As I have written in my previous post which was before I flew off to China, that I would visit Taipei after attending one of my best friend’s wedding.
Saturday, January 7th:
So, let me start with my arrival in Shanghai. I arrived on a Saturday, the 7th of January in the late afternoon / early evening hours. It took me quite some time to get to the city centre by metro, but luckily I quickly found my hotel.
Later, my friend Ana came to stay with me and we went out to go clubbing on my first night in Shanghai which was hilarious :D
We arrived back in the hotel room quite late and had to wake up pretty early the next morning for our train to Yuyao. And I was already jetlagged, so I fell into the bed and immediately fell asleep.
Sunday, January 8th:
We arrived in Yuyao at around 1pm, and after putting our stuff back in Ana’s apartment, we met our friends to drink some tea with them and put our bags in their car. Then, I had to get my nails done for the wedding, and Ana came with me. After that, our friends picked us up and we all drove off to our bride Veronica’s home to have the rehearsal dinner.
We had amazing food which I didn’t have time to take photos of. And I was really jetlagged and hungover, so I couldn’t be bothered.
After dinner, we went to my friend Veronica’s home to drink some tea and help with preparations.
The family has prepared a table with sacrifices for Buddha. It was filled with food like sticky rice, fruits and some sweet snacks, as well as incense.
Early the next morning, a living fish would be hung up under the table, before being released into the river. The fish has to come back to life, or else the marriage will be unlucky.
Later, after finishing our tea, we got checked in at a hotel close to their home so we could wake up early the next morning for the picking up of the bride.
Monday, January 9th:
The day of the wedding started early for us. We packed our things, got dressed up and went down for breakfast. One of Veronica’s cousins picked us up and took us to Veronica’s home. She was in the middle of getting her hair done when we arrived. All of her cousins and some of her closest friends were already there. We were easily around 10 girls in that room, waiting for the excitement to begin.
In chinese tradition, the bride gets locked up in her room by her female cousins and friends. The groom has to answer a certain amount of questions about the bride and their relationship, in order to be let in. If there are questions he struggles to solve, he can slide red pockets filled with money under the door for us so we can give him a hint.
Since the questions were all in chinese, and the groom’s chinese is not very good, the cousins and chinese friends of the bride did the question-asking. But we also got some red pockets each. I was happy to get my first red pocket ever :D
When the groom manages to answer all the questions, he enters the room and proposes to her with a ring and a bouquet of flowers. When she says yes, he has to find her shoes that have been hidden by her friends and cousins in her room. And here again, red pockets can be used for hints. When he finally founds the shoes, he has to put them on her and then they both leave the room, and the father of the groom has to carry the bride out of the house.
From the bridal car, the couple will go to the groom’s home and after 1 or 2 hours, everyone will meet up at the reception to have lunch together.
The food at the lunch was amazing! Mostly seafood, but the most delicious dishes you can think of. For dessert, we got some delicious sesame balls. I fell in love with those sweets, that I had to know where to get them.
After most dishes were finished, the bride and groom had to walk from table to table to make toasts and drink baijiou (my friend only drank coconut water).
The wedding was over too soon. We went back to my friend’s home, got dressed and took a nap for a few hours. In the evening, we would have one last dinner, and that too only consisted of delicious food, including the eggplant dish that I love so much.
After the dinner, our friend Libby picked us up and took us home. We went to our friends for games and drinks after that. It was a very nice closure to an eventful day and a great ending of my third day in China.
All in all I can say that a traditional chinese wedding is mainly about food, which I actually like. As a turkish girl used to dancing and loud music that is kind of a different approach to a wedding. I actually did miss all the music and dancing. The part with locking up the bride was almost the same with turkish tradition though. We have the same procedure, with the only difference that only 1 or 2 people are locking the door (usually the siblings or a cousin) and they get a huge amount of money from the groom and his family (in the hundred euro spectrum). There are also no questions, just bargaining.
I know that at some modern chinese weddings, there are bingo games and competitions being held, so that might be a little more lively. But I am happy that I have been to a true traditional chinese wedding.
I hope you enjoyed my post about this extraordinary day.
Have you guys ever been to a chinese wedding? Or to any other wedding of a different culture from yours? I would be happy to read about them in the comments below.
See you on my next adventure!