Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony (敬茶)
There may be different customs fo different dialect, but one of the few ceremony that remains the same is the Tea Ceremony, also know as 敬茶.
The Ceremony is a mark of respect for the newly married groom to the elders in the family. Most people will recall that it involves the grooms and bride serving tea to the elders and receiving either red packets or gold in return (for the bride that is).
Traditionally, the groom will fetch the bride home to the groom’s house for the tea ceremony. They then return to the brides house to complete the ceremony with the bride’s family. While some couples now do this just before the wedding dinner or ROM ceremony for convenience sake, the groom’s family should still be served first in accordance to tradition.
There are a few details which should be followed duing the ceremony. The Tea cup must be held with both hands. This is a sign of respect. Traditionally, tea should be served kneeling down,a lthough this has been done away in many families.
The tea should be served to the parents first then followed by the rest of the family in accordance to seniority. That means that if there is a grandparent, even though he or she is the most senior, the grandparent should still be served after the parents.
The tea should preferably be Long Zhao Cha (Lotus red date tea). This symbolises fertility.
In general, tea ceremony is pretty fun and the best part of it is collecting the gifts and ang pows. Just remember to mark down which ang pow is from whom. 🙂 Believe me, even if you don’t want to know, your mother will want to know.