Being a nation with a long history of etiquette, China has numerous rituals for different ceremonies. As one of the most important ceremonies that almost everyone attends at least once in a lifetime, a wedding has perhaps the most complicated set of formalities that newlyweds must go through to show their respect for the institution of marriage.
Newlyweds dressed in Chinese traditional wedding gowns at an annual group wedding event held at the Bund on Wednesday Photos: Yang Hui/GT
An open marriage
Dressed in hanfu (traditional Han clothing) wedding gowns, grooms start the ceremony by helping wash their brides' hands and faces, implying that they are starting their new life together with pure and clean hearts. The groom and the bride then sit face to face to share a bowl of rice, symbolizing that they intend to share all their happiness and hardships, joys and sorrows.
Such rituals were recently performed by 19 newlyweds at this year's Rose Wedding, an annual group wedding event held on the Bund.
Part of the Shanghai Tourism Festival, this year's large-scale wedding-themed event marked the 20th anniversary of the Rose Wedding, adopting the traditional Han ethnic group wedding ceremony, but integrated with modern elements to carry forward outstanding traditional Chinese culture.
At the Bund, 19 couples from Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces tied their knots with government officials from Shanghai Tourism Bureau, Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau and Huangpu district government as their witnesses.
Directors of marriage associations from Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces also offered gifts to the newlyweds to express their good wishes. The ceremony ended with each couple exchanging wedding rings under the witness of a relative or a friend, attired accordingly in traditional Han clothing.
Later that afternoon, the couples attended a Western-style wedding ceremony aboard a cruise ship at Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal. Heavy rains did not dampen their spirits or enthusiasm while posing for wedding photos.
Following the ceremony, the newlyweds departed on the cruise ship to Fukuoka, Japan, for a group honeymoon.
A couple under an umbrella
Couples bow to each other.
A groom helps dress his bride in her wedding gown.
Soon-to-be newlyweds await the beginning of their Western-style wedding ceremony.
Relatives and friends in traditional Chinese clothing at the event
A groom and his mother