Wedding Customs in China
In China, marriage is considered to be one of the three most important things in one"s whole life. Traditionally, a whole wedding consists of 6 different steps in advance and then the wedding ceremony.
At all times and in all countries, the wedding ceremony is considered to be the greatest ritual of anyone"s entire life. Although Chinese marriage customs are changing and developing all the time, the atmosphere created during the wedding is invariant - being ceremonious, enthusiastic, jubilant and auspicious.
The Chinese wedding ceremony first began at the end of the Prehistoric Times (1.7 million years ago 芒鈧€?21st century BC) perhaps with an engagement proposal with a complete deerskin in ancient times. In the Xia and Shang Dynasties (21st 芒鈧€?11th century BC), the "Meeting the Bride" ritual was formalized. During the Zhou Dynasty (11th芒鈧€?221 BC) the more complex and ceremonial tradition of "six rites" was recognized: presenting gifts to the girl"s family, knowing the girl"s general background, engagement, presenting betrothal gifts to the bride"s family, asking the fortuneteller to choose an auspicious day, and meeting the bride. This established the traditional Chinese marriage customs. Thereafter, the wedding ceremony becomes even more colorful and lively.
Because China comprises 56 ethnic groups, Chinese marriage customs are an important part of the country"s folk culture. Different ethnic groups have different marriage customs: During a wedding day in Bulang communities, the bride"s companions will steal the bridegroom and carry him off to the bride"s home at dawn and the bridegroom"s companions then carry off the bride to the bridegroom"s home at dark; for the Dai people, finding a mate by selling chicken soup is done at every festival: girls will stew a pan of chicken soup to sell. If the boy is well-satisfied, she will hang her head shyly; if the boy also takes a fancy to her, they will carry the chicken soup to a quiet place to confess their feelings; during the Folk Song Fair of the Zhuang nationality, girls carry colorful embroidered balls while singing songs. A girl will throw the gaily-decorated ball to the boy she falls in love with.