Tuesday, December 29, 2009

FETCH THE BRIDE

To fetch the bride means that the groom will be up against some obstales and he must bring all the right things on his quest. He must bring his troop of brothers and he must also bring certain items to fetch the bride. There will be bridesmaids and best men that will come so it is important to know how many you will want. Sometimes, the bride and groom will match one bridesmaid to one best man but you can have as many as your budget allows.

One thing to know is that everyone of the helpers will get a red packet of money to give them good luck. This can get costly if you have a lot of people helping. Once all the people are in place the festivities begin.

The groom must bring the matchmaker (Tai Kam Chay - some do not have will bring the best man along instead). This person will carry the tray with goodies on it to be presented to the bride's parents later.

On the tray, you will have the following items :-

Raw pork leg - this goes to the mother of the bride because she had such a beautiful daughter that she is not going to get married.

Tangerines or oranges - this should be an even number of these and they are given to make sure the couple will have good fortune.

Dried Persimmons - again an even number and these are give to insure that the family continues to prosper.

Dried Longan - these are kept in shells and given to the bride to insure that there will always be sweetness in the marriages.

Dried Lotus Seeds - these should be given in as many as is good taste because it ensures that the couple will have many children.

"Pak Hap" - this is so that the couple will have one hundred years of happiness and closeness in the marriage.

It is important to make sure that your tray looks very nice and enticing for the family. The bride's family will give the tray back later with an even number of tangerines or oranges on it to show that they have accepted this gift and that the two families will continue to have good fortune.

Once everything is in place, the groom proceeds to the bride's house where his car is greeted by some of the bride's brothers. The youngest (no matter how young he is) must open the car door for the groom. If she has no younger brother, a younger male friend or cousin can do the job. The groom must not open the door himself so he must be very patient as sometimes the youngest brother is very small and must have helper to open the door. The young boy will have two oranges that he will give the goom once he opens the door. These are for good fortune and will be left in the bridal car to make sure it is free of accidents on the wedding day. The groom will give the boy a red packet for opening the door.

Now the groom must face the bridesmaids who have a series of obstacle that he must ge through in order to get to the bride. One of the obstacles he will have to face in order to fetch the bride will be that he must get through the blocked door. The reason they are blocking the door is to show that they love the bride and they do not want to give her away. (This is part of the humor of the situation but it is taken very seriously). Again the groom must have red packets and it should be in a certain amount that is usually decided ahead of time.




Now the groom must face a series of obstacles and get through them in order to fetch the bride

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

CHINESE NEW YEAR



Chinese New Year is a time to remember the family and wish everyone peace and prosperity in the coming year. It is also a special time to remember members of the family who have died.

Chinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. The 15th day of the New Year is called the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated at night with lantern display and children carrying lantern in a parade.

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are celebrated as a family affair, a time of reunion and thanksgiving. The celebration was traditionally highlighted with a religious ceremony given in honor of Heaven and Earth, the gods of the household and the family ancestors. (Departed relatives are remembered with great respect because they were responsible for laying the foundations for the fortune and glory of the family). Typically, families gather at a designated relative's house for dinner, but these days, many families often celebrate New Year's Eve dinner at a restaurant.

Chinese New Year may be a time for friends, family and fun, but is also a time for foreboding as the festival is riddled with superstitions. The Chinese, place much stock in the rites and rituals in make sure the year doesn't land your in the sewer.


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While many Chinese people today may not believe in these do's and don'ts, these traditions and customs are still practiced. These traditions and customs are kept because most families realize that it is these very traditions, whether believed or not, that provide continuity with the past and provide the family with an identity.


❋ Activities Dos and Don'ts During Chinese New Year ❋

❦ No sweeping of floors for the first few days of Chinese New Year - sweep away the good luck and fortune of the family === but there is a specific way to sweep after the New Year's Day == sweep from the entrance to the home which is normally the door to the center of the house. The dust and rubbish that's been swept should be kept in a corner, untouched and only to be thrown out from the backdoor of the house on the fifth day of the Chinese New Year.

❦ Be careful and don't break any objects, especially breakables like glass in the home during Chinese New Year - considered bad luck === If something gets broken, immediately say "lua di hoi fa" 落地开花 (flower blossoms when it touches the floor) to reverse any bad luck

❦ No swearing or saying of negative and inauspicious words (or what you say may just come true!)

