Chinese Marriage Beds

Ensuring a Happy and Prosperous Marriage

Chinese marriage beds are special pieces of furniture that have a lot of tradition woven into their history. The marriage bed linens must be new and are presented to the engaged couple by the groom’s family. The placement of the marriage bed usually occurs one or two weeks before the wedding on an auspicious date often chosen by a feng shui master.

After the bed is installed, no adult may sit or sleep on it alone before the wedding, because this might bring bad luck to the bridal couple. Male children are allowed to sit and play in the confines of the cavelike bed as a way to ensure the new couple will be fertile with male offspring. It is thought that sleeping alone on the new bed could cause death to either the bride or groom, so if the groom sleeps on the new bed before the wedding, he must do so with a companion — a young boy.

Wishes for good luck, happiness, fertility and other good fortune items such as tangerines and oranges (symbols of “gold”) are placed on the bed, along with a piece of charcoal wrapped in red paper with a double “happiness” symbol. Dried red dates or persimmons are also placed there to bless the union with sweetness.

The new bride and groom might also find magnolia leaves which symbolise a harmonious marriage or either dried lotus seeds or pomegranate leaves for abundance of offspring. Other items might be found, such as red-wrapped packets of money.

Choosing the right person to do the decoration is also important. The decorator is usually invited by the bride’s family and is considered a “blessed person”. That means he or she has a happy family, good health, and wealth. Choosing the wrong person to decorate the bed could cause the couple misfortune according to Chinese superstitions.  

Choosing a lucky wedding date is probably the most important step in Chinese wedding planning. It is believed that certain months should be avoided when choosing a wedding date.

Months to Avoid

In the lunar calendar, March, July, and September are considered unlucky months to have weddings, because there are The Qingming Festival, The Ghost Festival, and The Double Ninth Festival respectively. These festivals are related to death so these months are considered not suitable for weddings. 

Lucky Months to Get Married

In Chinese culture, people believe leap months are the best for weddings.  In Chinese, leap months are called “Runyue” meaning harvest and abundance. People believe that leap months are great for couples who want to have successful marriages and happy lives.

Leap months occur about every three years in order to sync with the solar calendar. 

The next two lucky months for weddings will happen in February 2023 and June 2025 (lunar calendar), which are March 22 – April 19, 2023, July 25 – August 22, 2025, in Gregorian Calendar.

When choosing your exact wedding date, you might want to choose lucky numbers and avoid unlucky numbers. Numbers have special implications or meanings in Chinese culture.

Lucky Numbers

For example, the number “2” means “double”, “double the joy” so it is usually considered a good number, and number “8” is the luckiest number because it is similar to the pronunciation of the word “prosper” in Chinese. Number 9 is also a very lucky number, especially for weddings.

The number “9” ‘s pronunciation is the same as the Chinese word “久“ which means “long-lasting”. That’s why some people prefer to have their weddings on the 9th, 19th or 29th to hope for an enduring marriage. 

Unlucky Numbers

In Chinese culture, there are also numbers that represent death like the number “4” and “7”.  Therefore, couples might want to avoid having weddings on the 4th, 14th, 24th, 7th, 17th, and 27th.

Chinese weddings, there are superstitions regarding different colors.

Essentially, no matter what themes you are going for, red is the most important color and symbol for a happy marriage. Red tablecloths, red “double happiness” signs, and red bedding for the couple are three common must-follow wedding traditions.

Besides red, some good luck colors such as purple, gold, and pink are great choices for your wedding decorations. 

Some taboo colors for Chinese weddings are white and black. White and black are usually reserved for funerals and events that are related to death and ghosts.

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