Cultural Wedding Ceremony Comparison

Every country has their own way of marrying two people that want to spend the rest of their life together. Each has their own unique ritual of how they go about a wedding ceremony. African and Chinese cultures both have very intriguing ways of how they proceed with their ceremony. It is found that there are many differences between the two of these cultures. This is a result of their own independent beliefs and traditions which causes them to go about their own unique ritual, although there are few similarities between the two countries. In the Chinese culture the wedding date is chosen based upon astrological signs and birthdates.

Every Chinese ceremony commences on the half an hour which is the belief that will guarantee good fortune for the new couple. The night before wedding day the bride is bathed in citrus-infused water in another belief that it will cleanse her of her evil influences. This is the only way in which the two ceremonies are similar because they both consist of the bride being bathed before the wedding, although which is done in their own individual style. The bride in a Chinese wedding will be seen wearing three different dresses throughout wedding day.

These dresses include a traditional white dress, a traditional Chinese bridal dress, and a cocktail dress. Also the groom will be placed through a series Mitchell2 of tests and stunts to prove that he is worthy to claim his future wife. When the bride arrives at the grooms’ home she is always greeted with firecrackers, gongs, and is forced to jump over an iron basin lit with charcoal to represent prosperity and to again cleanse of all evil spirits. The Chinese culture with also uphold their traditional tea ceremony. The bride will serve tea to her parents as a sign of respect.

The Chinese wedding ceremony is always filled with symbolism. Their ceremony represents a ladder that the new couple will climb to success. On the other hand the African wedding ceremony is a tradition that stems all the way back to the days of slavery when slaves were not allowed to marry. Their marriage ceremony is a ritual well-known as “jumping the broom”. This ritual was created to represent the beginning of their new life together. The new couple will jump over a broom at the same time and are pronounced married after they have done so. The broom is often decorated with ribbon and tulle.

On wedding day the bridesmaids bathe the bride in hammam before dressing her previous to the ceremony. During a libation ceremony a prayer is said and an elder presents water and liquor as an offering to god and their ancestors for their blessing. Then the groom will ask permission from the brides’ mother to marry her daughter while presenting her father with gifts to symbolize his ability to care. Another tradition is the tasting of the four elements during the ceremony. The four elements consist of lemon for sour, vinegar for bitter, cayenne for hot, and honey for sweet. The four tastes are a symbol of the different moods of married life.

Sometimes tribes will mound the couples’ wrists with plaited grass when walking down the aisle, and others just hold hands. Mitchell3 The difference between these two countries with their ceremonies represents their freedom of independent beliefs, which leads to separate traditions. Although, the similarities between the two ceremonies are also intriguing. Both wedding rituals consist of a lot of symbolism. Most of the symbolism that is present for both cultures also represents their beliefs, and every time their beliefs are symbolized is how their cultures are shown to be unique.

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