Chinese wedding is popular in Thailand, especially amongst the Thai Chinese. These ceremonies can be very intricate and exceptional starting from preparation for the wedding, to the actual wedding banquet. It is a very elaborate and long process.
To begin with, preparing for the wedding entails the bride to be retreating to a secluded part of the house with only her closest of friends. She will then sing, mourning the separation from her family that she is to experience. This often takes place in a cockloft, which is commonly referred to as “coming out of the cockloft” when the bride emergences on her wedding day.
Second, the groom must prepare the bridal bed before the wedding. A man or women do the installing of a newly purchased bed, which have many children or living mates and a promising hour. After the bed is intact, the children are invited onto it as an omen of fertility. More children make the omen stronger and more fertile. The bed is also scattered with fruits such as peanuts, seeds, and oranges.
Initiating the bride and groom into adulthood is a very important part of the wedding rituals. The bride will experience a Hair Dressing Ritual, whereas the groom will experience the Capping Ritual.
The Hair Dress Ritual occurs at dawn, the day of the wedding, or on the night before the wedding day. The bride is to bathe in water that contains pomelo, to cleanse her of any evil spiritual influences. This will also soften her skin for her wedding. Afterward, she will sit before already lit dragon-and-phoenix candles. A “good luck woman” will attend this ritual, preparing the bride’s hair while speaking words in the style of a married woman. When the hair is styled for the wedding, the bride can then come out of her seclusion, being carried on the back of the “good luck woman.” Wearing a pair of red shoes, which symbolizes joy, she will also wear a skirt and jacket. Her face is to be covered with a red veil hung from the bridal phoenix crown.
The Capping Ritual begins with the groom wearing a long gown accompanied with red shoes and a silk sash, also symbolizing joy. The groom is to kneel at the families altar, as his father places a cypress leave-decorated cap onto his head. The groom will bow for the Heaven and Earth, as well as any of his ancestors, parents, and other attending family members. After this, the father will place his silk ball from the groom’s sash onto the sedan bridal chair.
When the capping and hairdressing rituals are out of the way, thus begins obtaining the bride by the groom. You will know when this process begins when you hear loud gongs and drums. This announces the groom leading the procession, normally with a child, symbolizing his future son. As well as the small child. The groom will also be accompanied by the sedan bridal chair, wedding guests, musicians, etc. When the groom and the rest of his party arrive at the bride’s house, they must please the bride’s party with red pouches of money, reaching an agreement so as the bride’s party will surrender her to the groom. This ceremony varies from family to family. The ceremonies are always symbolic and important to Chinese marriage itself.