(China, India, Japan, Korea, Philippines)
Wedding in Asian people are one of the most special occasions in
their life, involving a great deal of planning, coordination and shopping
prior to the actual day. They make sure that every element in the said
ceremony will not be forgotten, even the entire actual day may suffer.
The best solution is to do the POP, plan in advance, be organized and
prepare everything . But how you can plan if you do not know the traditions
that a certain asian country had if it happens that your special someone
is an asian . Then here's the web site that will give a glimps about
Chinese Wedding Customs
This began with an elaborate marriage proposal and acceptance.
This process was placed in the hands of a go-between, who acted
as a buffer between the two parties a role similar to that
of a real estate agent today. The important parties in proposal
and betrothal negotiations were the parents of the prospective
bride and groom, rather than the bride and groom themselves.
The family of the guy would place this document on the ancestral
altar for three days. If no inauspicious omens happens like quarrels
between the parents or a loss of property, took place within that
time, the parents would give the information to a astrological
expert to confirm that the young woman and their son would make
a good match. If the family of the groom found out that everything
is okay according to his horoscope, they gave the boys birth
date and hour to the go-between to bring to the girls family,
who would go through the same process.
The engagement will only follow if parents of groom and bride
found out that everything is favorable.
In ancient times, 12 gifts were exchanged by the two families
to seal the marriage contract. Some, such as the gift of chopsticks,
were symbolic. The word for chopsticks, kuai zi, sounds like the
word for "fast boy," a wish for sons. The gift of a
whole roast pig from the groom's family to the bride's family
was also a popular engagement gift, one that is continued among
many Chinese Americans today. In olden times, the bride's family
would send back the pig's head and hind portion, thus showing
that everything has a beginning and an end. To announce a marriage
in China, the groom's family would provide special cakes for the
bride's family to send to family and friends. Today, many Chinese
American bakeries can make these cakes by special order.
First both sets of parents exchanged family credentials as
tokens of intention. Then, after extensive bargaining, the two
families would arrive at the amount of money and goods that would
make up the gift to the girls family. After presenting engagement
tokens, the go-between would ask the brides family to chose
among severalauspicious wedding dates suggested by the boys
family and also set a date for presenting betrothal gifts.
The Wedding Outfits
Most of the Chinese wedding dresses are red because they believe
that it will bring luck to the couple. Generally, brides from
northern China wore a one-piece dress such as the qi pao; brides
from the south wore a two-piece outfit, or hong qua. Both were
elaborately adorned with golden phoenixes, the symbol for the
bride, along with chrysanthemums and peonies, symbols of wealth
and good fortune. On her head, the bride wore a phoenix crown,
a headdress of kingfisher feathers and pearls, along with a red
veil to shield her from the heavens until she reached her husband's
home. The bride would change many times during the wedding day,
perhaps an indicator of the wealth of the bride's family. And
today, orchids are the flower of choice for the stylish bride.
The groom's costume is less elaborate. A black silk coat is worn
over an embroidered dragon robe of dark blue. The headgear is
a black hat with red tassels. Traditional costumes can be rented
from dress stores in Chinatowns around the country. Prices begin
If you think that wedding ceremony is extravagant just like
the long term preparation, no, the wedding ceremony itself was
so simple. The bride and groom were conducted to the family altar,
where they paid homage to Heaven and Earth, the family ancestors
and the Kitchen God, Tsao-Chün. Tea, generally with two lotus
seeds or two red dates in the cup, was offered to the grooms
Then the bride and groom bowed to each other. This completed
the marriage ceremony, except in some regions, where both also
drank wine from the same goblet, ate sugar molded in the form
of a rooster, and partook of the wedding dinner together.
But even the wedding ceremony is simple yet the chinese show
their appreciation on the said ceremony in the food they prepare
for the visitors. The wedding banquet is a way to show off the
riches of the host. Dish after dish of succulent meats, seafoods,
noodles and rice dishes emerge from the kitchen. Extravagant delicacies
such as bird's nest soup, shark's fin soup and abalone attest
to the host's generosity. Foods are also served for their symbolism.
Whole fish is almost always served: The word for fish, yu, sounds
like the word for "abundance." Noodles, their length
signifying long life, are also often served. Desserts that contain
lotus seeds are served as a wish for the couple to have many children
Hindu Wedding Customs
Days before the wedding ceremony, the priest visits the bride's
home to recite prayers and readings, blessing the wedding ceremony.
On the evening before the wedding, the bride's parents welcome
the groom's family with another small ceremony. Oftentimes, the
bride's mother will give a special gift to the groom's mother.
