Chinese dating, love, and funerals

If you are new to Chinese dating, the one thing you’ve probably already picked up on is that the customs in China are a lot different from those in the West. You might expect Chinese customs for funerals to be different as well, but did you know that they are actually a lot like Chinese weddings?

Chinese wedding

Let’s start with the phrase “hongbai xishi,” which means “red-white happy events.”  In China, red is the symbolic color for weddings and white represents funerals.  Lots of companies even market themselves as hongbai xishi experts, which means you could find your wedding and funeral planner all in the same person!

Although both events might involve some celebration, how else are Chinese weddings and funerals similar?  Here’s a look at a few:

  • Lots of food. Weddings and funerals always involve lots of food, but in China, this goes beyond what you might expect.  In China, there seems to be banquet after banquet set up much like a wedding reception, right down to the tables and flowing alcohol.
  • Money.  Money plays a big role in Chinese weddings and funerals.  At weddings, couples are typically presented with that iconic red envelope stuffed with money.  However, the same goes for Chinese funerals.  Guests typically present the bereaved family with the same.
  • Processionals.  At weddings, the bride is lifted and her dowry items follow with jubilance. At funerals, it isn’t quite the same, but there is an ornate procession to the tomb filled with colorful clothing and traditional white caps of mourning.  There is also somber music for the funeral procession.
  • Firecrackers.  The Chinese like to send newlyweds and the recently deceased off with a bang!  Firecrackers are used at both weddings and funerals.  They can be used as an explosive good-bye and to wish people well on their next journey.

If your Chinese dating grows into something more serious, you will undoubtedly attend both Chinese weddings and funerals, so don’t be shocked at the similarities.

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