07 December 2009

Ancient Wedding Carriage

We did a little overnight trip to Zhongshan (中山) over the weekend. Zhongshan is the hometown of Dr. Sun Yat-sen (considered by many to be Father of Modern China). More about that in later posts, but what I really want to show you is this:

A real wedding carriage from the olden days. We visited Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s home and one of the rooms featured was a “newlywed room” with the wedding carriage right there.


In traditional Chinese wedding custom, the groom sends a wedding carriage to pick up the bride from her parents’ house. The carriage is decorated in red, considered a lucky color by the Chinese. Four menservants carry the carriage on their shoulders, with the bride inside. There is usually a procession with musicians playing wedding music along the way .

The red “double happiness” character that you see on the wall signifies, well, happiness for both the bride and the groom. It is actually made up of two separate “happiness” characters joined together. Each Chinese character is a poem unto itself. It’s taken me these many years to appreciate that.


The “newlywed room” in ancient times.


The whole ancient wedding custom of transporting the bride in a wedding carriage, the bride wearing bright red, of the groom's "spokesman" carrying the bride on his back from the house to the carriage so that her feet would not touch the ground, and many other colorful practices all make for interesting reading (and viewing -in films), but I'm glad I live in modern times.


blueviolet said...

Some of my favorite books detail customs such as this. Thank you for showing these! I find Chinese tradition especially fascinating.

Yelena R. said...

Wow, very cool! I always think that ancient wedding traditions were interesting but I'm still glad that I live the in the present times :)

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

Why can't her feet touch the ground? That sounds like a romantic celebration. I love the table for two and the nice red bed.

Wanda said...

Wow....so beautiful and interesting. Thanks for sharing this little peek into the past. Imagine, your feet not touching the ground.

I'm with you though. I can marvel and appreciate it but I'd rather have my feet on the ground.

Menopausal New Mom said...

Wow! The carriage looks like something right out of a fairy tale but I'm with you, I prefer modern days!

Lindy said...

Yeah - I wouldn't like being "taken" to my groom, I'll drive my own damn self. :)

Aunt LoLo said...

How cool! But I must say...there's nothing in that "newlywed room" that would put me particularly at EASE on my first night as a bride! Brick walls...everything looks so cold and austere! I wonder if the walls had hangings on them originally...

Leslie said...

wow gorgeous!!

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