Hair Combing Ceremony (Shang Tou - 上头)

Posted by administrator 21/05/2018 0 Comment(s) Traditional Chinese Wedding, Wedding Guides,

hair-combing
 

The hair combing ceremony is usually done on the night before the wedding day or in the early morning before the preparation for the wedding actual day and at the bride’s and groom’s home respectively as bride and grooms are not allowed to meet each other one day before the wedding day. Depending on dialects, some couples do the hair combing ceremony simultaneously at midnight or pre-agreed time whereas some may have the groom performing the ceremony 15 minutes to 1 hour earlier than the bride.

The ceremony symbolises the transition of the couple from childhood to being adults and to signify the long and lasting marriage for the bride and groom. However, some couples may choose to omit this ceremony.

Hair combing is usually done by the parent of the bride and groom (if both parents of bride and groom respectively are still residing) or by a lady of good life / good fortune (好命婆) if either one of the parents are not around anymore.

hair-combing-table
Items to prepare for Hair Combing Ceremony (GROOM):

  • 1 Pair of Dragon and Pheonix Candles (龙凤烛) (From GDL)
  • 1 x Pointed Comb
  • 1 x Ruler
  • 1 x Mirror
  • 1 Set of Red String
  • 1 x New Pyjamas and New pair of slippers
  • 3 bowls of Cooked Glutinous Rice Balls (汤圆) with Red Dates (红枣)and Lotus Seeds (莲子) in sweet soup (Usually 6 or 9 pcs of Glutinous Rice Balls)

Items to prepare for Hair Combing Ceremony (BRIDE):

  • 1 Pair of Dragon and Pheonix Candles (龙凤烛) (From GDL)
  • 1 x Round Comb
  • 1 x Sewing Kit (From Dowry)
  • 1 x Ruler (From Dowry)
  • 1 x Mirror
  • 1 Set of Red String
  • 1 x New Pyjamas and New pair of slippers
  • 3 bowls of Cooked Glutinous Rice Balls (汤圆) with Red Dates (红枣)and Lotus Seeds (莲子) in sweet soup (Usually 6 or 9 pcs of Glutinous Rice Balls)

 Also required will be meats (Roasted Porks and Chicken) and fruits to be placed on the table for the ceremony.
 

Procedures for Hair Combing Ceremony

  1. Set up the table for Hair Combing and place all the items on the table
  2. Bride and Groom to shower with water infused with pomelo or pomegranate leaves to remove bad luck and ward off evil and to change into the new set of pyjamas and slippers
  3. Light the Dragon and Pheonix Candles and incense should be lit for the bride and groom to pray to heaven and their ancestors to begin the ceremony
  4. The bride’s and groom’s hair needs to be combed four times respectively reciting the following at each comb:
    1. First Comb: 一梳梳到尾 -- Symbolising Lasting Marriage From Beginning til the end
    2. Second Comb: 二梳百年好合 -- Symbolising Harmony and Happiness in your marriage until Ripe Old Age
    3. Third Comb: 三梳子孙满堂 -- Symbolising Blessings with an abundance of offspring
    4. Fourth Comb: 四梳白发齐眉 -- Symbolising Blessings for Longevity and Fortune
  5. The red string will be placed in the groom’s pyjamas pocket and clipped/tied on the bride’s hair
  6. To end the ceremony, couples will be served with the glutinous rice balls to symbolise complete and sweet marriage (圆圆满满 & 甜甜蜜蜜)

Note:
i. If either of the couple has been married before, Hair Combing Ceremony can be omitted.
ii Both Bride and Groom have to perform this ceremony. If either party choose not to perform this ceremony, the other party can skip it too.