Now that your Guo Da Li is over, it’s time for the next important step to prep for your special day – The Matrimonial Bedsetting Ceremony or more commonly known as ‘An Chuang’ (安床).
What is ‘an chuang’?
So what exactly is this ceremony about? Though simple, the ‘an chuang’ ceremony is one of the most important out of all the other wedding traditions as it concerns the future of the family. The items used during this ceremony represents different aspects, in order to ensure good fortune for the family of the newlyweds. This important ceremony is usually conducted about 3 days before the actual wedding day.
What do you need?
- A new bed
- New bed sheets and pillowcases in auspicious colours (red/pink/lavender)
- 2 bedside lamps
- Even number of oranges
- 2 red packets (Ang pau)
- 1 packet of candies
- Fate coins (from guo da li ceremony)
- Antique chinese coins
In addition to these items, you will also need the following items placed in a tray as your Gift Box (礼金):
- Red dates
- Dried longan
- Lotus seeds
- Peanuts or Walnuts
- Pomegranate leaves or Pine tree leaves
- Lily bulbs
- Dried tangerines
- Dried melon slice
- Round Double Happiness plate / tray
You are also free to add anything you want that you feel has significance to this ceremony.
Who should be involved in this ceremony?
This ceremony is normally conducted by a fortune lady, who is someone whose husband and children are alive, and who also has many grandchildren. Otherwise, the groom’s parents or grandparents are preferred as long as both are still alive.
What do you need to prepare before the ceremony?
- Choose an auspicious date and time for the ceremony (Though nowadays this is no longer as stringent as before)
- Make sure that the new bed has been delivered before the date
- Ensure that your good fortune lady (or the groom’s parents) are available during the time and date
On the day of the ‘an chuang’ ceremony
- Parents or fortune lady fits the bed with the new bed sheets and pillowcases
- Groom brings in the dowry brought back after the Guo Da Li ceremony, together with the items prepared and places them on the bed (Make sure that all the items of the Li Jin (礼金) is placed in the tray!)
- Make sure that the bed is set at an angle
- Place the bedside lamps and turn them on (The lamps need to stay on for three days)
- The following phrases should be chanted by everyone in the room after all this is done
- 百年好合 (Forever a Blissful Marriage)
- 早生贵子 (Bless with many off springs early)
- 白头偕老 (Growing old together)
- 永浴爱河 (Eternal Love)
- Place the Fate Coins in four corners of the room, cupboards and drawers
- Place the Antique chinese coins top facing into ang paus, 1 coin for each corner of the mattress and 1 coin under each pillow
- You’re done with the ceremony! Just make sure to give an ang pau as thanks to the fortune lady (if any)
Some points worth noting
- After the an chuang ceremony, nobody except the couple is allowed to enter the room until the wedding day
- No sleeping or sitting on the bed is allowed, especially for the bride
- On the actual wedding day, a young boy born from any horoscope except for the year of the tiger is invited to jump and roll on the bed
And that’s all there is to it for the bed setting ceremony! Though simple, it is crucial for a Chinese wedding. Next up is the Hair Combing Ritual. You’re now one step closer to your special day!
If you’re finding having to prepare all this way too much of a hassle or too confusing, why not contact our wedding planners for a FREE consultation today? That way, you can be sure that everything will be completed easily and with less hassle.
If you’re not sure on what you should plan next for your wedding, why not have a look at our Ultimate Wedding Checklist?
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