The getting together of a male and female in marriage is considered to be a sacred bond. With this aspect in common each culture has its own customs and traditions to do with marriage.
The wedding dress is one of the most important elements of a marriage which speaks a lot about the culture of the region. The Chinese wedding dress with its uniqueness is a prominent symbol of the Chinese culture.
Chinese wedding dresses and rituals
The traditional style of Chinese wedding dresses has gained world wide recognition in recent years. The strikingly attractive feature of Chinese wedding dresses is the artistic embroidery that they are adorned with. In China the wearing of the dress is accompanied with a host of rituals and traditions that are till date present in the culture.
The wedding dress is actually tailored around the do’s and don’ts of the ancient Chinese wedding rituals. For instance, in the Chinese culture the wearing of black denotes sorrow and grief. The same goes for other dark colors like grey and blue. These are the kinds of colors that are worn on funerals and not on weddings.
The color of the wedding dress should reflect joy and happiness.
This is why the two most prominent colors used for dyeing the wedding dress are red and white in the Chinese culture. According to tradition the color red reflects prosperity and love. This is why traditionally the Chinese wedding dress had red as its base color. You will find a lot of other traditional wedding decorations like ribbons, candles and flowers in red.
Chinese wedding dress styles
The wealthy Chinese couples would have exclusive embroidery on their wedding dresses using gold and silver threads. Such embroidery work would most often be done on the borders. Not every tailor can work with gold and silver threads which is why skilled craftsmen are called upon to do this job.
There are a number of dress designs that have been used as wedding dresses in China. The most popular of these is the one piece frock known as Qi Pao. This was and still is popular amongst the younger women getting married.
The Gua, Chengsam or Kam are variations of a two piece dress that was most popular in the region of southern China. The women also wear an exclusively designed head dress during the wedding ceremony.
Another element that was always part of the traditional Chinese wedding dress for men and women was the Chengasm. This was a symbol of a dragon and a phoenix imprinted on the wedding dress.
The dragon is a highly revered image in Chinese tradition representing power. According to Chinese tradition the image of the dragon and phoenix together symbolize the natural balance that exists between man and woman.
The groom would be suited up in a black silk coat on top of which he would wear a dragon robe. The wardrobe of Chinese wedding dresses is believed to have been handed down from the Qing dynasty.