Ancient wedding ritual revived


  • Nation
  • Monday, 02 Jan 2012

MALACCA: Dressed in traditional Chinese wedding costume, a couple here tied the knot according to the ancient Zhou wedding ritual.

Diana Tong Huey Li and her husband Leong Jiun Wee, both 33, decided to exchange marriage vows by going through the ancient ritual as they think that it was the blueprint for all Chinese wedding rituals.

“There are many wedding rituals from the different dynasties. But most rituals evolved from the basic steps of the wedding ritual that was started during the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC).

“That’s why we decided to go for the Zhou-style wedding ceremony,” said Tong after the ceremony at Cheng Ho Tea House in Jalan Kampung Kuli here.

Both Tong and her artist husband Leong were dressed in elaborate red wedding suits.

Led by the wedding emcee, they entered the hall and sat face-to-face across a table and completed the simple traditional rituals in about 30 minutes.

The ritual included wo guan where the bride and groom were served with water to wash their hands, followed by tong lao he jin, where the couple ate food from the same plate and drank wine from each other’s cup.

“This was to signify that they would share their happiness and sorrow together,” said Tong, adding they expressed gratitude and respect to their parents during the ceremony.

The personal assistant revealed that she travelled to Beijing, China with her husband in May last year to source their wedding costumes.

“We consulted some veterans on our wedding details,” she said, adding they brought back several items, including a wine glass and incense burner used during the ceremony.

Asked why they opted for a different wedding ceremony, Tong said it was strange that most Chinese couples nowadays ‘go Western’ while planning their wedding.

“The traditional Chinese wedding ceremony is unique on its own and ought to be appreciated,” she said, adding that she spent about six months in preparation.

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