"Tea Ceremony..." Kuching Local Custom Tip by Xinta

Kuching Local Customs: 24 reviews and 52 photos

  Tea Ceremony after Wedding
by Xinta
 
 

I know this tip is not important for most travellers. However, for those who travel far to attend a Chinese Wedding of their loved ones might think this is useful. Besides, I thought that this is quite an interesting Chinese Custom to share with those of you who are interested and curious about other races' customs besides their own.

Tea Ceremony is a local custom practise by the Chinese. It's done after the wedding, such as church wedding ceremony. However, on the wedding day, before the bride leaves the house, she will serve teas (holding the cup with both hands)alone to her parents as a sign of respect and to thank her parents for raising her.

Traditionally after the wedding, the newlyweds will serve teas (holding the cup with both hands) to their family members, by inviting them to drink tea by addressing them by formal title, eg Pa, Ma, 1st Uncle, 3rd Aunty, etc. The people being served will sit on chairs. They will serve the teas in order, starting with the groom’s parents then proceeding from the oldest family members to the youngest, e.g. the groom’s parents, then his paternal grandparents, then his maternal grandparents, then his oldest uncles and aunts, and all the way to his older brother, etc. Then this will be followed by the family members from the bride's side. In return, the newlyweds receive lucky red envelopes (“lai see” or 'ang pows' which means “lucky”.) stuffed with money or jewellery. These envelopes are placed on the platter which holds the teacups.

After all the elders have been served, it's time for those family members who are younger than the groom and bride to take over their task, and invite the groom and bride to drink tea. So, the groom and the bride will sit on the chairs and the younger members of the family will serve the tea (holding the cup with both hands) to them by addressing them with formal titles. In return, these younger ones will receive the ang pows which will be placed on the platter.

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  • Updated Mar 6, 2004
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