Betrothal Gifts and Pin Jin from the Groom

November 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Chinese Customs

Traditionally, this is advised by the “mei po”(Match maker). But match makers are really rarer than dinosaurs nowadays. So most times, couples will settle this themselves with their parents.

So what must the groom give to the bride's family.

double happiness

For Gou Da Li

Everything is usually placed in a basket

1) 2 Pairs of Dragon and Phoenix( Long Feng) candles

2) Oranges, commonly 8, 10 or 12

3) Pin Jin (The Money) – Put in a red packet.

ang powmoney x Many = Pin Jing

This is almost the most important in the Singapore context. Nothing else in the package beats this. The amount? The more the merrier (Money is never enough). But seriously, depending on the financial status of your family, it is usually $688, $888,  or $1888, $2,888, $6888, $8888, $9999. Of course, you are free to quote any amount, but they usually end with 8. For those grooms shivering in trepidation, not to worry, a portion (although you don't decide how big the portion is) of the money will be returne

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d to you in the dowry.

4) 2 Bottles of wine

In the Singaporean context, again commonly red wine.

5) Wedding cakes

This can be any cakes. Usually from bridal cake shop, with some pictures or words written on it. But I've seen many friends who use modern cafe cakes.

6) Si Dian Jin

As discussed in the article Si Dian Jin

7) Chinese Tea

Usually 6 cans or boxes

7) Dialect group Specific

In the Singaporean context, the Cantonese usually gives dry seafood, the Hokkien usually gives pig trotter (The canned ones, usually 6 cans)


The really traditional families will include Red cloth ( Good luck), Vermicelli (Long Life), Candies( Sweet marriage), different types of grains. I don't seem to see this in my friends' weddings. It seems like most Singaporeans will do with the simplified list above.

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4 Responses to “Betrothal Gifts and Pin Jin from the Groom”
  1. Wilson says:

    The Si Dian Jin is a custom that’s Teochew in origin.. but in rojak singapore, all the in-laws will expect it.. Gold ma.. $$

  2. Admin says:

    Ha, you are right about this Wilson. Almost every tradition here in Singapore is a rojak or different dialet tradition.

  3. Poshberries says:

    Hi, you may have forgotten 1 very important red packet called the Li Ru Jin, it is actually 1 type of red packet with money put inside and totally not a single cent returned to the groom’s family. This sum of money is a token of appreciation for raising up the bride (wife) and it is usually presented to the bride’s parents and they will not need to return at all unlike the Pin Jin, a partial of sum is returned in goodwill. Hope this helps. Thanks.

  4. Admin says:

    Thanks for pointing this out. I remember my mum mentioning this before. But in the end, we didn’t do it because it seems like no one else heard about it.
    But yes, keep this in mind. I don’t think any mother in law would mind recieving an extra ang pow.