Sunday, July 19, 2009

Chinese Wedding
Hair Combing Ceremony

Hair combing ceremony always takes place the night before wedding day (early morning on wedding day). The ceremony symbolizes the adulthood of both the bride and groom, and wishes them a happy marriage. This explains why most Chinese parents only consider their children grownups when they get married.

A 'good fortune' man and woman (usually elder people/relatives who have living parents, children, and a good marriage) and an auspicious time will be chosen to perform the hair-combing ritual at the bride and groom's home respectively.

*Note: The groom needs to do this an hour before the bride does so.

Before the ritual begins, both the bride and groom should bath with water infused with Pomelo leaves^ and put on brand new underwear and pajamas. Bride will usually dress in pink or red pajama (red is the lucky color for festive occasions, especially for Chinese).

The bride and groom will each sit by a window. Some basic items to be prepared for both sides such as lotus seeds, red dates, three bowls of sweet rice balls soup (serve with either 6 or 9 balls in a bowl), fruits, chicken, and pork. Also, a pair of dragon-phoenix candles and incense will be lit in order to pay respect to their ancestors. Besides the basics, both sides need to prepare some other items respectively. For groom, his family will prepare a comb, round mirror, red thread, ruler, red scissors, and a double happiness towel. Whereas, the bride's family will prepare a comb, round mirror, red thread, red scissors, double happiness towel, perfume press powder, sewing kit, and a red scarf. These are all symbolizing a complete sweet marriage with many generations to come.

Are you ready? Hair will be combed for four times and each stroke with an auspicious meaning.

First combing:
May you be together all your lives from beginning till the end.

Second combing:
May you have a harmonious intimate marriage till old age.

Third combing:
May you fill your home with your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren all over the place.

Final combing:
May you enjoy abundant wealth and an everlasting marriage.

At the end of the ceremony, the bride's mother will give her a treasure box filled with jewelry and red packets as a farewell gift to her treasured daughter who is leaving her childhood home.

^Chinese believed that Pomelo leaves will ward off evil spirit.

Happy Planning!

Malaysia Wedding Handbook, 2007, Sky Publisher
Hair Combing Ceremony, Chinese Wedding Guide,
Hair Dressing Ceremony,

Photo credits:
Hair Dressing Items,
Hair Combing Set,
Hair Combing Set,
Glutinous Rice Balls Soup,

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