Planning a wedding can be challenging, and things can get more complex if you happen to be part of a Filipino-Chinese couple. Many Filipino-Chinese traditions run deep, especially when it comes to getting married. Here are some additional wedding ceremonies your marriage may entail.
Deciding to get married involves seeking the approval of both sides. The initial step is for the groom's side to arrange for a Kiu Hun--this is the Chinese version of our pamamanhikan. To formally ask for the bride's hand in marriage, the groom, his parents, and one of his married siblings or an unmarried male sibling will visit the bride and her family. There should also be the same, even number of members from each side. Younger, unmarried siblings are not allowed to be present during this occasion.
After a date and time has been set for the Kiu Hun, the groom's family will visit the bride's home with a basket of round fruits, candies, and sweets as symbols of luck. In return, the bride's family may prepare a bowl of noodles for each guest, and some sticky sweets, too.
The families will then discuss the dates for the Ting Hun and the wedding.
In the olden days, a Ting Hun was a must for every Chinese soon-to-wed couple. Now, most families either opt for a simplified Ting Hun, or none at all. This major celebration involves a lot of preparation from both sides.
The Chinese zodiacs of the couple are used to determine the date of the Ting Hun. The ceremony is usually done in the morning at the bride's residence, a restaurant, or a hotel. The bride's family will determine the number of tables for the Ting Hun, as most of the guests will be from the bride's side.
A list of items to be used in the ceremony--including jewelry, cloth, and giveaways--may be attained from Chinese wedding guide books or by asking an older relative. These items are to be packed in pairs.
Kwa Ke Tseng
Traditionally, the bride stays with the groom's family after the wedding. While most Pinoy couples transfer the bride's items to the groom's house as the wedding day draws near, Filipino-Chinese couples organize the move through the Kwa Ke Tseng.
An auspicious day is set, and the bride's male relatives will transport all her items--labeled with Sang Hee stickers that signify double happiness--to her new home. This is to ensure that the bride will have a smooth-sailing life.
Bridal Gown Delivery
While gown designers may offer free gown delivery to the bride's residence, for Filipino-Chinese couples, the groom is tasked to pick the gown up and deliver this personally to his bride. The moment the groom delivers the gown, the bride and groom are not allowed to see each other until their wedding day, as doing so could bring bad luck.
A bride usually takes hours to get ready on the wedding day, but the Kan Chiu adds something extra to the preparations.
For the Kan Chiu, the bride wears a red silk bathrobe as she gets herself made up. As soon as she slips on her wedding gown, the father of the bride performs a combing ritual, which symbolizes removing all the bad luck that the bride might bring to her new family. After this, the comb is thrown on the floor, and only a non-family member can pick up the comb for disposal.
As soon as the festivities are over, the newlyweds go straight to their new home--or in most cases, their hotel room--and wait for the Uwa Hue to begin. Uwa Hue literally means "exchange of flowers," and this practice brings luck to the bride's family. Two of the bride's unmarried brothers or male relatives will give bouquets to the newlyweds. In exchange, the male relatives will be given a token of appreciation (in most cases, an ang pao) each.
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