During this time, the bride and groom are not allowed to see each
other. If they do, they will bring bad luck into the marriage.
The Wedding Outfits
Though the color and costume differ depending on the village
or state, the bride most often wears white(signify purity) and
red sari (symbolizes abundance and fertility), embroidered in
gold (signify wealth and jewelry). In the northern part of India,
she may wear a headdress of flowers; in the southern region, her
head is usually bare. The groom also generally wears white. The
loose, long-sleeved shirt is untucked and embroidered with golden
threads. Depending again on the village, grooms may wear loose
pants or a sarong-like skirt. In northern India, elaborate headdresses
with strings of flowers almost covering the face adorn their heads.
In the South, the groom's head is generally bare. Around the necks
of the bride and groom are placed flower garlands of roses and
marigolds that hang almost to their knees.
While the other country do they wedding ceremony on their
respective churches, Hindu wedding ceremony is held under a four-pole
canopy called a mandap. The bride is escorted to the canopy by
her maternal uncle; the groom is accompanied by the best man and
a young girl, usually a sister, niece or cousin, whose job is
to keep the groom alert by shaking a metal pot filled with coins.
The ceremony consists of three parts: In the first, called kanyadaan,
the bride's parents wash the couple's feet with milk and water
to purify them for a new life. In the second, called hastamelap,
or the "joining of hands," the bride's right hand is
placed on the groom's right hand. After verses from the holy scripture
are chanted by the priest, a loop of white, raw cotton wound 24
times is placed around the shoulders of the bride and groom, symbolizing
their bond. Then, a small open fire is lit in the center. A white
cloth is tied to the bride's sari and placed around the groom's
shoulders. The bride's brothers--and sometimes her male cousins--are
called up to lead the bride and groom around the fire a number
of times. (How many times the couple walks around the fire depends
on the village where you come from. And in the southern state
of Kerala, there is no fire. Instead the couple walks around coconut
blossoms.) In the couple's hands are grains of rice, oats and
leaves, signifying the four blessings of wealth, good health,
prosperity and happiness. At the end, the groom's brothers may
sprinkle rose petals over the couple to ward off evil. When the
ceremony is over, the bride feeds her groom five mouthfuls of
Indian sweets, showing that it is her duty to cook and care for
him and their family. The groom then reciprocates, signifying
that it is his duty to provide for her and their family. Then
relatives are invited under the canopy to place a red dot on the
couple's foreheads and sprinkle some rice grains, wishes for a
long, happy and prosperous life together.
The Hindu wedding feast is also an elaborate event. No foods
are favored over the others, but all must be well-fed. When dinner
is over, the departure of the wedding party begins. Called viday,
this is one of the emotional highlights of the wedding, as the
bride, with tears of joy and sorrow, leaves her family for her
Japanese Wedding Customs
Yuino, the Japanese betrothal ceremony, is an exchange
of symbolic gifts between the groom's and bride's families.
One of the popular gift in this ceremony are konbu a long
white piece of hemp, representing a wish that the couple will
grow old and gray together; and a folding fan, which spreads
to show future wealth and growth. The main gift is money (about
$5,000), tucked in a special envelope called a shugi-bukuro,
which has gold and silver strings that are impossible to unknot.
The other gifts are given in ornate rice-paper envelopes.
Sake Sharing Ceremony
The traditional Japanese ceremony is a Shinto ceremony, though
many Japanese in America celebrate weddings with a Buddhist
ceremony. Regardless of religious rituals, most Japanese also
include a cultural sake-sharing tradition at the wedding, popularly
called san-san-kudo -- san means "three," ku means
"to deliver," and do means "nine." This
ritual dates back to a time when sharing sake created a formal
bond as strongly as a handshake did in Victorian times. Using
three flat sake cups stacked atop one another, the bride and
groom take three sips each from the cups. Then their parents
also take sips (for a total of nine sips), cementing the bond
between the families.
Honoring The Parents
Japanese weddings usually take some time to acknowledge the
parents of the bride and groom. In some weddings, the couple
offers bouquets of flowers, a toast, or a personal letter of
love and thanks. Any of these gestures is a beautiful way to
honor your parents at the wedding.
Gifts For The Guest
In Japan, brides spend $30 to $50 on "favors" for
their guests. In America, favors are more likely to be small
tokens -- a few folded origami cranes (the bird that symbolizes
a long, contented married life) or a lace bag of sweet almonds.
