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.

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