A traditional Peranakan wedding is an elaborate 12-day affair filled with rituals and ceremonies until the bride left her parents' house and moved in with her in-laws.
View a traditional Peranakan Wedding on video.
This wedding bed was donated by Mrs Quah Hong Chiam to Peranakan Museum. It was her wedding trousseau. It is ornately carved, lavishly decorated with beadwork and embroidery featuring motifs of birds, flowers, animals, insects and sea creatures. These were fertility symbols associated with the Peranakan Chinese wedding. Wedding beds were some of the largest pieces of furniture to be found in the homes of Peranakan families.
What's interesting about it is that Mrs Quah gave birth to 7 out of her 11 children
on this bed. The Quah family was from Penang, but relocated to Singapore. Despite the long journey, Mrs Quah would go back to Penang to give birth on this bed.
3 or 4 days before the wedding, a young child, preferably a boy, would roll three times across the wedding bed. The boy would come from a family who has many sons, to get his male energy. :)
Four galleries at Peranakan Museum are devoted to the story of the traditional 12-day Peranakan wedding where significant ceremonies like the lap chai, (exchange of gifts) and chiu thau (coming of age, which was the most important rite) are presented.