Traditional Chinese Weddings – HAIR COMBING CEREMONY (上头 Shang Tou)
The night before the wedding, both the Bride and Groom have to find a “Good Fortune” Woman (好命人 Hao Ming Ren) or their respective parents who have Good Fortunes, to perform the Hair Combing Ceremony. The ceremony is performed in their own home and is one of the important procedure during Traditional Chinese Wedding Preparations.
Prior to the ceremony, they will have to cleanse themselves with water immersed with pomegranate leaves or pomelo, and then change into a fresh set of clothings and shoes. The Bride will have to change to a new pair of slippers for the ceremony.
Next they will pray to the Heavens and their Ancestors before the Hair Combing Ceremony begins. The Bride would sit facing out of the house (beside a window facing the Moon) while the Groom should sit facing into the house.
The Good Fortune Woman or the parents would say out these four blessing words while combing the hair :
The first combing symbolises from beginning till the end, may the couples be together all their lives
The second combing symbolises love, harmony and respect till old age
The third combing symbolises blessing with many offsprings
The fourth combing symbolises good wealth and a long-lasting marriage
After the ceremony, the couple will eat glutinous rice balls which symbolises harmony and togetherness. This whole ceremony symbolises that the Bride and the Groom are now grownups after they get married.
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