Monday, September 28, 2009

8th Moon: The Month of Weddings

After a ghostly month, the Chinese population prepares for the celebration of the moon. By co-incidence, it could well be said the month of honeymoons? Yes, to the Chinese traditionalists, 8th Lunar Month (or we call it 8th moon) is the month of weddings. Restaurants would have been booked months ahead, probably even a year if one wants a particular restaurant for a particular date.

Perhaps there was a shortage of restaurants? or was it the economic crunch? Regardless, Wedding lunches are becoming the trend these days.

In the old days, the bride could only wear the wedding gown once, and that is on her Wedding Day. But modernity has taken over, and it must have been since two decades ago when the couple would go for glamour photography. From a few places in Singapore, the photography sessions start to go overseas. Kind of pre-honeymoon trips. In our days, it was simple. We had two friends who became our official photographers taking pictures from the beginning of the day to the end of the wedding dinner. Photography sessions used to be a few popular garden spots. Mine was the Toa Payoh Garden.

But of course, some traditions will remain. Nothing is complete with the serving of tea to the elders. It was the moment of recognition of the marriage of the couple. Official civil marriages do not seem to count, except for the application for an HDB flat or for less than pleasant matters. Customary marriage was the event that most families must have. There are always somethings in the newlywed's bedroom that must have. There are still grannies and aunties to fuss over the hundred and one small things to look into. Customs vary from dialect group to dialect group, from village to village (in China). Red for most Chinese, and maybe pink for the Teochews? The Hokkien would have a complete bathroom set with spitoon as well.

And where would they look for the traditional things that are associated with weddings? Ah, hidden in one corner of Chinatown complex are a few shops, nestled together, selling all the traditional wedding paraphernalia.

For those who want to look for bridal gowns and glamour photography, just a couple of minutes' walk to Tanjong Pagar Road, there is a row of shops specialising in modern wedding gowns. The Cantonese "kua" seems to be hidden somewhere behind as the brides opt for plunging necklines for their wedding dinner's second dress.

No comments: