The Brides of May


In May, we can see many couples are taking wedding pictures or getting married. There are many different types of marriage and it could be depend on what countries they came from and their choices of doing what type of marriage. Chinese people have their own traditional marriage in the past; however, many Chinese people nowadays do it as the Western people do. Some of the Chinese people do the traditional ways of marriage and we can see the traditional marriage in China.

In Chinese traditional marriage, there are six procedures to follow: “proposal making, birthday matching, betrothal gifts presenting, wedding gift presenting, wedding date fixing, and performing the formal wedding ceremony.”

When we hear the word proposing, we can easily think that men are proposing to their fiancés. However, in the past, the prosing was happen within the two families’ parents. Until the wedding day, the unmarried people could not see each other. Proposing happens “when a boy’s parents intended to make a match, they would invite a matchmaker to propose with them at the girl’s home.” After the proposing, the girl’s full name and birth date are sending to the fortuneteller in order to see that the girl is matching with their son and their marriage would be happy. If they were matching, the marriage could be continued and boy’s family would send the betrothal gifts to the girl’s family. In these gifts, “the clothes, jewelries, gold, silver, and cash” are included. By sending these gifts, the boy’s family respects the girl’s family. The girl’s family also sends some gifts to boy’s family, and the marriage is finally confirmed.


After the confirmation, “the boy’s family asked the fortune-teller to choose a date according to the astrological book when it would be proper and propitious to hold the wedding ceremony.” On the wedding day, “the ceremony began with the groom and his party meeting the bride in her home.” On the ceremony, the bride wear the red skirt, which representing the delight, and decorated by doing make up and hair, Same as nowadays. The wedding ceremony happened for few days, and on the third day, the newly married couple goes to the bride’s home and hade dinner party with the relatives. After the marriage, usually the bride could not go to her home until she gets the permission to visit her parents.

Modern Chinese marriage-Youtube

By reading the procedures of traditional marriage in China, I realized their marriages are similar to traditional marriage in South Korea. Marriage is one of the very precious ceremonies that everyone wishes the happiness. However, in the past, the marriage was occurred by their parents, and bride and groom did not know each other until the wedding day. For brides, it could be the last day to be with their parents and relatives. After the marriage they had to be with new family and adapting new environment with new family. It somehow made me sad because there were no choices for them to decide with whom to get married.

Questions: what do you think of Asian brides in the past? Are there any similarities of wedding with your own countries?



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