A new year begins, and soon it will be the Chinese New Year. Yet, do you know what Chinese people usually do before the Chinese New Year? Getting Married!
The Chinese, especially the older generation, care a lot about family reunion and inheritance. Getting married before the Chinese New Year, thus, becomes a must-do task for the young Chinese. A Chinese proverb goes, “有钱没钱，娶个媳妇好过年 (Yǒu qián méi qián, qǔ gè xífù hǎo guònián)”. It means “whether you have the money or not, it’s always good to marry a wife and spend the New Year together.” That is why people tend to get married 结婚 (Jiéhūn) or have the wedding reception 请喜酒 (Qǐng xǐjiǔ) before the New Year. This life procedure is not only important to oneself but also important to his/her family.
So, before they celebrate the Chinese New Year, Chinese people are usually busy at throwing or attending wedding receptions. Nowadays, young Chinese couples like to have an eastern-western wedding feast 中西式喜宴 (Zhōng xīshì xǐyàn). They wear western wedding dresses, follow the Chinese customs, throll a feast or party at a western restaurant but have typical Chinese wedding cuisine.
If you are going to join a Chinese wedding reception 喝喜酒 (Hē xǐjiǔ) , some Chinese customs are there that you should be aware of:
- Bring the newlyweds 新人 (Xīnrén) a red envelope 红包 (Hóngbāo) with money in it.
- The unit of the money should be even 偶数 (Ǒushù) but always to avoid the number “four 四 (Sì)”.
- Usually the Chinese would avoid wearing black or white to the wedding. (Influenced by the western culture, Chinese are now fine with this taboo.)
Chinese people even create typical Chinese cuisine for the wedding to bring auspicious blessings to the couple. For example, 花好月团圆 (Huā hǎo yuè tuányuán), symbolizing blossom and full-round; 五福富贵拼 (Wǔfú fùguì pīn ), gathering of the five fortunes; 紫霞百子图 (Zǐ xiá bǎi zǐ tú), depicting the purple color of the dawn and hundreds of children.