Interesting read and good-to-know for wedding customary & tradition. It’s taken from Golden Happiness website (goldenhappiness.com.sg). It describes the important customary traditions which include –
1) Betrothal (过大礼): It comprises of gifts and cash delivered to the bride’s home by the groom. Of which the bride’s family will accept and return the reminder to avoid giving the impression of “selling” their daughter. It is done three weeks before the wedding date.
2) Dowry Jewellery (四点金): One of the most familiar practice for the bride’s parents to request for Si Dian Jin as part of the betrothal gifts from the groom’s parent to the bride. The purpose of this practice in the olden days is to ensure that the bride will be married to a wealthy family and guaranteed a wealthy, carefree and happy life.
3) Dowry Gift (嫁妆): Dowry is given on the same day as Betrothal ceremony or a few days before the wedding. The gifts represent the blessing to the couple and show that the bride has grown up and is ready to take on the new role of a wife and mum. Dowry consists of the bathtub, basin and potty to encourage the couple to have children. The sewing kit represents a capable wife. The wedding lamps mean a bright future and the bowls means abundant food for the couple.
4) Hair combing (上头): This has been a long tradition that is believed to bring long and lasting marriage, where the red string signifies blessing which is used to tie the bride’s hair and the ruler is used to remind couples to cherish their relationship and take good care of the family. It is important the both party participates in this ceremony, if either party is not doing the hair combing ceremony the other party can skip it too. As this procedure is done 1 day before the wedding day (bride and groom are not allow to see each other 1 day before the wedding day), it is a must that the bride and groom does it separately at their parent’s home in the bedroom. Hair combing can be done after 11pm on the eve of the wedding. The bride must take part in this ceremony at least 1 hour after the groom had completed his.
5) Bet Setting (壓床): This is a process whereby changing the couple’s bed with new bed sheets and have auspicious items spread out on the bed along with 2 red packets and a pair of double happiness bedside lamps. Double happiness stickers or cuttings will be used to decorate the bridal house, the main door as well as mirrors and cupboards of the bridal room. No one is allowed into the room until the wedding ceremony is over. It symbolizes a blissful marriage, abundance of fortune and offspring for the couple as well as good health. It is carry out on eve of the wedding at 830pm or according to the timing of the feng shui master.
We are a little bit wiser now!