Monday, August 24, 2009


In the ancient Chinese custom, there are basically six rituals, generally known as the THREE LETTERS AND SIX ETIQUETTE (三書六禮).


* The REQUEST LETTER is sent from the groom's family to the bride's family, and formally requests a marriage.
* The GIFT LETTER accompanies the gifts of the groom's family to the bride's family shortly before the wedding.
* The WEDDING LETTER is given on the day of the wedding, officially accepting the bride into the groom's family.


* PROPOSAL - when an unmarried boy's parents find a potential daughter-in-law, they then located a matchmaker whose job was to assuage the conflict of interests and general embarrassments on the part of two families largely unknown to each other when discussing the possibility of marriage.
* BRITHDATES - if the potential daughter-in-law's family did not object to the proposal, the matchmaker would then compare the couples' birthdates. If according to Chinese astrology, the couple is compatible, they would then proceed to the next step.
* BRIDE PRICE (betrothal gifts) - at this point the bridegroom's family arranges for the matchmaker to present the gifts, including the betrothal letter, to the bride's family
* WEDDING GIFTS - the groom's family will then send an elaborate array of food, cakes and religious items to the bride's family.
* ARRANGING THE WEDDING - the two families will arrange a wedding day which will bring the most luck to the couple, again based on the Chinese Calendar Mythology.
* WEDDING CEREMONY - the final ritual is the actual wedding ceremony where bride and groom become a married couple,

The ancient Chinese, women were not allowed to choose the person they married. Instead, the family of the bride picked the prospective husband. Marriages were chosen based upon the needs of reproduction and honor, as well as the need of the father and husband.

Thursday, August 20, 2009



1) If a pregnant woman eats food that's not properly cut or mashed, her child will have a careless disposition.
2) No construction work should be done in the house of a pregnant woman. Hammering and sawing could lead to an abortion or fetal deformities.
3) Pregnant women should never attend funerals.
4) Unlucky to throw a shower for an unborn baby. The parties come after the little one arrives.
5) Drink a strong herbal potion to ease the strain of labor.


1) After the baby is born, the mother is required to "Zuo Yue" or stay in bed for a month in order to recover from the fatique. She is advised to stay at home and not to go outdoors. Cold, wind, dirty air and tiredness are said to exert bad effect on her health and thus her later life > believed it, it's true.
2) Besides these, the new mother is encourages to avoid cold showering, eating fresh fruit or drinking cold beverages. Instead, she should strive to keep warm by dressing in layers and eating warming foods such as soups or nutritious broths made with pig's feet, eggs, vinegar and/or ginger.
3) New mothers may fill a baby pillow with rice or beans to give the baby's head a "proper" and beautiful flat shape in the back.
4) Tie golden bells on the child wrists and ankles, this will keep away bad spirits.
5) Avoid praising a vulnerable newborn child, as this will avoid attracting the notice of evil demons or ghosts.
6) If the baby continuously crying, place a single pomelo leaf beneath the crib mattress. (to ward the evil spirits)

To annouce the baby's birth, the new father will give presents of red-dyed eggs to friends and family, an odd number for a boy and even number for a girl.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Chinese weddings are very symbolic. Every step of the Chinese wedding ceremony is peppered with items and gestures to symbolize the bringing of good luck to the couple. Although some traditions have been forgotten in today's modern times of convenience, one particular Chinese wedding tradition that has carried through the times is the giving of the ang pow.

ANG POW or Lai See ~~~ is a red packet that contain cash and is very common in Chinese societies across the world. Ang Pow is given away in festive seasons such as Chinese New Year, Birthdays, Weddings or Anniversaries as a token of caring and sharing. Red also symbolizes prosperity and good luck; both of which are auspicious in Chinese culture.

Unlike the Westerners who present the bridal couple with wedding gifts, the Chinese believe in giving money in a red packet instead as a gesture of good luck. Chinese are very practical people and this gesture of giving money is also meant to contribute towards the wedding expenses the coouple has had to bear. While guests usually try to give enough for the couple to cover their reception costs, close friends and relatives will usually give bigger ang pow as a gesture of luck to the couple. In return, the couple gives out ang pow throughout their wedding to their helpers to thanik these peoplke and to return some of their good luck.

(FOOK / PROSPERITY - Chinese New Year)

(SHOU / ELDERLY BIRTHDAY - 60th onwards birthday)



Cash is usually put into a red packet or ang pow before it is given. Giving an ang pow can also be used as a form of appreciation of good work, loyalty or appreciation. If you have no time to get a present or do not know what to get, then, giving an ang pow is considered a perfect substitute.


Ang Pow which can be use to substitute for the items.

~~~~ Kam Chu Lai Kam - Roast Pig
~~~~ Kam Chay Lai Kam - Sugar Cane
~~~~ Ta Loh Kei - Chicken Lead The Way
~~~~ Loi Sei Lai Kam - Son-in-law Pants

Ang Pow needed on your Betrothal Day (Guo Tai Lai) and Wedding Day

~~~~ Bride's mother for bringine her up
~~~~ Grandparent's Ang Pow (bride and groom) {GTL}
~~~~ An Shuang Lai Kam - to groom's father for the fixing of bed {on An Shuang Day}
~~~~ Shang Tou Lai Kam - to parent who do the hair combing ceremony for you (bride and groom)
{Hair combing ceremony if applicable}
~~~~ Hoi Chey Moon Lai Kam - to the bride's brother or younger male relatives who is tasked with opening the car door for the groom when he arrives. {wedding day}
~~~~ Chi Mui Lai Kam - the grooms and his helpers (Heng Tais) being stopped at the door by the brides' friends and relatives who will demand certain tasks to be performed and sufficient ang pows to be given before he is allowed to enter {wedding day}
~~~~ The couple will be required to give ang pow to their younger siblings or relatives who serve them tea as a form of respect. {wedding day}
~~~~ The couple usually gives their helpers ang pows at the end of the day to thank them for their help and to bless them with good luck.

