CHINESE WEDDING SYMBOLS
The Chinese believe that good things come in pairs. This symbol resembles the lucky number eight, making it extra auspicious.
Mandarin ducks mate for life, making them a popular Chinese sign of marriage, fidelity and loyalty. When one duck is depicted with a lotus flower in its beak and the other with a lotus fruit, it means there is a desire for children.
Peonies are known as “the king of flowers,” signifying opulence, luxury, beauty and reproduction.
Often associated with the endless cycle of death and rebirth in Buddhism, in weddings the endless knot represents everlasting love, harmony and a long life of good fortune.
Pigs are considered cute and lucky, as they always seem to be fed. They embody wealth, prosperity, tolerance and fertility. A chubby mother pig with a string of piglets is a popular wedding jewellery motif in Hong Kong.
Peacocks denote beauty, majesty, divinity and power. The many eyes on its tail are associated with the Goddess of Mercy.
Gingko trees date back to prehistoric times, making them a symbol of love, hope, resilience, longevity, enlightenment and peace.
Plum blossoms are the first to bloom every year in late winter, making them a symbol of virginity, perseverance, beauty and renewal. Each has five petals, corresponding to prominent Chinese principles such as the Five Elements (wood, fire, water, earth and metal) and the Five Blessings ( health, wealth, longevity, virtue and a peaceful death).
Bamboo is a popular motif for men’s jewellery. It is a sign of strength, good luck, money, flexibility and vitality. Its pronunciation in Chinese is similar to the word for “congratulations,” making it highly appropriate for weddings.
Chinese wedding jewellery is laced with meaning and soaked in culture—it reminds us of who we are
the bride might receive multiple pairs of these thick bangles, which are stacked on the forearms. The traditional tea ceremony outfit has shortened sleeves specifically designed to show them off.
FOUR PIECES OF GOLD
This Chiu Chow and Hokkien custom comprises a necklace, bracelet, ring and earrings presented before the wedding. In current times, some brides may flout tradition and go for two rings and two necklaces instead, or just a single item of a higher value. The custom originates from the province of Chiu Chow, where traditional houses had roofs with curved corners, resembling the Chinese word for gold (金). The gift of Four Pieces of Gold reassures the bride that she will be well provided for and will always have a roof over her head.
NINE TREASURES BOX
Usually given by the bride’s older relatives, the box contains eight auspicious pieces of jewellery, with the ninth treasure being the box itself. A scale symbolises the beginning of marital bliss; a mirror reflects the bride’s beauty; a basket represents abundance; scissors symbolise the making of clothes for the new family; an abacus imparts financial acumen; embroidered shoes represent fidelity and harmony; a comb recalls a haircombing ritual; a ruler is used to measure happiness and count one’s blessings—and last of all the box itself carries good luck and wishes.
In olden times, items such as a rice bowl set, a baby’s bathtub or ceremonial “ruyi” sceptre were auspicious and expensive gifts. In the present day they may be less valuable, but they haven’t lost their auspicious connotations. So well-wishers opt for miniature versions—in 24K gold, of course.
flower ring by luk fook
endless knot earrings by tsl
Double happiness earrings by tsl
gingko leaf ring by luk fook
Peacock earrings by luk fook
PRECIOUS YELLOW from left: fortune lock with a vine motif necklace by emphasis Jewellery; dragon bangle by Just gold