Travel, Teach, Live in China

Oriental Wedding Gifts
By:Rhonda McDowell

According to Radio86.co.uk, a European site dedicated to news and information regarding Chinese customs and traditions, the culture of gift giving among the Chinese people encompasses taboos and superstitions. Some items are considered bad luck or offensive. Knowing what an appropriate Oriental wedding gift is requires looking into the significance and meaning of the item in Chinese culture.

Tea Sets
Tea sets in ornate designs often pass as suitable Oriental wedding gifts. In fact, tea sets are befitting as this is actually part of the wedding ceremony itself. During the ceremony, the bride and groom perform a traditional tea ritual to worship their parents and ancestors, believing that this is essential to binding the marriage. This ritual is equivalent to saying vows in Western weddings. Tea sets can include a few extras in the gift package, such as packets of specially chosen teas, linens, music CDs and incense.

According to China Town Connection, a Houston-based website that aims to promote the local Chinatown in their area, tradition dictates that wedding presents such as tea sets be given days before the wedding date because the gift can be used for the ceremony.

Red Home Items
According to Cultural-China.com, a nonprofit website affiliated with Shanghai News and Press Bureau, the Chinese regard the color red as a symbol of prosperity. In traditional weddings, this is usually a requirement, and red is prominently seen in invitations, banners or as the color of the table runner at the wedding reception. Going with this thought, lamps, bedding, tablecloths or other basic home items in bold red colors may be appreciated as a wedding gift. Gifting the marrying couple something in red is akin to wishing them a successful marriage.

Golden Jewelry or Figurines
Like the color red, gold is also considered a lucky color in Oriental culture. When it comes to wedding gifts, consider golden pendants or figurines with the likeness of a dragon, crane, turtle, horse or lion. According to Facts and Details, a website that gathers print sources about countries and cultures, these animals are often associated with longevity, success or strength, and the Chinese uphold their images with great value.

Jade Platters or Bowls
Diamond is regarded as precious in the Western world and the Chinese believe the same for jade stones. According to the Travel China Guide, a professional China tour service, jade is ingrained in China's long and rich history, and some people in China believe this to be the most beautiful stone to exist. The stone is normally light green in color, but there are less common pieces in red, blue or purple.

When it comes to wedding presents, consider jade stones made into bowls or platters for display purposes. These jade items are often placed inside a china cabinet, used as a table centerpiece or as decoration for a fireplace mantel.


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