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The Bridal Chamber

Many poets refer to the bridal chamber in their poems. While during the Han dynasty it is referred to as a deep, serene and luxurious house where a lonely and upset married woman lived, during the Early Tang dynasty some poets refer to it as the home of a Buddhist due to the increasing popularity of Buddhism at the time. It was after the Middle Tang dynasty that the bridal chamber was generally associated with being the bedroom of a newly married couple and is still referred to as this to this day.

 

Celebrating weddings in a bridal chamber is one of the most indispensable customs during a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony and is even considered as the climax of the event. This custom serves many purposes. In old times, the bride and the bridegroom were introduced by the matchmaker in the room, as they wouldn't have met before the wedding. This helped to eliminate the unfamiliarity of each other and hopefully created a happy beginning to the relationship. There are many legends that go with it. One story goes that a traditional Chinese god came to earth one day and after seeing a ghost after the groom's procession, he sneaked into the bridal chamber. After the newlyweds bowed to heaven and earth and prepared to go to the bridal chamber, the god told them about the ghost. He believed that the ghost was afraid of jollification and that the newlyweds should invite their guests to the bridal chamber, in order to scare the ghost with their loud talking and laughing. This plan worked and the ghost disappeared thus retaining the custom, although the original purpose was to dispel disaster and pray for good fortune.

 

This celebration originally took three days. Often, the guests are invited to joke with the couple and no matter what is said, the couple and their parents should not be angry, as this could ruin the festive atmosphere. On the wedding day, the more people that join the celebration, the more welcome the couple feel. However, there are those who do not appreciate this celebration, as these events can become rowdy and perhaps boisterous.