Korean Wedding Customs
Korean betrothal gifts were brought to the bride's home by a band
of the groom's closest friends. The gifts were placed in a box
called a hahm. The group, dressed in costume with blackened faces,
would arrive singing at the bride's family home. They would stop
just outside the house, chanting, "Hahm for sale, hahm for
sale!" The bride's family would rush out and offer money
to the group. Through fun negotiation and laughter, the bearers
would be bribed until at last the hahm was delivered.
Most Korean-American engagement parties are now held in restaurants.
Gifts are exchanged -- sometimes worth $30,000 to $40,000! --
and family members are formally introduced. The bride may wear
the traditional hanbok (a special engagement dress). Entertainment
is expected, but can range from classical Korean music to family
members singing along with a karaoke machine.
A Live Wild Goose
Before the wedding, a beautiful tradition takes place: The groom
gives the bride's mother a wild goose (traditionally, a live goose
was used; today it is often a wooden goose). Wild geese mate for
life, so his gift is a promise that he will care for her daughter
Dates And Chestnuts
A few days after the ceremony, the couple visit the groom's family
for another wedding ceremony, the p'ye-baek. Here the bride offers
dates and chestnuts -- symbols of children -- to the groom's parents,
while sitting at a low table filled with other symbolic offerings.
The parents offer sake in return, and as a final gesture they
throw the dates and chestnuts at the bride, who tries to catch
them in her large wedding skirt.
In the United States, the p'ye-baek is most often held at
the reception, with the bride and groom in full Korean costume.
It is usually a family-only affair, hosted by the groom's side.
The throwing of dates and chestnuts is the highlight. Family members
also offer gifts of money in white envelopes to the bride.
Korean wedding banquets can be very simple: Noodle soup is the
only required dish. In fact, the wedding banquet is called kook
soo sang, which means "noodle banquet." Long noodles
-- symbolizing a wish for a long and happy life -- are boiled
in beef broth and garnished with vegetables. Dok, a sticky rice
cake, is served at most Korean events, especially weddings.
Filipino Wedding Customs
After the couple has decided to marry, the
first order of business is the pamanhikan, where the groom and
his parents visit the bride's family to ask for her hand in
marriage. Wedding plans are often made at this time, including
a discussion of the budget and guest list. Don't be surprised
if the groom-to-be is expected to run some errands or help out
around the bride's house. This tradition is called paninilbihan,
where the suitor renders service to his future wife's family
to gain their approval.
The Wedding Outfits
The white wedding dress has become popular
in the last hundred years or so with America's influence in
the Philippines. Before that, brides wore their best dress,
in a festive color or even stylish black, to celebrate a wedding.
Orange blossom bouquets and adornments were a must during the
turn of the last century. For men, the barong tagalog is the
traditional Filipino formal wear. It is a cool, almost transparent,
embroidered shirt, made from silky pina or jusi, two native
ecru fabrics. It is worn untucked, over black pants, with a
white t-shirt underneath. These days, a Filipino American groom
might wear the conventional black tux, but Filipino male wedding
guests will usually show up in their finest barongs.
In pre-colonial days, a wedding ceremony lasted
three days. On the first day, the bride and groom were brought
to the house of a priest or babaylan, who joined their hands
over a plate of raw rice and blessed the couple. On the third
day, the priest pricked the chests of both bride and groom and
drew a little blood. Joining their hands, they declared their
love for each other three times. The priest then fed them cooked
rice from the same plate and gave them a drink of some of their
blood mixed with water. Binding their hands and necks with a
cord, he declared them married. The majority of Filipino weddings
are now Catholic weddings, but some native traditions remain.
Most have special "sponsors" who act as witnesses
to the marriage. The principal sponsors could be godparents,
counselors, a favorite uncle and aunt, even a parent. Secondary
sponsors handle special parts of the ceremony, such as the candle,
cord and veil ceremonies. Candle sponsors light two candles,
which the bride and groom use to light a single candle to symbolize
the joining of the two families and to invoke the light of Christ
in their married life. Veil sponsors place a white veil over
the bride's head and the groom's shoulders, a symbol of two
people clothed as one. Cord sponsors drape the yugal (a decorative
silk cord) in a figure-eight shape--to symbolize everlasting
fidelity--over the shoulders of the bride and groom. The groom
gives the bride 13 coins, or arrhae, blessed by the priest,
as a sign of his dedication to his wife's well-being and the
welfare of their future children.
First was served cold vermicelli soup. The
soup was followed by meats of unlimited quantity--stewed goat,
chicken minced with garlic, boiled ham, stuffed capon, roast
pork and several kinds of fish. There were no salads, but plenty
of relishes, including red peppers, olives, green mango pickles
and crystallized fruits. For dessert, there were meringues,
baked custard flan, coconut macaroons and sweetened seeds of
the nipa plant.