The hair combing ceremony is one of the important customs in Chinese culture. It is the ceremony that symbolises that the newlyweds are entering adulthood, and can start to build their own family. Although it is a short ceremony, much preparation must be made as well. As it is an important ceremony, we will help to answer the questions of when it is conducted, what are the steps, what should be prepared, and what should be aware of the ceremony in order to help the newlyweds to have a good preparation.
When and Where is the Hair Combing Ceremony Conducted?
Normally, the hair combing ceremony will be conducted at midnight on the day before the wedding day during auspicious time at both the newlyweds’ own house. The time to conduct the ceremony will be different according to different natives or regions, some even perform rituals on the morning of the big day.
What Should be Prepared?
- Both the bride and groom
- A pair of dragon and phoenix candles (龙凤烛一对)
- Cypress (扁柏)
- Descendants ruler (子孙尺)
- A plate of lotus seeds (一碟莲子)
- Jujube (红枣)
- Dry longan (龙眼干)
- Tang yuan (汤圆)
- Roast meat (烧肉)
- Chicken (鸡)
- Fruit (水果)
- Red rope (红头绳)
- Mirror (镜子)
- Scissors (剪刀)
- New pyjamas, underclothes, slippers in red colour (全新红睡衣, 红内衣裤，红拖鞋)
- Round hair comb (圆头梳)
- Needle and thread (针线)
- Pointed combs (尖头梳)
Steps of the Hair Combing Ceremony
- Both the bride and groom bathe with flowers and pomelo leaves in order to wash away the bad luck. After that, they must wear new pyjamas, new underwear, new shoes and be ready for the ceremony. All new attire must be in red colour as it represents good luck.
- Both the bride and groom must sit in front of the window where the moon can be seen. When approaching the auspicious time, arrange the tang yuan and descendants rulers and all other oblations then light the dragon and phoenix candle to worship the ancestors. There must be three bowls of tang yuan with six or nine tang yuan in each. Besides that, each bowl must consist of lotus seeds and jujube.
- Once reach the auspicious time, the parent or the ‘Good Luck Man’ (好命人) will helps the bride and groom to comb their hair from head to tail for four times. While combing, ‘good luck man’ will give good wishes with different meanings for each combing.
- After that, the groom will put the cypress and red rope in his pocket, while the bride will wear it on her hair. Next, they will eat the tang yuan implying a happy and long-lasting marriage. After the dragon and phoenix candles are burned out, the ceremony will be considered complete.
Who is ‘Good Luck Man’ (好命人)?
A ‘Good Luck Man’ is one who has complete parents and partners, a happy and harmonious marriage, and having sons and daughters. If the mother of the newlyweds meets this requirement, it is usually their own mother who will be the ‘Good Luck Man’. If the parents are absent, the qualified elders or relatives and friends can serve as.
Things that need to be AWARE
- A bride who is pregnant cannot participate in this ceremony.
- Some said that the ceremony must be conducted simultaneously for both sides while some said that the bribe must wait for the groom to complete the ceremony first only she can start the ceremony. Each different natives and regions have different regulations, so both sides should discuss and plan well.
- While the oblation doesn’t adhere to fixed rules, the public commonly utilizes the mentioned offerings.
- Ensure the dragon and phoenix candles stay lit, as their extinguishment may symbolize ominousness.