Tea Ceremony (Jing Cha - 敬茶)
Tea Ceremony is the formality of introducing the Bride and Groom to the couple’s relatives. Tea ceremony happens when the couple arrives at the Groom’s House in the morning after entering the bridal room and eating the glutinous rice ball (Tang Yuan – 汤圆). However, in current context, this procedure may be rearranged (as this takes the longest time). Some couples may do the Tea Ceremony for the Bride first before leaving for the Groom’s house whereas some couples will do the Tea Ceremony together (Bride’s and Groom’s Relatives) at the wedding banquet area before the banquet starts.
Tea used in the ceremony should be brewed with red dates, lotus seeds and longans and served in the tea set from the Bride’s dowry. Red dates and lotus seeds symbolize the couple having a child early in the marriage and the longan symbolize a “dragon” wishing to have a male kid. Brewed this way, tea will be sweet and the sweetness symbolize that the relationship between the family members respectively with the newlyweds will be peaceful and harmonious.
Some guides to follow:
After drinking the tea, the elders will present gift to the newlyweds. Gifts are usually in the form of red packets, gold or jewellery. The gifts are either placed on the tea tray or worn on the Bride and Groom (Gold and Jewellery). Unmarried elder siblings need not present the couple with gifts.