lots of jeweleries, too!

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  44. I think I'd use those spittoons as planters! that was interesting. Those are lovely customs--except for waking up to feed the in-laws. Maybe not....

    Beautiful things.

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  45. It looks a little different than the one Im planning in June;) Happy WW and thanks for stopping by.

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  46. How very delightful to know you better through this fun post!


    Aloha, Friend!


    Comfort Spiral

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  47. I love traditions ...
    There is something kind of comforting in them!

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  48. Traditions that are rich in history and reminders of what some events symbolize are ways of preserving the past. To some the past is very important and we can learn from it. It helps us if we can instill the lesson of the ceremonies into our lives to help us in the journey we are all on. Thank you for sharing your past and giving us a little glimpse into your soul.

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  49. What an exciting and interesting story - did not know that about you at all!

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  50. What a treat to read stories about traditions from my friends across the world I would love to read more about these traditions your a great story teller!

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  51. Many Chinese weddings in small towns still follow some of the traditions mention here if not all. The red potty is of course outdated with modern flush toilets attached to our bedrooms long ago. Maybe you could use yours a few decades later when your legs are too weak to walk to the toilet...place it by your bedside and when nature calls..there it is ready for use..LOL..

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  52. Nowadays, I don't think anybody use spittoons though as it can be rather unhygienic.

    Nevertheless, the spittoons bring back fond memories for me as my grandpa used to have one.

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  53. Love to hear about chinese traditions. Must be something to see a such weeding if it takes so many months to prepare it!

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  54. u away n posting lesser too?

    I'll go for something simple like a pool/beach gathering/wedding for my big day if it happens. tradition is too tacky for me. haha.

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  55. So many lovely RED things for a happy marriage, ecl! Happy Ruby Tuesday! :)

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  56. This was very interesting. I had no idea traditional Chinese weddings were so complicated.

    I think the red basin is absolutely gorgeous.

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  57. We have Canadian Chinese that goes for a semi-modern marriage, western wedding gowns with the traditional tea ceremony.

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  58. I would like to buy one of your spittoons. Would you like to sell it to me as I am a collector? Thanks

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