Dating and marriage rituals in china

Submitting Betrothal Gifts: after the matchmaker informed the girl's parents that the birthdates of the couple-to-be matched, the boy's parents would arrange and submit betrothal gifts to the girl's family with the betrothal letter.

Among the submitted gifts, a wild migratory goose was considered the most important one in the Western Zhou (1046 BC-771 BC) and the Han dynasties (206 BC-220) due to it representing steadfast love.

Six Etiquettes The six etiquettes (proposing marriage, matching birthdates, submitting betrothal gifts, presenting wedding gifts, selecting a wedding date and holding a wedding ceremony) have been adopted in the traditional Chinese marriage customs since the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC-771 BC), which shows that Chinese people attach great importance to marriage and are somewhat superstitious.

Proposing Marriage: the marriageable boy's parents asked a matchmaker to propose to a potential girl at the girl's home.

The representative consanguineous marriage was between Fu Xi (one of the Three August Ones and the Five Lords) and Nv Wa, who were blood brother and sister.

The implementation of the nine-rank system in the Wei (220-265), Jin (265-420), Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-589) resulted in a rigid feudal hierarchy system, making it impossible for a noble to get married with a commoner.

Although it was superseded by the civil-service examination system in the Sui Dynasty (581-618), it was still a tradition for the concerned parties to get matched according to their social and economic status, which was followed by the Tang (618-907) Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

As the second marriage taboo in Chinese history, exogamous marriage emerged in the middle and late Neolithic Age, which strictly banned the marriage between blood brothers and sisters, and it only allowed marriage among different social groups.

In the exogamous marriage stage, it was very common for the brothers of the same family to marry a wife from the other group, and she would be the wife of all the brothers in the family, and vice versa.

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