"Cross-Cupped Wine”—Traditional Chinese Wedding Rite “交杯酒”——中国婚礼传统仪式

"Cross-Cupped Wine": This is a traditional rite in Chinese wedding formality.
There has been the term of “cross-cupped wine” since the Tang Dynasty. During the Song Dynasty, it was a prevailing practice to connect two wine cups together with colored silks and coil up a colored knot such as a true-lover’s knot for the bride and bridegroom to drink up each other’s wine cup or pass the wine cups and drink in turns. This custom is very common in our country. For example, in the area of Shaoxing, the rite of “cross-cupped wine” is presided over by a middle-aged woman, who has felicity with both son and daughter among the relatives of the bridegroom’s side. Before drinking the “cross-cupped wine”, the bride and bridegroom sitting on the bed will first be fed with several small sweet glutinous rice dumplings. Two cups will be poured with Huadiao rice wine and the newly wed couple will respectively take a sip. And then the remaining wine in the two cups will be mixed and divided into two cups again, which means that “I am in you and you are in me”. After they drink the wine, handfuls of wedding candies will be cast outside the door for the crowd of onlookers to scramble for. “Cross-cupped wine” in the wedding ceremony: In order to show the newly wed couples are in love with each other, they will respectively hold a cup of wine and cross their hands and each take a sip.

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