Each Asian country has its own set of amazingly various social customs and traditions. One of the most important is obviously the union of two individuals in marriage.
When it comes to weddings, the rich diversity of Asian cultures, traditions and religions makes for a wide variety of colorful and fascinating wedding traditions. What makes weddings absolutely beautiful in this part of the globe is that traditions truly differ from one country to another. Regardless of how diverse these wedding traditions may be though, they all celebrate the beauty of marriage and love.
As Asian wedding traditions are so fascinating, we thought we would explore some of these traditions from different Asian countries.
- Wedding Traditions in Japan
While those in the west tend to lean towards the traditional white wedding gown, women in Japan lean towards beautifully colored silk kimonos instead. They are often embroidered with purple iris flowers because in Japan the color purple symbolizes love. The wedding ceremony itself is traditionally either Shinto or Buddhist. During a Shinto ceremony the earth’s natural spirits are asked to bless the newlyweds. During a Buddhist ceremony two strings of beautiful beads are woven together to symbolize the union of two into one.
- Wedding Traditions in Indonesia
The traditional weddings in Indonesia are generally immense - with more than 1,000 guests. The bride usually arrives first and the groom, arriving second, usually receives the greater amount of fanfare. Before the reception can actually start, the bride and groom must greet each guest individually as they pass by in a receiving line - this.
process becoming therefore a quite long one. Some Indonesian weddings are held in venues with space for cots to be set up so that kids can rest while their parents party throughout the night.
- Filipino Wedding Traditions
It seems that Filipino wedding customs have evolved over the past few centuries. Formerly, the groom would throw a spear towards the front steps of the home in which his intended lived, as a sign that she was taken. The wedding, which lasted three days, would consist of daily ceremonies until the third day, during which the couple would declare their love and be officially married. Nowadays things work differently. The spear has been replaced with a traditional engagement ring and the wedding generally follows Catholic tradition.
- Korean Wedding Traditions
In Korea, the pre-wedding customs are just as important as the wedding itself. It is customary for a kung-hap, or a fortune teller, to visit the couple and look into their future. The kung-hap is looking to conclude whether the newlyweds will live a harmonious life together or not. In case it is determined that they will not live harmoniously the wedding will never take
place. This is considered extremely important - to know in advance - as many families spend more than $30-40,000 on engagement gifts before even considering the cost of the wedding itself.
- Chinese Wedding Traditions
In China the wedding gown for a bride is generally bright red, a color that stands for luck. Her dress is frequently covered with peonies, phoenixes, and chrysanthemums – all embroidered in gold – as these symbolize good fortune. Customarily, the family of the groom gives the family of the bride an entire roasted pig, as a gift upon the couple’s engagement. During both the ceremony and reception one can hear quite a lot of firecrackers – they use these to scare the evil spirits away.
- Indian Wedding Traditions
In most Indian countries, particularly those with primarily Hindu cultures, it is considered bad luck for the bride and groom to see each other not just on the day of the wedding but for a few days before.
During the ceremony the parents of the bride wash the feet of the bride and groom with milk and water – which symbolizes the fact that they have been purified before starting their new lives as one. The bride and groom will also hold rice, oats, and leaves in their hands that signifies happiness, health, as well as prosperity.
- Wedding Traditions in Thailand
When it comes to a Thai wedding, the bride and groom are required to prepare a meal for the local monks before the wedding. After the meal the monks bless the couple and then they can continue with their ceremony. All the while the ceremony one will not notice hundreds of guests – as generally it’s only the closest relatives and friends.
The bride and groom each sit with their hands folded and linked together with a chain of flowers. The ceremony is led by the oldest member of the family. During the ceremony he will dip their hands into a shell full of water, an act that symbolizes luck. After he has completed this blessing the rest of the guests will follow to do the same thing.
The life of a married couple signifies a new beginning – as they leave their pasts behind and start a new life together.
Although each country has its own special traditions, each celebrates the beauty of marriage and, most important, love.
What other fascinating Asian wedding traditions do you know? Have you ever attended an Asian wedding? Share with us in the comments below.