Living Happily Ever After In China

I love three things

the sun the moon and you

the sun for the day

the moon for the night

and you forever

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This weekend I was invited to take part in and experience my second Chinese wedding during my time in China. Traditional Chinese weddings go a long way back - I was recently told that the traditions go back to 1066-1063 B.C. where they were written down as six rules in the Book of Rites for the union of a couple. These rules just seem so ridiculous in our modern world - for example that 

A young couple did not have to meet and fall in love before they were married because the purpose of a union was to perpetuate the family line 

This is probably also why most modern Chinese people are married in a more modern manner and throw a western style wedding. Though still keeping and following some family traditions and expectations. For example is the bride most often picked up in her family home by the groom before the wedding. The groom has to bring loads of 100 kuai notes in order to pay the brides friends and family until they will let her go.

Instead of actual gifts guests give the married couple money in these traditional red envelopes and write a personal note on the back

Instead of actual gifts guests give the married couple money in these traditional red envelopes and write a personal note on the back

Attending a Chinese wedding is such an experience and something I would say that you almost  have to see before you believe it.

The set-up of this wedding was so sweet, romantic and more Western style than the last one I went to which was almost shocking for me to attend. I guess I was just totally unprepared for the experience and it was...very very Chinese.

When we entered the wedding premises for this wedding I could totally imagine this as an over-the-top Western wedding with wedding themed walls and decorations, chocolate, flowers, cakes everywhere. But as the "show" (yes SHOW) started it all turned very...Chinese. Not sure how to characterize it in any other way.

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The host (who is a must at Chinese weddings and hired from a wedding-host company) got on the massive stage and in the next two hours he did not keep quiet for a single minute. He throw teddy bears to lucky guests, did a dance performance, hosted a 1 hour long quiz show where approximately 1/4 of the guests participated on shifts and he held the longest speeches ( very romantic once according to friend Anika who is Chinese). 

A big (angry?) bird for a lucky guest

A big (angry?) bird for a lucky guest

The quiz show

The quiz show

The lucky winner of a non-oil frying machine. She was VERY happy 

The lucky winner of a non-oil frying machine. She was VERY happy 

During the "show" 20+ courses were served in the middle of the tables and everyone shared everything which is the Chinese style of eating (it is indeed very social to eat Chinese dinners - after I have gotten use to it I just loooove it). We had everything from lobster to duck tongues to jelly fish served.

Interesting fish

Interesting fish

Deliscious dish

Deliscious dish

duck tongues. yes duck tongues

duck tongues. yes duck tongues

What was also served and shared were rice wine, beer, 65% alcoholic spirits aaaand cigarettes - all-you-can-smoke cigarettes are a must at Chinese weddings!

Rice wine

Rice wine

Maybe the thing I find the most strange: Smoking inside is one thing and it is pretty normal most places in China but handing out cigarettes at the door, at the table and as you leave. I guess taking good care of your guests can have several meanings  

Maybe the thing I find the most strange: Smoking inside is one thing and it is pretty normal most places in China but handing out cigarettes at the door, at the table and as you leave. I guess taking good care of your guests can have several meanings  

All you need for a good wedding party

All you need for a good wedding party

If this wedding had not been thrown on a Sunday I am sure it would have turned in to a massive party. Maybe it did after our table had a cheers with the happy beautiful couple and most of us left.

Beautful, interesting & very Chinese!

Me and Anika heading back after a very interesting and beautiful Chinese wedding

Me and Anika heading back after a very interesting and beautiful Chinese wedding