Double joy stickers used to decorate at Chinese weddings.
There are few cultural events that inspire as many traditions as marriage. In China, marriages used to be arranged by the parents of the bride and groom with the aid of a matchmaker. Although that practice is not often practiced today, some traditions from past times have lingered on.
Once a couple is engaged, it is tradition for the groom's family to send food, cakes, and other gifts to the bride's family. It is not easy to break the engagement once the bride's family accepts these betrothal gifts.
Fortune Teller Consultation
This tradition is not universally observed anymore, but many couples will still consult a fortune teller before they announce their engagement. The fortune teller analyzes both individual's names, birth dates, birth years and birth times to make sure they are compatible. Once the go-ahead is given, the couple consults the Chinese almanac to find a lucky day to get married according to the Chinese horoscope.
When the groom comes to the bride's house for tea on the day of the wedding, Chinese bridesmaids harass him for money and to perform silly tasks, which are done to "prove" his love for the bride. Only when the bridesmaids are satisfied can he enter for tea with the bride's parents, served by the bride.
Double joy stickers are placed on the bride and groom's wedding and dowry items as well as the furniture and mirror of the bridal room. Dragons and phoenixes are also used to decorate candles and bedding and cutouts are placed around the house. A red banner is hung across the front door of both households to announce the wedding.
Wedding Traditions in Other Countries
Around the world there are many interesting wedding traditions that help celebrate the special occasions that bring two people together to share their lives.
Tearing the bride's veil was considered good luck for Italian weddings. Grooms would carry a piece of iron in their pockets for good luck as well. After the ceremony, the couple would break a vase into as many pieces as possible, the pieces representing how many years they would have together. The popular tradition of having Jordan almonds at weddings originated in Italy and was supposed to represent the bitter and sweet parts of life that the couple would experience.
Mexican brides sew red, yellow and blue ribbons into their undergarments to symbolize food, money and passion in their futures. During the ceremony, grooms give their brides 13 gold coins, or arras, which represent Christ and the 12 apostles. After the vows, priests wrap a large rosary, rope, or band of flowers around the couples necks in a figure 8 to represent their eternal unity.
Temporary henna tattoos symbolize beauty for Moroccan brides.
Morocco, India and Parts of the Middle East
Moroccan brides use henna to temporarily but heavily tattoo their hands and feet for the ceremony to symbolize the bride's beauty. Indian and some Middle Eastern brides also follow this tradition. Moroccan weddings traditionally lasted seven days, three of which were spent preparing the bride for the ceremony.
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