I recently picked up a special wedding edition of the Asian Dragon magazine. Publishing a wedding magazine that caters to Chinese-Filipinos (or Chinoys) was really a great idea because not only do Chinoy brides (and grooms) realize the importance of their ancestors' wedding traditions, it also emphasizes how unique Chinoy weddings are.
Having no close relatives or friends who are traditional Chinoys, the magazine opened my chinky eyes to the wonders of wedding traditions that many Chinoy couples go through.
There's the engagement ceremony or "ting hun", loaded with symbols and rituals in formalizing the upcoming union of two families.
Similar to the Pinoy "pamamanhikan", Chinoys also have the "kiu hun" or formal asking for the bride's hand in marriage. The groom-to-be's family pays a visit to the bride-to-be's family, and chances are, if their families have never met, this is something that helps break the ice. The parents of the groom-to-be formally ask the bride-to-be's parents that she marry their son. Once the bride-to-be's parents accept the proposal, both families can discuss the details of the upcoming wedding.
One of the things that will inevitably come up during the wedding preparations is choosing an auspicious wedding date. I know it sounds unromantic to rely on the moon, the stars or on whatever astral body to make a marriage work instead of celebrating one of the couple's special days (when they met or when they formally became a couple), but hey, maybe it works for others and if as they say, you've got nothing to lose, why not schedule your wedding on a "lucky" day?
The only downside to choosing a lucky day is that most venues and suppliers will probably be more difficult to book since a lot of couples would want to get married on that day. Also, there are many other factors that have to be considered in choosing a wedding day if you are truly a believer in Chinese astrology -- the phase of the moon, the compatibility of your birth signs and your elements. What if all these can not find you a lucky day? Should you cancel your wedding? Will you start believing that you and your beloved are not meant to get married?
I just think that finding a lucky day is but a fun aspect of a wedding and that everyone would like to find ways (astrological or otherwise) to make sure a marriage will be successful but in the end, I believe that there are only two that can make or break a marriage -- the bride or the groom. Self-explanatory, right?
The magazine also has an article about the beautiful tea ceremony which is a special ritual in meeting and paying respect to the future in-laws.
The magazine was extensive in also featuring drool-worthy wedding gowns in the some of the most magnificent churches in the country, bridal cars, flowers, entourage attire, lingerie, and these Chinese-inspired cakes:
I enjoyed going through the magazine and now, I am a bit more confident that the next time I attend a Chinoy wedding, I'll be more informed of the traditions that are uniquely Chinoy.
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