The Most Popular Asian Wedding Traditions And Rituals
Weddings may be a fascinating (and amusing) window into diverse ways of life, whether the customs are cultural or religious in nature and are new or centuries old. Here are a few examples of the most popular or typical Asian wedding traditions, which we hope you enjoy.
- Weddings in India are a huge affair. An Indian wedding is a celebration filled with customs and traditions and an all-out party for hundreds of guests! Every area of India has unique cultural subtleties that impact the pre- and post-ceremony traditions. Nonetheless, all focus on the bride and groom's happiness, peace, and prosperity.
- A pandit (priest) is ordained to divinely fix the date of a traditional Hindu wedding by using the stars to locate the couple on the most auspicious day to wed on. The first two days include pre-wedding festivities like mehndi, in which female family members and friends apply henna to their hands and feet, and sangeet, a kind of mini-reception at which the bride's and groom's families join together to dance, sing, and eat together for the first time.
- The ceremony and celebration take place on Day 3 and last around 16 hours! The groom has his processional, walking up to the mandap and greeting his and the bride's parents, who remove their shoes and enter the sacred sanctuary to await the bride. The bride is led or carried by elderly male members of her family as she comes with bridesmaids and flower girls.
- The wedding ritual includes being physically joined together and taking steps around a holy fire; Hindu couples have the option of exchanging rings. Before leaving the ceremony, the bride and groom meet all of the guests and get their blessings. To prevent insulting the sensibilities of senior relatives, there is no 'you may kiss the bride.'
- The reception is a massive celebration with tons of excellent food and drink (depending on the couple's religious beliefs), dancing, entertainment, toasts, and speeches. The bride and groom will have changed their attire by this point, but you can bet it will be brilliant and decorated! Red is the most popular and promising color for Indian weddings, so expect to see a lot of red saris and sherwanis. However, other than white, any color goes, and the brighter, the better!
- There are several popular wedding types in Japan, but two stand out: the large Western-style white wedding and the Shinto wedding. A Shinto wedding ceremony, as traditional as it is, is not very old; the first occurred in 1900 when Crown Prince Yoshihito married Princess Kujo Sadako. Typically, only close family members attend the ceremony, with more people, including friends and even the newlyweds' bosses, joining the party for loads of food and drink.
- The pair wears a unique set of kimonos, the bride's white and the groom's jacket embroidered with the family crest during a Shinto ceremony. In addition, the bride wears a towering wimple-type headgear, which functions similarly to a veil and wig in a typical bridal hairdo.
- The pair drinks three cups of ceremonial sake throughout the ritual to strengthen their bond: one for ancestors, one for the environment and caring for one other, and one for people and fertility. The groom reads the vows aloud to the shrine gods, and the priest thanks the gods with a branch of Japanese evergreen before presenting the rings.
- The reception usually includes a lot of eating and drinking but no music or dancing - that can be done during an after-party. There are plenty of speeches, including a poignant thank you from the bride to her parents, and a more recent addition, a self-made movie all about the bride and husband - not a dry eye in the house!
- The hosting couple gives each guest a gift bag loaded with valuable and considerate items as a thank you for attending their wedding.
- China, like India, is a vast country with several ethnic groups. Therefore, no two marriages are the same. To be legally married in China, couples must exchange vows in front of authorities from the Civil Affairs Bureau. The bride and groom can then have a religious or conventional ceremony and a large party if they want.
- On the wedding day, the groom arrives to collect the bride, who has been kept captive by her pals but freed in exchange for money! The venue will be decked out in crimson, the color of prosperity, loyalty, honor, and love, and gold, the color of money and fortune. The bride's favorite color is red, and she may wear a traditional 'qipao,' a Western-style gown, or both!
- The flower of choice is lily because the term for lily, 'baihe,' sounds like the famous adage 'happy union for a hundred years.' A traditional tea ceremony to honor the newlyweds' relatives is frequently held at some time during the wedding, either immediately after the ceremony or the next day.
- Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other family members will be handed a cup of tea, which they will sip before dropping a red envelope containing money onto the tea tray.
- One significant distinction between traditional and Chinese weddings is that the couple has their wedding photographs taken before the ceremony. In this manner, an elaborate album of them in different attire, shot in a studio or gorgeous locations such as Beijing's Temple of Heaven, will be ready for the celebration.
- The celebration will contain plenty of food and speeches, as well as a pretty dangerous ritual for the groom: he must go around all the tables of guests, drinking shots of baijiu (rice spirit) with the male guests...the wise ones will surreptitiously switch to water after a couple! As the night concludes, the bride and groom personally greet their guests and distribute a modest favor, such as chocolate or sweets.
- A Vietnamese wedding is heavily based on Confucian and Buddhist philosophies, with numerous rituals and predetermined procedures. Most Vietnamese people place a high value on the engagement party (le Dinh hon) and the betrothal ceremony (an hoi), which can occur either a month before or on the same day as the wedding.
- During these rituals, the pair will be clothed in traditional attire, with the bride wearing an elaborate Ao dai and cloak with many imperial symbols, most commonly in red or pink, and the groom wearing a simplified version in blue. The family assembles at the bride's residence to exchange symbolic gifts such as wine, sticky rice, and a whole suckling pig, as well as to bless the bride and groom.
- This is followed by a tea ceremony, during which the senior family members present monetary presents. Everyone then goes to the groom's house to the ancestral alter for a second ceremony. Keep a look out for wedding processions on your Vietnam vacation; these wedding processions have been known to halt traffic!
- Suppose the bride and groom wish to hold all of the rituals simultaneously. In that case, they may perform another Buddhist or Catholic ceremony, followed by a joyous reception! A wedding, including the day and hour, is fraught with superstition in Vietnamese society.
- Most couples will consult a monk, spiritual leader, or fortune teller to choose the best day and time for their wedding; the number of presents should be unusual in northern and even southern Vietnam; and the bride's mother should brush her hair with a symbolic comb, to mention a few!
- The reception usually has 500 guests, and the dinner is traditional Chinese fare with plenty of it - six to ten courses! The newlyweds will also greet all their guests throughout the reception, and there will be lots of toasts for them and many traditional wedding games making for a fun finale to a long day!
A traditional Asian wedding is unlike any other. With so many events, ceremonies, and customs to remember, it may be challenging to stay on track. That is why BridalFusion.com brings you an Asian wedding guide so that you can get inspired by different weddings in the world and be prepared if you are going to attend one. Knowing these customs will help you have all the information on hosting an intergenerational guest list popping the other Big Q to your best friend, being a perfect bridesmaid, writing the ideal bridal speech, or for Asian better-half.