Chinese weddings are filled with all sorts of playful customs to make the day as memorable and fun as possible. One such custom is the traditional bridal chamber party on the wedding night.
After the banquet feast has ended, attendants, relatives, friends and guests are all invited to attend the bridal chamber party. For this, many people crowd into the bridal chamber or the bedroom where the bride and groom will spend their first night together as husband and wife. The guests will play all sorts of games, performances and tricks to tease the bride and groom before they consummate their marriage.
Historically, this tradition was derived from a time when couples would wed at a very young age and knew very little about sex. Perhaps they felt extremely shy about their new relationship. So, the wedding night banter was designed as a light-hearted type of sex education, to tease the newlyweds and make them feel more at ease around one another.
Many games and performances can be included in the wedding night banter ritual for a Chinese wedding. One of the more common games involves tying an apple to a string and dangling it in front of the newlyweds, who attempt to bite into it while facing one another. Usually, whoever is holding the string will move the apple around so that the couple eventually kisses. Other games are meant to tease and cajole the couple, and sometimes can be quite racy!
The wedding night banter is a very raucous affair. Family members, friends and attendants all try to create a lot of noise and fanfare, which helps to lighten the mood after the serious wedding day and make the couple feel comfortable. In times gone by, it was also a way for older, more experienced married friends to teach the newlyweds something about physical intimacy.