Wedding shoes customs in China
Here are wedding shoes customs in various places in China.
Zhejiang [Õã½]- Sewing wedding shoes before sunrise.
The bride from the southern part of Zhejiang [Õã½ÄÏ²¿] will assemble her own wedding shoes on wedding day before sunrise.
The shoes base, the pink or yellow shoe facing with double phoenix and peony [Ë«·ï²ÉÄµµ¤] embroidery, the white shoe inlay with the double joy [Ë«Ï²] embroidery were pre-made. An unmarried lady with both parents still alive or a grandmother with many children and grandchildren are eligible to pre-make these.
On wedding day before sunrise, the bride will sit on a bucket of rice resting her feet on a rice sieve. She will assemble her wedding shoes with the help of the unmarried lady. The shoes must be completed before sunrise.
Once completed, the wedding shoes are left in the rice sieve and worn just before the bride board the wedding sedan [ÉÏ½ÎÐ¬].
The bride will wear this pair of wedding shoes for three days and then put them away. At the full month of celebration of her firstborn, she will wear this pair of wedding shoes again.
The groom¡¯s black fabric wedding shoes are made by an unmarried lady with both parents still living or a grandmother with many children and grandchildren. He may wear the shoes till they are worn-out.
Fujian [¸£½¨]- Wearing the red wedding shoes for life
The wedding shoes customs on Chongwu peninsular [³çÎä°ëµº] of Fujian Hui-an [¸£½¨»Ý°²], is similar.
The bride will also make her own red embroidered wedding shoes for wearing as she gets on the wedding sedan [Ì¤½ÎÐ¬]. The shoes base is made with an inch thick of old fabric or an old shoes base.
The bride will wear her wedding shoes again at any auspicious events such as full month celebrations for her children and grandchildren£¬and the weddings of her sons.
This practice is referred to as ¡°a pair of red shoes for life¡± [Ò»Ë«ºìÐ¬´©µ½ËÀ] as they are also her burial shoes.
Anhui Wuhu [°²»ÕÎßºþ]- Swapping of wedding shoes
In Wuhu [Îßºþ] a pair of homemade wedding shoes each for the bride and groom is included in the bride¡¯s dowry. The bride¡¯s shoes must fit into the groom¡¯s shoes.
On wedding day the bride and groom will swap shoes while entering the bridal chamber to symbolize sharing of harmony [Í¬Ð¬Í¬ÙÉ].
Jiangnan [½ÄÏ]- Bride wearing the groom¡¯s wedding shoes
For the Han people [ºº×å] in Jiangnan [½ÄÏ], the bride will change into the groom¡¯s shoes as she alight the wedding sedan. She will enter the groom¡¯s home in his shoes [Ì¤·òÐ¬/µ¸ÐöÐ¬] to symbolize a harmonious marriage.
Lijiang [Àö½]- Throwing the groom¡¯s wedding shoes under the bed
The Naxi minority [ÄÉÎ÷×å] living in Lijiang [Àö½] around the Sichuan [ËÄ´¨], Yunnan [ÔÆÄÏ] area will play a trick on the groom with his wedding shoes.
The Naxi bride will present her in-laws and groom with new shoes according to their wedding customs. In the wedding chamber, the gate-crashers will snatch the groom¡¯s new wedding shoes and throw them deep under the bridal bed.
This forces the groom to humble himself when he bends to retrieve his shoes for wearing [»»½ÅÐ¬]. Thus, a harmonious marriage is ensured.
Jiangsu Haizhou [½ËÕº£ÖÞ]-
unbuttoning the bride¡¯s blouse before she removes the groom¡¯s wedding shoes.
In the Jiangsu Haizhou [½ËÕº£ÖÞ] area once the gate-crashers leave the bridal chamber, the groom will unbutton one button of the bride¡¯s blouse. This wedding custom is referred to as ¡°releasing or opening bosom¡± [½â»³/¿ª»³]; the first private act between the newly married husband and wife. It carries the intention of starting a family quickly.
After this, the bride will remove the groom¡¯s wedding shoes and socks to show her respect for and commitment to him.
Zhongmin island [³çÃ÷µº]¨C brides who wear tiger head wedding shoes
On Zhongmin island [³çÃ÷µº] it is customary for brides to wear wedding shoes decorated with tiger heads [»¢Í·Ð¬].
Tiger head shoes are traditionally worn by infant to protect them from evil influences. Zhongmin brides hope that the tiger, king of beasts will provide them some leverage for their positions in their husbands¡¯ family.
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