❦ Conversely, say a lot of auspicious greetings, especially when visiting friends and relatives

❦ Among the Chinese New Year activities, the most important is called Chinese New Year Greeting "Kong Hee Fatt Choy"

❦ Everyone puts on their new clothes and visit their relatives and friends over the next two weeks - wear bright colors like red and yellow, as they are considered happy and bright colors that bring in luck. Don't ever wear black on Chinese New Year as black is considered the color of mourning

❦ People bring along a bag of two big tangerines and enclose an ang pow when they go on visits anytime during the two-weeks long Chinese New Year celebrations as this brings luck to the household

❦ At each house, married adults give red packets to visiting children and anyone who is not yet married

❦ Delicacies with lucky name have been prepared to serve guests

❦ Welcome in the New Year with a blast of fresh air. Open all the windows is said to let in good luck.

❦ It is considered unlucky to greet anyone in their bedroom, that is why everyone, even the sick, should get dressed and sit in the living room.

❦ It is said that hair-cutting or nail clipping during the first few days of Chinese New Year is prohibited. As hairs and nails are inherited from parents and the cutting of hair or nail during the first few days may shorten the parents life of cause ill-health.

❦ Avoid washing your hair on the first and last day of the New Year. - wash away good luck

❦ No splashing of water out of the house as water symbolizes "Money" and thus splashing water out of the house means throwing money away



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☺ Before Chinese New Year ☺

➻ Da Sao Chu 大扫除 -- Clean the house == According to old customs, on the 28th day of the last month of a year (lunar calendar), the house should be cleaned to embrace the coming new year. In Chinese, the chen (尘, meaning dust) shares the same pronunciation with chen (陈, meaning old). Therefore, cleaning the house means getting rid of the old and bad luck in the ending year and welcomes in the new and good luck in the New Year.

➻ Send greeting cards -- Greeting cards with New Year wishes are sent to friends, relatives and colleagues. Remember to

➻ Shopping -- Young and old go on a shopping spree to buy New Clothes 新衣服 for the whole family, food and delicacies, and festive home decorations. Remember to get some red packet ready.

➻ Decorate the house
❄❄❄ Chunlian 春联 -- New Year couplets / spring festival scrolls are used to frighten away devils and pray for good fortune. (In ancient times, the Spring Couplets were originally made of peach wood by talisman) Most scrolls are red; some are orange with wishes inscribed in black or gold. Families hang spring couplets on both sides of the door to usher in good wishes for the New Year.
❄❄❄ Denglong 灯笼 – Lantern. We're seeing more and more red lanterns lately, not only in the big shopping malls, but also in houses.
❄❄❄ Bianpao 鞭炮 – Firecracker. The thunder of firecrackers marks the advent of the Lunar New Year. In the past, at midnight, citizens would let off firecrackers and scraps of red paper were left on the ground across the entire neighborhood reminding you that another New Year was coming. In recent years, explosive incidents involving firecrackers have led to a ban. However, children in the countryside can still enjoy traditional firecrackers
❄❄❄ Paste paper cuts of “fook” 福, happy children and tangerine oranges on the walls.


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❧ Plants and Flowers for the Chinese New Year ❧

Every traditional Chinese household should have live blooming plants to symbolize rebirth and new growth. Flowers are believed to be symbolic of wealth and high position in one's career. (You're lucky if your home plant blooms on the New Year's Day, for that foretells a year of prosperity. Living plants symbolize growth.

❉ Daffodils 水仙花 are big bold happy flowers and that's why they embody good fortune and prosperity, quite apart from beautifying and bringing pleasant aromas to the house. "Hua Kai Fu Gui" means flower blossoms bringing riches and honor.

❉ Peach blossom 桃花 is always a favorite. Delicate pink petals, red Lishi (lucky packages) and green lights dangling on branches, create a warm scene in the coldest house. Singles bring peach blossoms home, to be assured of a romance in the following years

❉ Plum blossoms can be arranged together with bamboo and pine sprigs, the grouping symbolizing friends and en-dash; also signifies reliability and perseverance; the bamboo is known for its compatibility, its utility and its flexible stems for furniture and other articles; the evergreen pine evokes longevity and steadiness.

❉ Other favorite flowers are pussy willow, azalea, peony and water lily or narcissus. Chinese people believe that without flowers, there would not be any fruit. Therefore, flowers and floral decorations are a "must-have" in the home during Chinese New Year.

