Saturday, December 19, 2009
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.