10 Important Rituals in a TeoChew Wedding in Singapore

May 13, 2022

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Traditional Chinese wedding rites have long been a part of Chinese society, with each dialect embracing its own set of customs. It’s not unusual to see couples attempting to include traditions into their nuptials. Traditions, according to the Chinese, demonstrate reverence for our ancestors and are the foundations of our culture.

Chinese wedding gifts – food items

Amazingly, various foods are provided as wedding gifts for different dialect groups. Teochew Peanuts & Sesame Candy, which depicts both a good and sweet pleasant beginning and ending; Teochew Prosperity Biscuits, and finally cans of Pork Legs in boxes are examples of Teochew traditions.

Hair combing

Shang Tou, or hair combing ritual, is performed with four strokes. This is performed separately for the bride and groom on the night before the wedding and is thought to bring blessings to the couple as well as symbolising their journey into maturity.

Just before ceremony,  the bride and groom will take a bath in water infused with pomelo leaves, change into new pyjamas and slippers, and sit in front of a pair of dragon phoenix candles. This is thought to keep malevolent spirits at bay.

With each stroke, four phrases are recited by parents:

  • Yi Shu Shu Dao Wei) : A marriage that will last eternally
  • (Er Shu Bai Nian Hao He) : A joyful and peaceful marriage for years to come
  • (San Shu Zi Sun Man Tang): A household filled with children and grandchildren
  • (Si Shu Bai Fa Qi Mei): Longevity

Fetching the bride

The groom is supposed to fetch the bride on the wedding day. It is not easy, however, because the groom must complete the bridesmaids’ responsibilities before he may take the bride away. The groom might request the assistance of his best men to help him complete his duties. This is referred to as the traditional gate crashing. After all responsibilities are performed, the groom must still offer a large red packet to the bridesmaids as compensation for their troubles. Finally, he will be permitted to leave the house with the bride. The key component is that the bride will be protected from any “negative energies” by a red umbrella.

Tossing away the fan

For Teochews, as the car drives away from the bride’s residence, the bride will toss away a fan, symbolising that she is letting go of her bad habits. In addition, the bride will bring another fan and handkerchief to the groom’s home. This denotes a large number of offspring.

Setting up the matrimonial bed

The groom’s parents or grandparents are normally in charge of the setup. The practise begins by replacing the bed linen with new ones in auspicious colours. The bed is decorated with pieces from the betrothal gift ceremony and other special things. When everything is completed, everyone will say a special chant to wish everyone a happy marriage.

Stepping into the groom’s house

The groom’s relatives will not welcome the pair at the door. They will be avoided by the family until they enter the bridal room. This is to avoid any misunderstandings between the bride and her new family members. The couple must first pray to their ancestors before entering the bridal room. The family should be allowed to see the pair just after they have entered the bridal room.

The bride returns to her residence

Traditionally, the bride is expected to return to her family for a visit after three days. Nowadays, however, the bride typically returns home the following day. The bride is meant to change into a different garment, such as a simpler gown. Another tea ceremony will be scheduled, and the couple will be required to prepare gifts for the visit.

Tea Ceremony

A tea ceremony is the couple’s ceremonial introduction as newlyweds. It is normally held in the couple’s respective houses, however when everyone is at the same location, some may do it all at once. The parents are served tea first, followed by their other elders.

Traditional sweet teas used during the tea ceremony are brewed with ingredients like as lotus seeds and red dates to bless the couple with a large number of children. Longan, which means dragon in Chinese, is another prominent component used to represent the blessing of having boys in the family.

Dowry gifts

The four points of gold and a red fan are among the dowry gifts. Furthermore, dowry gifts such as tea sets and bowl sets are required. Some women pass down tea settings from their own weddings to their children.

Si Dian Jin

Si Dian Jin is a traditional Teochew custom practised by the majority of Teochew families. The literal translation is “4 touches of gold” signifying a four-piece set of wedding jewellery consisting of a necklace, ring, bangle, and a pair of earrings. The groom’s mother gives these four-piece sets to the bride as a betrothal gift. We offer a wide range of jade jewelries suitable for the Si Dian Jin ceremony at Gen. K. Visit our store today to see our extensive selection of collections. After all, a happy bride equals a happy marriage!

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