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Chinese Wedding: Funny Games and Jokes

Chinese Wedding Games

After a long marathon of wedding preparations is finished – it’s time to sigh with relief and enjoy the party… NO! Guests and relatives also haven’t been idle and prepared few surprises. It means that many little challenges are awaiting for the new-weds. Though majority of challenges will fall on the groom’s shoulders.

And there is no place for complaining or bargaining. Nobody said that getting a bride would be simple :-) The only thing that can ease groom’s troubles is to prepare a bunch of little red envelopes in advance to pay for “failed tests”.

Below is the compilation of different games played during Chinese weddings.

There are variations in customs between different provinces, but the main motives are the same everywhere.

Everything begins when groom arrives to pick up the bride from her home.
Before he is allowed to enter her room, he has to succeed in some of the following tasks:

  • Given the bride family’s picture, he must recall the names of all her relatives and correctly address them
  • Remember all significant days of their dating period: when did they meet for the first time, when did they kiss, when did he ask her to marry and so on
  • In the mixed set of girls’ shoes find the one which belongs to his beloved
  • Search over all the house to find 8 pieces of paper with a heart-shaped pattern
  • During 3 minutes insert a thread through 9 needles stuck into radish
Chinese Wedding Games

Chinese Wedding Games: Smoking Tens of Cigarettes

Don’t think that you can get away without giving few red envelopes. Even if you successfully complete all tasks – you can always be asked an “egg or chicken” like question with no correct answer ;-) .

Oh, those tricky guests! What won’t they do to get red envelopes or lucky cigarettes. ** Sometimes cars making the wedding procession will suddenly “break down” in the middle of the street and not get fixed until the drivers are paid a bribe…

** – Yes – cigarettes! They are everywhere. Cigarettes are often enclosed to the wedding invitations sent to guests. When guests arrive to the banquet they are often greeted by a bride who lights their cigarettes, even if she is not a smoker herself (just because it is believed to bring luck). And also many wedding games revolve around cigarettes. So – be prepared in advance to breathe a lot of tobacco smoke.

Chinese Wedding Games

Chinese Wedding Games: "Soup of Life"

Finally you made your way to the place of wedding itself… Take a deep breath before rising to the wedding stage, since this is where the most difficult tasks are waiting for the new weds:

  • Lovers always swear to share happiness and sadness together. Indeed, life is not always sweet. So how about tasting the “soup of life”? There are few recipes for this dish. A possible one could include a mixture of smashed melon, honey, chili sauce, lemon juice and salt.
  • Anyway, it’s easier than smoking tens of cigarettes inserted into a plastic bottle and simultaneously lit by “kind” bridesmaids

I think that after the previous two the rest is quite easy:

  • Groom running across the wedding hall with the bride on his shoulders
  • Bride and groom popping a balloon by squeezing it between their bodies without the help of hands. You think it’s easy? Try ;-)
  • Making oaths and promises in a local dialect
  • Recognizing the bride among other girls kissing a blindfolded groom on the cheek

The games I mentioned here are only the tip of iceberg – there are many more ways to “torture” the fresh couple. In the video below, which I found on Youtube, you can see some of them.

I hope that after reading till here, those who haven’t married yet didn’t change their mind.

Waiting for her own portion of “tortures”, Crystal Tao

  • Muireadach

    Good heavens!, this is one article I am not mentioning to my future lao Po, she likes to torture me already with trick questions to gauge my suitability for her! This stuff would really appeal to sense of humour :smile:

  • Justin Liu

    Haha looking at those pictures reminds me why my friends call asian bars in Toronto lobster-feasts. God help them when they try to bluff their way past a DUI.

  • Justin Liu

    Crystal, I’ve read somewhere that there is a lot of discrimination against chinese in Israel. Is this true? I know politics isn’t the purpose of this blog but I’d be interested in reading a blog post about it.

  • Crystal

    @Muireadach: I am afraid that there is no escape from being “tortured” by your future lao po – so it’s better to surrender by yourself. :lol:

    @Justin Liu: My blog is indeed not about politics, but you can always ask me any question through a contact form in “About” page.
    Short answer to your question: there are many Chinese in Israel. Vast majority of them are males working in constructions. Their situation is not enviable, but it is not due some targetted discrimination against them.
    A more detailed answer I will send later to your e-mail.

  • Mark

    I was spared anything too wild like this, but I did endure a four-hour ma jiang session after the wedding lunch while I was still quite drunk. Stuff like this sounds like fun though.

  • Chris

    Great article Crystal. I guess I’ll have a brand new smoking addiction after I get married then , haha. I tried that balloon game in one wedding I went to and it is incredibly hard to pop!! Weddings are a tough subject to write about, because like so many things in China there are rather large variations between to city to city. I’ve been to my fair share of weddings in Wenzhou and a lot of the traditions are a little different to the ones you mentioned. For the games, drinking seemed to replace smoking….lots of drinking games!

  • Hans Engnell

    I just arrived from a Swedish friend’s wedding. We have special wedding games in Sweden too, but nothing like this. It’s mostly about showing how much you know about your partner (embarrassing if you’re mistaken I guess), like touching people’s legs when you’re blind folded and picking the right ones. I truly hope I won’t have to go through the tobacco games… :| I’d prefer drinking games, that’ll make me feel like home. :razz:

  • Crystal

    Hehe… everything is relative in this world. Just recently I was getting worried comments about drinking habits in China.
    But here drinking seems almost like blessing :razz:

  • Randy

    Great story

    This story brings back the memories of my marriage in China. It was the happiest day of my life. The door games where lots of fun.

  • Greg

    Are there bachelor parties in China? I just moved to China not too long ago and a buddy of mine told me he is getting married. He said we’ll have a party but I think he just wants to go out to eat and then to some bars with all his buddies. Usually in the US, we would just to the strip clubs to have a bachelor party, but I can’t find any here in Beijing. The best I can find so far is just to pay a bunch of girls to be strippers at our party. Or we can just fly to Macao since that’s like the Vegas of China and do it big there.

    • Crystal

      Well, I know what parties you are talking about… from movies. Indeed, I think, that your friend implies to “just” meet, drink, eat together.
      You can organize the kind of party you like, but on the other hand – should you?

      • Greg

        Oh thanks for replying, I didn’t expect that.

        I talked to my friend before and I told him about my idea and he said he’s cool with it because he knows I’m American and that’s how we do it. He said he’s up for it and he’ll leave it up to me to set it up. I asked him about bachelor parties in China and he just said friends go out to dinner and then to the bars and that’s it. So I said no, I won’t have that, you have to experience a real bachelor party! It’s not like you get married everyday, so it’s all about having fun.

        I’ll see what I can do, but I have no experience organizing parties since I’m usually just invited to attend. We each work for a different international bank (he’s in IB and I’m in finance) so we’re both not shy from spending money to have fun (he bought his fiancee a 2 carat Tiffany ring). I just want to make sure everyone has a good time. I’m pretty excited about this, my first bachelor party in China! Time to teach these rookies how Americans do it! Am I suppose to use singles or what kind of bills in China? I forecast cloudy skies with a 100% chance of rain :razz:

        Thanks again!

  • Mike

    I guess I will find out what this is all about and like in July this year :roll: :shock: