Hokkien is a dialect group that originated from southern Fujian province. The Hokkien dialect group has similar wedding customs to Teochew but with minor differences.
1. Betrothal gift
The betrothal gift ceremony for Hokkiens is the same way like other Chinese dialect groups with both families meeting up to select an auspicious wedding date, discuss weddings and to exchange gifts. The only difference is the gift items. The Hokkiens prefer pig trotters and rice candies to be included in their gift.
2. Setting up matrimonial bed
For Hokkiens, the setting up of bed is preferably performed by the groom’s parents or grandparents. The ritual begins with changing of the bed linen with a more auspicious colour such as red, pink or lavender. Items from the betrothal gift and other special items with meanings are placed on the bed. A chant will be said together to bless the couple with a happy marriage and life together. After the ritual, no one is supposed to be touching the bed until the couple has entered the bed chamber.
3. Hair combing ritual
In each of their respective homes, the groom and bride will go through this ceremony. The hair combing ceremony is the coming of age for the wedding couple. After this ceremony, the newly-weds are counted as adults. This ceremony is performed by a good fortune lady or man. At the end of the hair combing ceremony, the couple will be served with a glutinous rice ball soup with red dates and lotus.
4. Fetching the bride
The groom is supposed to fetch the bride before the sun rises. On the wedding day, there will be a “gate crash” at the bride’s house, where the closest friends of the bride will create tasks and challenges for the groom and his best men. After finishing the tasks and when the bride’s girls are satisfied, the groom will be able to see the bride. The groom will be lifting the veil of the bride and pray to their ancestors before leaving.
5. Leaving the bride’s house
The bride has to be sheltered by a red umbrella to ward off any negative elements. For Hokkiens, the father of the bride or a male elder is preferred to be the one holding the umbrella. The matchmaker will be throwing rice grains or red beans to signify good luck to the bride. The bride is also supposed to throw a fan out of the car as she is leaving to symbolise her throwing away all the bad past and embrace the new future that is ahead of her.
6. Entering the groom’s house
The couple will not be greeted by the groom’s family at the doorway. Instead, it is best to avoid the couple as this is to prevent any future bad blood between the bride and the groom’s family. After the couple has entered the bridal room, the groom’s family will then be able to show themselves for the tea ceremony.
7. Returning to the bride’s home
According to traditions, the bride is supposed to return to her own house three days later. However, nowadays, this will take place within the same day. The bride has to change into another simpler outfit and prepare gifts for the visit back to the bride’s home. Some examples of the gift are roast pigs, an even number of oranges and traditional Hokkien candies.
The bride will be presented with “Four pieces of Gold”. Elders from both sides of the family have to pass on their heirlooms to show how cherished the bride is. Anything less than 24-karat gold is not considered pure in a chinese wedding.
9. Tea Ceremony
The tea ceremony is counted as one of the most significant aspects of a chinese wedding. During the ceremony, the couple will take turns serving their relatives a cup of tea in order of seniority.
10. Dowry Items
Dowry items primarily consist of personal items for the couple. Some of these include tea sets, beddings, clothing or gold jewellery. The tea set is mandatory as it will be used for wedding tea ceremonies. One special traditional item for Hokkiens is a set of washbasins and buckets. The Hokkiens will usually seal red dates, dried longans, dried lotus seeds and sweets into a baby potty with a piece of red paper.