We already know that each Asian country has its own set of incredibly diverse social customs and traditions. These traditions stem not only throughout their daily lives but to special events as well. One of the most important, of course, is the union of two individuals in marriage. Wedding customs in Asian countries are distinct and in most cases very beautiful. Join us as we explore the traditions celebrated on Asian wedding days.
7. Wedding Traditions in Japan
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While those in the west tend to lean towards the traditional white wedding gown, women in Japan lean towards beautifully colored silk kimonos instead. They are often embroidered with purple iris flowers because in Japan the color purple represents love. The wedding ceremony itself is traditionally either Shinto or Buddhist. During a Shinto ceremony the earth’s natural spirits are asked to bless the newlyweds. During a Buddhist ceremony two strings of beautiful beads are woven together to symbolize the union of two into one.
6. Chinese Wedding Traditions
The wedding gown for a bride in China is usually bright red, a color that symbolizes luck. Her dress is usually covered with peonies, phoenixes, and chrysanthemums – all embroidered in gold – as these represent good fortune. Traditionally, the family of the groom gives the family of the bride a whole pig, roasted, as a gift upon the couple’s engagement. During both the ceremony and reception you’ll hear quite a number of firecrackers – they’re used to scare the evil spirits away.
5. Wedding Traditions in Indonesia
The traditional weddings you’ll find in Indonesia are often huge, generally with more than 1,000 guests in attendance. The bride usually arrives first and the groom, arriving second, usually receives the greater amount of fanfare. Before the reception itself can begin the bride and groom must greet each guest individually as they pass by in a receiving line.
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With more than 1,000 guests in attendance, this can become quite a lengthy process. Some Indonesian weddings are held in venues with space for cots to be set up so that children can rest while their parents party throughout the night. You may want to stay at your hotel in Indonesia for a couple of extra days to recuperate before moving on after this event.
4. Korean Wedding Traditions
In Korea, the pre-wedding traditions are just as important as the wedding itself. It is customary for a kung-hap, or a fortune teller, to visit the couple and look into their future. The kung-hap is looking to determine whether or not the newlyweds will live a harmonious life together. If it is determined that they will not live harmoniously the wedding never takes place. This is considered incredibly important to know in advance because many families spend more than $30-40,000 on engagement gifts before even considering the cost of the wedding itself.
3. Filipino Wedding Traditions
Filipino wedding traditions, like so many others, have evolved over the past few centuries. Originally, the groom would throw a spear towards the front steps of the home in which his intended lived as a sign that she was taken. The wedding, which lasted three days, would consist of daily ceremonies until the third day, during which the couple would declare their love and be officially married. Today things work differently. The spear has been replaced with a traditional engagement ring and the wedding usually follows Catholic tradition.
2. Indian Wedding Traditions
In many Indian countries, especially those with primarily Hindu cultures, it is bad luck for the bride and groom to see each other not just on the day of the wedding but for a few days before.
During the ceremony itself the parents of the bride will use milk and water to wash the feet of the bride and groom to symbolize that they have been purified before starting their new lives as one. The bride and groom will also hold rice, oats, and leaves in their hands to symbolize happiness, health, and prosperity.
1. Wedding Traditions in Thailand
Before a Thai wedding the bride and groom are required o prepare a meal for the local monks. After the meal the monks give the couple their blessing and they can then go forward with their ceremony. During the ceremony you won’t find hundreds of guests – often only the closest relatives and friends.
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The bride and groom each sit with their hands folded and linked together with a chain of flowers. The ceremony is led by the oldest member of the family and he will dip their hands into a shell full of water to symbolize luck. After he has completed this blessing the rest of the guests will do the same thing.
The life of a married couple symbolizes a new beginning. They leave their pasts behind and start a new life – together. While each country has its own special traditions, each still celebrates the beauty of marriage and, most important, love.