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Tea Ceremony for Chinese Weddings

The Tea Ceremony in Chinese weddings seal the marriage.  With this ceremony the couple first bows to the heavens for blessing.  After that, the bride and  groom serve tea for the groom's family.  This symbolizes sweet family relations, prosperity and fertility.

Tea is the perfect drink to serve because serving tea shows respect.  Lotus seeds and 2 red dates are added to the tea.  This symbolizes the couple's fertility to have a lot of children.  The sweet tea also symbolizes sweet relations with the groom's family. 

Before going to the wedding, the bride serves tea to her parents.  This will show her gratitude to them for raising her.

During the wedding, both the bride and groom serve the tea to the groom's family.  They are assisted by the appointed lucky woman.  The lucky woman is a chosen family or friend who has had good fortune in her marriage.  She is a happy wife, with lots of children and has had a prosperous life. 

All members of the grooms family are seated according to age and degree of respect.  It is customary for the women to be on the left side of their spouses.  The same with the bride and groom. 

The bride will serve tea to the father in law first, while the groom serves tea to his mother.  They serve tea to all members of the family thereafter, using the appropriate formal title.   All family members are served; from the eldest, to the groom's older brother. 

After being served, the family members place a lucky red envelope (or lai see on the tea serving platter.  These lai see contain money or jewelry.  The lucky women are also given lai see.

Chinese Tea Ceremony and its Importance

Tea is actually part of China's culture. Chinese Tea ceremony differs greatly from that of English, British and Japanese Tea ceremony. Aside from being the customary drink, Chinese use tea as their herbal medicine and as part of their cuisine as well. Tea is also one of the seven daily necessities in traditional Chinese, the others being firewood, rice, oil, soy sauce, vinegar, and salt.

There are different Chinese customs that would give meaning to Chinese Tea ceremony:

1. Chinese Tea Ceremony on Wedding Day

This is customary especially to large families so they could meet the other family and exchange warm welcomes. During the tea ceremony the couple will call on each family member according to their title. Drinking the tea means acceptance of both family. Most of the time, the elders will give red envelopes to the couple.

2. To Apologize

Classic example is when children pour tea for their parents would mean they are asking for their forgiveness.

3. Family Gatherings

Usually when Chinese children leave home for school or marriage they would meet their parents and family members on a Sunday over lunch and after on a Tea house.

4. Sign of respect

The young ones can treat their elders on tea houses especially on holidays to show their respect. Or when higher ranking persons come to visit them, they pour tea for them.