❉ Feng Che 风筝 – Windmill say bring good fortune to the family. The good luck they bring will last for the whole year


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Chinese New Year Traditions

❖ Shooting off firecrackers on New Year's Eve - way of bidding the old year goodbye and welcoming the New Year.

❖ Rice urn filled to the brim and refrigerator should be filled with food and drinks - the New Year will be prosperous and need not worry of hunger.

❖ All debts must be paid by New Year's Day. Nothing should be lent on this day - anyone who does so will be lending all the year.

❖ One should not use bad language, unlucky words, negative terms - will be respected all year round.

❖ The first person one meets and the first words heard are important - significant as to what the fortunes would be for the entire year.

❖ Never cry on New Year's Day - if you do so then the year will be sorrowful.

❖ Never wash your hair or clean the house - for fear that good luck will be clean away.


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✰ Symbolic Food ✰

Probably more food is consumed during the New Year celebrations than any other time of the year. On New Year's Day, the Chinese family will eat a vegetarian dish called 'Jai'.

❁ Lettuce - in Chinese sounds like 'making money' (the action of wrapping food in lettuce leave carries the meaning of 'Definitely having a baby soon', good for newly weds).
❁ Dried meat, fish, duck - symbolize that we need not worry about having three meals a day
❁ Stuffed mince meat with dried oyster - symbolize good thing to come, good business and better productivity
❁ Black moss seaweed (Fatt Choy) - symbolize prosperity and better earning
❁ Green veggie - symbolize better profit and expansion of business
❁ Oranges - symbolize full of gold
❁ Apple - symbolize safe and sound
❁ New Year Cake (Lin Guo) - symbolize improvement all year round
❁ Peanuts - symbolize lots of grandchildren
❁ Sunflower seeds (Kua Chi) - symbolize one will thank of you always
❁ Lotus seed - signify having many male offspring
❁ Ginkgo Nut (hang ngan) - represents silver ingots
❁ Dried bean curd (toh gun) - fulfillment of wealth and happiness
❁ Bamboo shoots (chuk soon) - sound like "wishing that everything would be well"
❁ Walnut - carries the meaning "Happiness of the Entire Family"
❁ Cashew Nuts - its shape symbolizes the "Gold Bar" of ancient times

☆☆☆ Fresh bean curd or tofu is not included is it is white and unlucky for New Year as the color signifies death and misfortune. ☆☆☆

❁ Whole fish - to represent togetherness and abundance
❁ Whole chicken - for prosperity - must be with head, tail and feet - to symbolize completeness
❁ Noodles - should be uncut, as they represent long life
❁ Prawn - the pronunciation of prawn in Chinese sounds like the laughing sound, and thus carries the meaning "Happiness"
❁ Abalone - carries the meaning "Definite Good Fortune"

✶✶ Panji 盆桔 -- Mandarin orange (桔) are very popular. In Cantonese, the Chinese character 桔 (ji, meaning orange) and has the same pronunciation as 吉 (ji, meaning harvest and good luck). Besides this special meaning, the mandarin orange has a beautiful golden color, which adds to the lunar New Year festive atmosphere. Tangerines with leaves intact assure that one's relationship with the other remains secure. For newlyweds, this represents the branching of the couple into a family with many children. ✶✶


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Candy Tray ------ arranged in either a circle or octagon is called "The Tray Of Togetherness" and has a dazzling array of candy to start the New Year sweetly. After taking several pieces of candy from the tray, adults places a red packet (ang pow) on the center compartment of the tray. Each item represents some kind of good fortune.

ℑ Candied Melon - growth and good health
ℑ Red Melon Seed - dyed red to symbolize joy, happiness, truth and sincerity
ℑ Lychee Nut - strong family relationships
ℑ Cumquat - prosperity (gold)
ℑ Coconut - togetherness
ℑ Peanuts - long life
ℑ Longan - many good sons
ℑ Lotus Seed - many children


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Traditional Customs on New Year Eve

€ Putting up the Spring Couplets
(In ancient times, the Spring Couplets were originally made of peach wood by talisman to ward off evil spirits)
€ Bidding farewell to the year in exit
€ The reunion dinner
€ The New Year red packet (ang pow)
€ Observing the night


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15 Days of Chinese New Year


Day 1 (初 一) ~~~ the gods of heaven and earth are welcomed and meat is avoided to promote longevity and happiness

Day 2 (初 二) ~~~ prayers are sent to the gods and ancestors. Son-in-laws pay respect to their wife's parents.

