Marriage Customs Essay

1142 words - 5 pages

"My most brilliant achievement was...to persuade my wife to marry me." ("WeddingSuperstitions and Traditions") A quote from Winston Churchill. Marriage and it's customs arevery important parts of each culture. Every culture has their own special way to present amarriage. Some customs may seem similar, while others are very different. Three of the differentcultures are the Chinese, the Jewish, and also American customs.The Chinese can be very superstitious when it comes to marriages. They want allthe luck you can get to make, not just the ceremony, but the couples life together foreveras special as it can be. They have many different customs. They wrap the weddinginvitations in red and gold gift wrap, the colors of happiness and wealth. The Chinese believethat you should choose an even number date for the wedding. They feel the more evennumbers the merrier. They also believe that nine is the most important number because intheir culture, nine means long and forever. When giving the gift of Li Shi money, youshould either donate an amount of $99 or $999. The Li Shi is to be wrapped in a redenvelope. You must never give the couple a gift of a fan. Fan means disperse in Chinese,which is a bad omen. Another thing you may not know about Chinese marriages is thatthere is no formal wedding vowel in Chinese culture. The closest ritual to a weddingvowel is that the newlywed couple must drink from two cups of wine that are tiedtogether by a red string. This is considered the gesture of binding commitment by the two.A tea ceremony is a very important part of the Chinese culture. This is where the bridearrives at the groom's home to serve tea to her new in-laws. She will hold the tea cupwith both hands, kneel in front of her in-laws, and serve it. After serving thegrooms parents, she will serve tea to everyone on the occasion, with a sequence ofseniority. Those who have accepted the tea are supposed to give her Li Shi money or goldand jade jewelries wrapped in a red envelope. The Chinese really have a thing for red, it isconsidered lucky, and a strong color that can drive away evil spirits. The traditionalChinese wedding dress in the north is usually a one-piece frock that they call Qui Pao. Itis red and embroidered with gold and silver designs of a dragon and a phoenix. In thesouthern part of China they wear a two-piece Qun Gua., which is also elaborately adornedwith golden phoenix and peonies. The dragon and the phoenix symbolize the balance ofmale and female power. Like these customs, the Jewish ones somewhat similar.Jewish people also believe in marriage customs to provide welfare to the newcouple-to-be. Marriage is a holy institution in Judaism. Its very name in Hebrew meanssanctification. Most of the laws and customs relating to the wedding ceremony andpreparations date back to their "Patriarchs" and "the giving of the Torah at Sinai." TheJewish laws enjoins the entire community to bring joy and happiness to both the bride andthe groom. On the Shabbat of...

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