CHINESE WEDDINGS AND CATERING
Traditional Chinese wedding customs are considered as the foundation of rites in traditional Chinese culture. A wedding is usually a grand occasion with overly-elaborate formalities. There are eight major procedures of a wedding, including proposal making, birthday matching, marriage divination, betrothal gifts presenting, wedding date fixing, dowry urging, welcoming the bride to the wedding and performing the formal wedding ceremony.
Chinese people treat marriage very seriously! This is completely understandable, since most Chinese families now have only one child, and this means family members treat their child as if the world revolved around them. When it comes to a wedding, we think it is not only the joyful union of the newlyweds, but also a long term union of two families.
Chinese wedding culture is a vital part of Chinese tradition. Many rituals and customs have been lost in the course of history, but many are observed even today. It is practiced in honor of family values and respect to committed relationships, the holy marriage. Although Chinese weddings have changed a lot since ancient times, the menu more or less remains the same.
Chinese Wedding and Food
Certain types of food are commonly served at the Chinese wedding banquet, which includes fish, roast suckling pig, pigeon, chicken cooked with red oil, lobster and desert buns with lotus seeds stuffed inside. The pronunciation of fish is the same as “abundance”, meaning the newlyweds will have plentiful wealth. Roast suckling pig is usually served whole, a symbol of the bride’s purity (virginity). Pigeon implies a peaceful future. Chicken also means phoenix, cooked in red oil to symbolize the wish for a prosperous life ahead for the newlyweds. Lobster is literally called “dragon shrimp” in Chinese. Having lobster and chicken together at a wedding banquet indicates that the dragon and the phoenix are harmonious together, and the Yin and Yang elements in this family is balanced.
Chinese Wedding Cakes
Chinese wedding cakes are called “Happiness Cakes”, also know as “Dragon & Phoenix Cakes”. These are baked cakes with dragon and phoenix imprints on the surface. Some styles have fillings made of lotus seed paste, red bean paste or green bean paste.
The wedding cakes are usually presented to the bride’s family by the groom’s family as part of the proposal gift. The bride’s family will then present some of the cakes to worship their ancestors and send the rest of the cakes to friends and relatives, along with wedding invitations. The quantity of cakes to be sent depends on seniority of guests or relationships with the family. Nowadays, the wedding cakes are usually served to the guests at the weddings instead of western-style wedding cakes.
The Avenue Banquet Hall has hosted many Chinese weddings. It is a Toronto wedding venue which can accommodate up to 350 people. It is a single event venue with in house catering.