As the Chinese poets, four event were the happiest things in life that shall be expressed in poems – a good rain after long drought, meeting old friend in a distant land, the moment that one’s name appears on a public billboard as having passed a government examination and the wedding night in a room lit with red candles.
Chi xijiu, “eat happiness-wine” means attend a wedding banquet. The word “happiness” appears in some other expressions related to weddings. The typical wedding decoration is red paper cut to “double happiness” or two “happiness” characters combined side-by-side (shown above).
Getting married in ancient times was a very complicated – a man would first making his proposal to the parents of his bride and they would become engaged, then the wedding and then the “nao dongfang”.
Traditional Chinese cherished the virginity greatly and it was only on wedding night that they could sex. Started with drinking games that very common in China, and often begin even before the food is even on the table. The most common drinking game is huaquan. Two people each hold fingers between zero and five while calling number simultaneously, the aim is to guess the total number of fingers shows on everyone hands. It sounds bit simple but it does need a lot practice. What often happens is one person will play huaquan with every person at table in turn. Women can talk their way out of the game fairly easily, or can drink some tea or soft drinks instead of alcoholic beverages.
The bride and groom visited each room in turn, accompanied by the best man and the maid of honor. The bride was wearing a red dress, and the groom a suit.
Originated during the Han Dynasty (around 206 BC-AD 220), the Nao dongfang (“making commotion in the cave room”) custom was still continued nowadays. The common things on “nao dongfang” custom for the newly-weds to act out was getting them to eat on a hanging on a thread apple which was held by the hand of some of their friends. When they tried getting close to the apple, the friends move the apple out of the way so their lips would touch. This kind of act was considered suitable enough by traditional Chinese. But nowadays in modern times, the new and sometimes embarrassing tricks have been more and more devised. To make things even interesting, the groom’s family is allowed their friends to tease the bride as much as they would like for the first three days long.
Nowadays “nao dongfang” became funny feature of some of the Chinese weddings. However, because it was often involved dirty jokes, the “nao dongfang” was considered to be a tradition in not a good taste by some people.
China Youth Daily survey 21,000 people in 2014 found that 80% of the respondents were pranked at their weddings, however more than half of them did not like this practice.
At end of “nao dongfang”, the couple were required taking off 18 items or sometimes 36 items, of clothing layer while lying under the quilt. If they were not prepared sufficiently and not wearing plenty of clothes layers, they would end up naked and the guests would then leave. Some smart couples would put on several layers of pants and undergarments for fear of ending up naked in front of guests.
The jokes with general behavior with some sexual connotations and they will make the groom and bride newly-wed couple shy with one another as (if not obviously) they didn’t have any previous sexual experience or some intimate behavior of any kind with the member of the opposite sex.