Marry the Bride (2)

The Bride’s Journey to the Groom’s House

clip image002 thumb2 Marry the Bride (2)The “good luck woman” or a Dajin, employed by the bride’s family to look after the bride, carried the bride on her back to the sedan chair. Another attendant might shield the bride with a parasol while a third tossed rice at the sedan chair. Sometimes the bride was borne out in a wooden “cage” with her feet padlocked, presumably a remnant from rougher times with extremely reluctant brides. A sieve, Shaizi, which would strain out evil, and a metallic mirror, king, which would reflect light, were clip image004 thumb1 Marry the Bride (2)suspended at the rear of the bride’s sedan to protest her from evil influence. The bride might also attach a special mirror to her garment, which she would not remove until she was safely seated upon the marriage bed.

Firecrackers were set off to frighten away evil spirits as the bride departed in the sedan chair. The physical movement symbolized the transfer of the bride form her parent’s family to her husband’s.

Great care was taken to ensure that no inauspicious influence would affect the marriage. The female attendants who escorted the bride to her new home were chosen with particular care that the horoscope animal of their birth years were compatible with that of the bridegroom. The sedan chair itself was heavily curtained to prevent the bride from inadvertently glimpsing an unlucky sight, e.g., a widow, a well, or even a cat. Attendants scattered grain or beans, symbols of fertility, before her.

The bride-welcoming ceremony of traditional wedding was passed down for thousands of years and reserved most of the elements. Today it’s still commonly seen in the street –though the sedan has been replaced by modern cars.

Characters thumb2 Marry the Bride (2)

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