The amounts in the red packets can vary depending on the couple's financial position and family backgrounds. While every little contribution of cash is helpful to the wedding, the blessings and good luck wishes from others as symbolized by the lucky red envelope are just as important.


For the Chinese, comes at the age of 60, this is the first and probably only time in the persons life that their animal sign and element are together exactly as they were on the day they were born.

It is often the grownup sons and daughters who celebrate their elderly parents' birthdays to show their respect for them and express their thanks for what they have done for their children. According to the traditional customs, the parents are offered foods with happy symbolic implications.

Everyone at the celebration must eat both the long noodles (representing longevity) and a warm pastry with a sweet mixture that looks like a peach. It is considered rude and disrespectful not to. This type of celebration continues every ten years for the rest of the person's live with more family members, being added to the grand celebration each year.

60 years old celebrations --- Towards the end of the dinner, each guest will be given a set of "Shou" Chinese Rice Bowl, Chopstick and Spoon ~~~ a symbolic of auspicious gesture that the birthday persons is giving to the guests in return ample food to be had always with those rice bowl and chopsticks.

70 years old celebrations --- Cups / Mugs set will be given out to the invited guest. Tea is an ancient Chinese drink. Chinese people started drinking tea since long long ago. The beverage is considered one of the seven necessities of Chinese life, along with firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce and vinegar. For a long time, tea was used as an herbal medicine and meditation. A simple meal in Chinese is "Cho Cha Dan Fan", namely coarse tean and tasteless dinner. Even A simple meal is finished off with tea so its importance is obvious.

Tea is compared to personal character. The fragrance of tea is not aggressive; it is pleasant, low-keyed and lasting. A friendship between gentlemen is also like a cup of tea. With a cup of tea in hand, enjoying the green leaves in a while porcelain cup, you will feel peace. Fame, wealth and other earthly concerns are far away. Tea is the symbol of elegance.

Meaning of tea ~~~
1) the importance of family values (families get together on Sunday)
2) the means of apologising to someone, by pouring them tea and thus showing regret.
3) a sign of respect (younger generation will prepare and offer to the older generation)

80 years old celebration --- peaches ~~~ a sign of longevity. The peach tree is a tremendous Chinese symbol for longevity as well as other auspicious attributes. It is said that the Peach plant would only produce the fruit only once every 3,000 years.

In Chinese culture, the peach represents immortality -- were said to be consumed by the immortals due to their mystic virtue of conferring longevity on all who ate them.

These are others gifts you can give out as favors too. It's all symbolize longevity.

TORTOISE ~~~ is sacred and much loved by the Chinese as a symbol of longevity, stability, strength, support and endurance. The tortoise is the best icon of longevity. It is believed to live up to 3000 years and therefore is extremely popular with those celebrating their 90th birthday (seek to live a long and healthy life)

WU LOU ~~~ another symbol of longevity, good healty, prosperity and an abundance of blessings. The shape of it is believed to be a representation of Heaven and Earth united in miniature.

The authentic Wu Lou is made of the gourd friut plucked from trees, the flesh inside carefully removed and then dried. In ancient times, the Wu Lou is used to store water or potions used during traveling and expeditions. Because of the Wu Lou's role in keeping the travelers alive, it was given the name the "giver of life" and hence became a symbol of good health. It is also believed to contain the elixir of health, vitality and immortality.

FUK LUK SAU ~~~ three star Deities personify the three important aspirations of mankind : - HAPPINESS, WEALTH AND LONGEVITY.

FUK -- represents happiness and harmony -- carries a scroll and sometimes a children with him for good descendant luck.
LUK -- holds a scepter of office called Ru Yi, or a gold ingot to symbolize prosperity, authority and wealth. Always stands in the center and ensures your career success and enhanced income luck.
SAU -- depicted as carrying a staff and a peach, sometime the gourd containing the Elixir of life is tied on the staff. He symbolizes good health and longevity.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Why giving wedding favors ?

The earliest records of such gifts date to various European countries in the 16th to 18th centuries. During this time, it became traditional for the nobility to give gifts of sugar or confections not only at the weddings, but at any parties and receptions. It eventually became traditional to give "five candy-coated almonds" said to symbolize the gifts of fertility, longevity, wealth, health and happiness wished on the bride and groom in their new married life.

Wedding favors are almost taken as a necessary part of a wedding reception now.

Modern Wedding favors are said to be a symbol of the bride and groom's thanks to their guests for sharing their special day and for the gifts given to them. Often the new couple will distributed favors by hand to each person at the wedding reception as a way to share the blessing of their love (but alot of time just put it on the table). It is also nice to personalize the favors by placing the guests name or the couple's name and the date of the wedding on a small decorated card to be placed inside the favors box container.

There is increasing demand for useful favors that guests will keep and that will remind them of the wedding of friends or family.