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B83.Delving into the Ancient Custom of ‘Trembling’: Marrying a Dead Person – A Haunting Tradition That Will Leave You Enthralled




Marrying the dead is an ancient Chinese custom (also known as yin kiss – ghost wedding). According to information from historians, ghost weddings may have originated during the Zhou Dynasty (1,046 BC – 256 BC).

According to ancient beliefs and customs, young people who have an engagement contract and are waiting for their wedding day but unfortunately die suddenly, their family members must help them complete the wedding, otherwise their ghosts will harass them. insecure family. Therefore, no matter what, the family must hold a wedding ceremony for them, then carry out the burial. Organizing a wedding with a dead person must be carried out as with a living person. No detail is allowed to be overlooked because many people believe that ghosts who have not had a wedding ceremony will be very “difficult”. temper”, if not “talented”, the family will be “troubled” by them for the rest of their lives.

Besides, if rich families unfortunately have a child who dies before being married, they will have to find a living person to marry their child, while ordinary families will find families with the same situation to marry them. grace for the lost children.

The photo above was taken in Guangdong around the years 1930-1933, on the left is a young lady from a rich family, on the right is a handsome and handsome young man from a poor family.

As for iMMAture teenagers who unfortunately die early, but their parents are too merciful for them, they still insist on finding a partner for their child because they believe that only then can they fulfill their duty as parents. In fact, this is just one of the actions of sending love from parents.

Reason for holding a wedding ceremony

Ancient people often believed in grave feng shui, they believed that lonely graves would affect the prosperity of future descendants. At that time, there were also feng shui masters who, because they wanted to make money illegally, incited many families to celebrate marriages. Therefore, marriage usually only took place in wealthy families in ancient times.

Yin kiss appeared in the years before the Han dynasty. Because kissing is considered meaningless and a waste of money and human resources in society, it was once strictly prohibited, but this does not mean that this custom has been eliminated. A typical example is the story about Cao Cao. Cao Cao’s son, whom Cao Cao loved so much, died at the age of 3. He ordered the selection of dead young ladies to marry Cao Cao and buried them together.

Yinki truly flourished during the Song Dynasty. According to records in Tac Mong Luc, for unmarried young men and women who unfortunately die early, their parents are forced to ask “matchmakers” to ask for marriage, then read the hexagram. If the hexagram agrees for the wedding, the ghosts of the couple will have wedding dresses sewn, then the wedding will be held, and the two will be buried in the same grave.

During the Qing Dynasty, everyone attached great importance to the virginity of girls buried with the dead. It was not until the end of the Qing Dynasty that this custom gradually disappeared.

Process of a marriage ceremony

In the last years of the Qing Dynasty, in Beijing there was still a residual custom, that is, many families still conducted “celebrations” for the dead by placing the remains of a man and a woman next to each other, this is called “corpse remains”. This marriage ceremony is performed at night. When everyone was sleeping soundly, they suddenly woke up to the noisy sound of gongs from the house carrying out the “corpse burial”.

During the wedding, the groom’s family must also give gifts to the bride’s family. All food and drinks are real, the only clothes and jewelry are votive offerings that are burned after the wedding ceremony for the bride to enjoy under the golden stream. . While burning the votive paper, the groom’s family will stand around, beat drums and blow trumPets.

The procedures before welcoming the bride during the wedding ceremony can be skipped, but the procedures for welcoming the bride must be performed. That day, the family also had to set up a theater to welcome guests and relatives. The groom’s wedding room is also furnished, the photo and tablet of the “groom” are placed on a table, in front is a plate of fruits, candies and a bright red flower tied with a silk ribbon, on which is written the word “groom”. The bride’s wedding room is also displayed with photos and tablets of the “new bride”, there are also fruits, candies and silk ribbons with the word “new bride” written on them. After the flower palanquin arrives at the bride’s house, the matchmaker will carry a photo or tablet of the “new bride” and place it on the palanquin. At this time, the girl’s parents not only cry for their child but also chase them outside, completely without air. of “joy”.

After the flower palanquin arrives at the groom’s house, the matchmaker still takes down the photo or tablet, puts it on the altar in the wedding room, right next to the photo and tablet of the “groom” and then uses a red silk string to tie the two photos together. . Hop cup wine, purple steamed dumplings, and longevity noodles are also placed in front of the tablets and photos of the couple. Later, if an auspicious day is chosen to carry out the burial, the girl will be buried next to the boy she is married to, moreover, the two coffins must be placed next to each other to be called “combined burial”. . If the “new husband and wife” have siblings, they must call them out and bow before their tablets to conduct the ceremony. At that time, the two families can chat happily.

When the above rituals are performed and the zodiac day is chosen to exhume the grave, the girl’s soul will be freed. Based on the time of the yin and yang teacher, after the coffin is carried up, a bucket of clean water and two apples will immediately be thrown into the old grave, and at the same time money from the underworld will also be thrown up. The groom’s family will dig a grave next to the “groom’s” grave to bury the “bride’s” remains. After the burial, wine, flowers, and money from the underworld will be placed in front of the tombstone for the marriage ceremony. Parents and relatives on both sides of the family cried and talked about the “great joy”. From then on they will officially become each other’s in-laws.

Normally, the wedding ceremony must also go through a matchmaker, both families go to each other’s house to meet each other, and when the marriage ceremony is held, there will also be a pink card announcing it. Because the marriage only takes place once, there is no concept of big or small, so the gifts the groom’s family gives to the bride’s family are just common offerings.