Day 3 (初 三) ~~~ dogs receive extra kindness and are well fed. Today is the birthday of the dogs.

Day 4 (初 四)n ~~~ the deities shall return to earth on this day. After the noon hour, the Deity Greeting ceremony begins.

Day 5 (初 五) ~~~ named 'Po Woo' - this day is spent at home to welcome the God of Wealth. It is bad luck to visit anyone on this day.

Day 6 (初 六) ~~~ free to visit friends and relatives or to the temple to pray. Some would start business on this day

Day 7 (初 七) ~~~ the birthday of all humans celebrated with a drink made by farmers from 7 types of vegetables. Raw fish is eaten to promote success and noodles for longevity

Day 8 (初 八) ~~~ prayers are sent at midnight by the Fujian people to Tian Gong (Heaven Gods) to ask for a peaceful year

Day 9 (初 九) ~~~ offering are made to the Jade Emperor

Day 10 - Day 12 (初 十, 十 一, 十 二) ~~~ invitation are sent to friends and relatives to join for dinner

Day 13 (十 三) ~~~ simple food are eaten so as to detoxify after all the rich food consumed for the past 12 days

Day 14 (十 四) ~~~ preparation for "Chap Goh Mei" (Lantern Festival) celebration

Day 15 (十 五) ~~~ Lantern Festival also known as the Chinese Valentine's Day. This day is a good day to get together. Some says that by sending a lucky flower to your loved one will help secure your relationship forever. In Malaysia, the most popular practice is throwing mandarin oranges into the river with the hope of getting a good husband.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

DOUBLE HAPPINESS



Chinese Wedding are steeped in culture and tradition. In order to bring eternal happiness to the wedded couple, every aspect of the Chinese Wedding is filled with symbols of the Double Happiness. Called "HEI" in Cantonese, "SHUANG XI" in Mandarin and "SANG HEE" in Hokkien, it is essentially two Chinese characters for "joy" side by side to symbolize double joy and double happiness.

The "HEI" symbol is always colored red to signify the wonderfully auspicious events.

As the west said, ~~ Two heads are better than one, ~~ Well, in the east, we have ~~ two happiness are certainly better than one. ~~

The Double Happiness symbol is usually placed in the bridal bedroom to ensure the couple is always blessed with happiness. The symbol will usually be placed on the bed head, the bedroom door, on the dressing table mirror and the cupboard door to create a festive and romantic air.

The betrothal and dowry items brought by the groom to the bride's family have to have the Double Happiness symbol on them to symbolize wedding gifts. This includes even the briefcases of dowry money should the groom's family wish to present the bride's family with cash !!!



THE LEGEND OF THE DOUBLE HAPPINESS SYMBOL

In the ancient Tang Dynasty, there was a student who was on the way to the capital to attend the national final examination, in which the top learners would be selected as the ministers in the court. Unfortunately, he fell ill halfway when he passed through a mountain village. Thanks to an herbalist doctor and his daughter, he was taken to their house and treated well. He recovered quickly due to the father and the daughter's good care. Well, when he had to leave, he found its hard to say good-bye to the pretty girl, and so did she. They fell in love. So the girl wrote down the right hand part of an antithetical couplet for the student to match :-

"GREEN TREES AGAINST THE SKY IN THE SPRING RAIN WHILE THE SKY SET OFF THE SPRING TREES IN THE OBSCURATION."

"well, I can make it though it is not easy. But you'll have to wait till I have finished the examination." replied the student. The young girl nodded in significance.

In the examination the young man won the first place, which was appreciated by the emperor. Also the winners were interviewed and tested by the emperor. As luck would have it, he was asked by the emperor to finish a couplet, which would need a right part as the answer. The emperor wrote :-

'RED FLOWERS DOT THE LAND IN THE BREEZE'S CHASE WHILE THE LAND COLORED UP IN RED AFTER THE KISS."

The young man realized the right part of the couplet by the girl was the perfect fit to the emperor's couplet, so he took the girl's part as the answer without hesitation. The emperor was delighted to see the matching half of his couplet was so talent and harmonious that he authorized the young man's identitiy as Minister in the court and allowed him to pay a visit to his hometown first before holding the post. The young man met the girl happily at home and told her the emperor's couplet. They soon got married. For the wedding, the couple Double the Chinese character, Happy together, on a red piece of paper and put it on the wall to express the happiness for the two events. And from then on, it has been taken on and became a social custom.



