In Hong Kong, as Chinese tradition has it, the bride’s family should deliver the dowry to the groom’s on the day of betrothal or 1-5 days before the wedding.
The traditional dowry are complicated and most of the items are just symbolic but not very practical nowadays…
And therefore there are “Modern Chinese Dowry” now.
Those modern dowry keeps the auspicious symbolisms of the traditional dowry. Of course, it is more practical.
However, it doesn’t make the preparation easier as it also has a long long list of items to prepare.
Are you worrying now? Or feeling lost?
Easy! Ines Weddings is going to introduce you the modern Chinese dowry list — What to prepare and What to buy, in order to help you get it done easily to save your time.
What does modern dowry include?
1. Gold Jewellery
Gold ring, gold flowers, gold necklace or gold pig pendant, and of course a pair of gold Phoenix & Dragon bracelet.
In tradition, the number of the quantity and the weight of the accessories is better to end with 9 or the multiple of 9 as it symbolizes “forever”.
(In Chinese, “長長久久Chang Chang Jiu Jiu” means “long-lasting/forever”, and the pronunciation of “久Jiu” is same with “9” in Chinese.)
2. Beddings Set
The bedding set includes pillows and bed sheets, which should be prepared by the bride’s family.
A new pair of pillows with phoenix & dragon embroidery are suggested as it is a blessing to the new-weds — wishing them a good fortune. (In Chinese tradition, the phoenix and dragon are said to bring the prosperity to the couples.)
And the quilt is called “He Huan Bei” in Chinese, which imports happiness and prosperity in descendants for the new weds.
The quantity of the bedding set are usually 4, 6, 8, or 12 set(must be in even numbers).
As for the style and colour, one of them should be in red colour and the other sets are all up to you.
One more thing to pay attention: Don’t forget about the season. The wedding is in Spring? Or Winter?
Other beddings includes: a pair of home slippers, 2 sets of pajamas, a pair of socks, 2 sets of underwear (one for the bride and one for the groom)
3. Off-spring Bucket, Phoenix & Dragon Tableware(bowl and chopsticks)
The Chinese spittoon referred to as the buckets of off-spring“子孫桶”, which wishes fertility on the couple.
Tableware (bowls and chopsticks) with Phoenix & Dragon pattern has the blessing of living well.
The bucket is cover with a piece of red clothe/paper and fill with 8 items
Including: Red peanut, Red dates, Longan, 5 Red duck eggs, Popcorn, a bundle of chopsticks, a pack of tissue, a small bundle of cypress.
And fill the other bucket with rice with the red dates and longan on top.
Both two bucket should be cover with a red clothes/paper and with a small bundle of cypress and a word “囍” in red colour on it.
4. Red Washbasins
Get two red washbasins, put the leather shoes, socks and hat (which the bride brought for her grandparents) into one of the washbasin.
Also, put the socks, peanuts and sweets(2 of each) into the shoes.
Put the health scale, a pot of Rohdea japonica with seed into another washbasin.
Put some red dates, longan and a bundle of cypress into both two washbasins and cover it with the word “囍”.
5. Red Suitcase
Red thread, Green thread, Mung beans, Dried longan, Dried lichee, Red Dates, Mirror, Ruler, Scissor, Comb, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Towel, Pajamas, etc.
Also the bride’s family should prepare the things for the tea ceremony, including a candy tray, tea set(2 cups, a tea tray, a teapot), happiness candies(喜糖), candies, and lotus.
6. Furniture, Electrical Household Appliances
Those are also essentials as part of dowry.
In general, these may include refrigerator, washing machines, and televisions.
However, some of the families will also gift the air-conditioner, desktop, dressing tables.
It is all depends on the families’ preference or their financial situation.
What you should be aware of when preparing the dowry. (Dos & Don’ts)
The auspicious day for the ceremony of the delivery of the dowry is usually 1-5 day before the wedding.
Most the new-weds choose to deliver the dowry on the day of bed setting ceremony.
And who to hold the ceremony? It’s used to be the Chinese Wedding Master or 2 of the bride’s friends or family members.
The dowries are not just having their auspicious symbolisms, but also representing the wealth and reputation of the bride’s family…
The more generous the Chinese dowry amount is, the higher reputation the family has.
Of course, some of the etiquettes are considered outdated todays and we should make it more appropriate for the times.
Here’s the Dos & Don’ts when preparing the dowry:
- Groom’s and bride’s family Should Not meet each others on the day before wedding.
- All the dowry and the car that use for delivery Should be tied with red silk.
- The number of car and deliverer Should be even number.
- The groom’s family Should give the deliverer some happiness cigarettes, happiness candies or red packet to show thankfulness.
- DO NOT gift the bed, pot, and clock as dowry.
- The number of the daily essentials of the bride and groom, such as the bedsheets, washbasin, mirror, cups, towel for pillow, chair, vase, etc. Should be even number.