The Traditional Chinese Marriage Practices

Published: 17th February 2010
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Marriage is one of the most sacred as well as lawful practice around the world. Every continent, every country, every culture has their own traditions and practices when it comes to marriages. European Marriage practices and traditions are considered to be one of the oldest types of marriage around the world. Other than the European marriage practices, the Chinese were also known for their marriage customs.

Traditional Chinese marriages only became a custom between 402-221 B.C. According to many professionals, the Chinese marriage customs usually involved the giving of three letters and the practice of six etiquettes. Before the marriage, the giving of letters would first commence, usually by the groom's parents.

The Three Letters
Chinese Marriage is traditionally initiated through the giving of three letters. The first letter to be given is called the "request letter". This letter is a formal request by the groom's family to the bride's family for marriage. If the bride's family agrees with the request, the groom's family would then send a "gift letter." A gift letter is usually accompanied with a gift which is given shortly before the wedding. The last letter is the "wedding letter" which is given on the day of the wedding. The purpose of this letter is to the accept the bride into the groom's family.

The Six Etiquette
The six etiquette is all about the practice of Chinese marriage which basically starts with the "proposal". When the groom's parents have found a suitable bride, they would then seek a matchmaker whose job is to assuage the conflict of interests as well as discussing several family secrets which are unknown to each other.

If the bride's family did not object to the proposal, the matchmaker would then compare the couples' "birthdates". Chinese astrology is very important, even in marriage. This practice is so important that if the matchmaker didn't find the couple to be compatible, then the marriage would then be stopped. If, however, the couple is compatible, then the Marriage would then proceed to the giving of bride price.

The giving of "bride price" is when the bridegroom's family arranges for the matchmaker to present bride price (betrothal gifts), including the betrothal letter, to the bride's family. The presentation of "wedding gifts", such as foods, cakes, and religious items, would then commence after the giving of bride price.

After all that is finished, "arranging the wedding" and the "wedding ceremony" will then begin. The wedding ceremony is usually divided into four different etiquettes. These are the wedding procession (which is a march from bride's home would march to the groom's home), welcoming the bride (which the procession stops at the door of the groom's home), the actual wedding ceremony, and the wedding banquet or reception. For more information visit to our site at

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