So when planning your Chinese Wedding, do remember your Double Happiness symbols to mark the happy occasion and to bring you lots of luck for a happy life ahead together !!

Now Double Happiness stickers are easily available and are easily stuck on. However, traditionally, families used to sit together and cut these symbols from red paper to be stuck onto the betrothal gifts and other parts of the house.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

BETROTHAL ** GUO TAI LAI ** GIFTS

The practice of giving traditional wedding gifts has started to die out in today's modern society.

The Chinese traditional wedding is full of vivid details, from the first step of betrothal to the grand wedding ceremony. The process of such a ritual is very interesting. Although it has lost its popularity to some extent because of some out-dated customs, there is a trend of reviving the traditional wedding. After all, it is an important part of the Chinese culture.

What is Betrothal ?

Betrothal also known as "Guo Ta Lai" is one of the important event in the Chinese Wedding. In fact without this, the custom is considered invalid. This gesture has a meaning to prove the sincerity towards the marriage between the binding of two families and promises of taking care of the Bride.

These gifts are a treasured part of the wedding process for traditional Chinese families. As the Chinese consider the bride a gift to the groom, the wedding gifts are traditionally given by the groom's family to the bride's family in return for raising the bride to marriageable age and to "compensate" them for this service.

It comprises of gifts and cash delivered to the bride's home by the groom. Of which the bride's family will accept and return half to avoid giving the impression of "selling" their daughter.



"Guo Ta Lai" will takes place a couple of weeks before the actual wedding day on an auspicious date and time of course.

The Groom's family will prepare the betrothal gifts based on the dialects and requirements of both the families. All the items must symbolize all the good elements -- Good Luck, Prospertity, Fertility, Peace, Happiness and Longevity and also all gifts should come in even numbers, meaning "good things together" in the Chinese culture.

Traditional Chinese Wedding Gifts includes :-









After received the entire gifts from the groom's family, the bride's family has to say their prayers for blessings from the gods and their ancestors.

BRIDE and GROOM TO BE >>>>>> It is taboo, please do not consume any GTL food items.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

CASCADE BOUQUET

Cascade Bouquet ~~ has a trail of flowers and foliage that extends below the main bouquet.

Formal and elegant personality.






To order
contact Winnie 6012-302 1293
or email to
cadeausouvenirs@gmail.com

ARM BOUQUETS

Arm Bouquets ~~ lovely arrangements look very elegant. They are long in shape and made to be cradled on one arm.

Usually carried by the bridesmaids but some brides prefer to carry them.




To order
contact Winnie 6012-302 1293
or email to
cadeausouvenirs@gmail.com

*** BRIDAL BOUQUETS ***

Wedding flowers are one of the most important elements of your big day. Not only do they provide color and scent, but they symbolize life, growth and rebirth. Good wedding flowers are also a conversation starter and after the food and dress, one of things guests will remember most.

These are some of the flowers you can use for your Bridal Bouquets so that it 's look soft yet sophisticated.

















To order
contact Winnie 6012-302 1293
or email to
cadeausouvenirs@gmail.com

Sunday, December 6, 2009

CORSAGES

Corsages ~~ used in weddings for the most important ladies of all ~~~ the mothers, grandmothers and special guests of the bride and groom. Mothers and grandmothers corsages are usually made more special than all the others.

When ordering, ask the mothers and grandmothers what color attire their wearing. This way the ribbon colors and accessories will match.







To order
contact Winnie 6012-302 1293
or email to
cadeausouvenirs@gmail.com

BOUTONNIERE

Boutonniere --- a small flower worn in a buttonhole. The groom's boutonniere is traditionally taken from the bride's bouquet to symbolize sharing.

A flower attached to the left lapel of a jacket. Waorn by men in the wedding party, including grooms, groomsmen, ushers, and the fathers of the bride and groom.







To order
contact Winnie 6012-302 1293
or email to
cadeausouvenirs@gmail.com

HAND-TIED BOUQUET

Hand Tied Wedding Bouquets ~~ looks fresh and beautiful and can be designed in a number of ways.

"Unique and elegant to fit your style and personality"










To order
contact Winnie 6012-302 1293
or email to
cadeausouvenirs@gmail.com

Friday, December 4, 2009

ROUND BOUQUET

Round Bouquet ~~ a posy bouquet ~~ it is a good choice for any wedding.










To order
contact Winnie 6012-302 1293
or email to
cadeausouvenirs@gmail.com