Introduction: What is a Traditional Chinese Wedding Bed?
A traditional Chinese wedding bed is a large, four-poster bed that can be enclosed with curtains for privacy. The curtains are decorated with the bride and groom’s monograms or individual desires. The four posts each have a dragon head carved at the top and their tails wrapped around the lower corners of the bedposts. The bed frame is made of a hard wood and carved intricately at the base and top. The footboard has two carved dragons, with the bride’s dragon being slightly larger than the groom’s.
Traditionally, the bride and groom would be carried to the bed on chairs by their wedding party. Gifts were presented to the bride and groom in front of the bed. After the giving of gifts, the wedding party removed shoes to signify respect and sat on cushions on the floor, while tea was served. The newly married couple would start their married life under one roof by sitting on a single cushion on top of the bed together.
What is the Role of the Wedding Bed in Traditional Chinese Weddings?
The traditional Chinese wedding bed has several symbolic roles. First, it is a place to consummate the marriage. Second, it is symbolic of the unification of two families and represents their coming together. Third, it symbolizes the beginning of the new family’s bed and all the expected blessings that come with that bed. The traditional Chinese wedding bed is also the centerpiece of the bridal chamber, or nu shu.
“nu shu” is Chinese for “bridal chamber”. In this room, the bride and groom will live together for the first month of their marriage. Traditionally, this is done to allow the bride and groom time to get used to each other before they begin sleeping together. Also, since many people in China still sleep on the floor, it is considered bad luck if a couple begins sleeping together immediately following the wedding. For example, Chinese brides traditionally stay at their parents’ house for two months after the wedding.
The nu shu is the most sacred space in the home and a place where traditional Chinese family values are most noticeable. The nu shu belongs to the couple, not to their parents or grandparents. The bride and groom will sleep on separate beds as a way to signify that even though they now live together, they are still husband and wife. Along with the nu shu there is a room called the qian room. This is where the couple’s closest family members will talk, eat and sleep. The qian room is considered private space, yet it is still close to the nu shu.
Why are Folding Beds so Important in Modern Weddings?
It is becoming increasingly important to the modern Western world to have a completely private ceremony and wedding, especially for the bride and groom. The folding Chinese-style wedding bed is a great compromise for couples who want an elegant ceremony with all that goes into one without the burden of having a traditional four-poster encased in curtains. A few companies have started to manufacture folding Chinese-style beds, though they are not readily available.
First, Folding Beds have been used in China for hundreds of years. The bed is a basic furniture item that many people already own or might check and see if it has some value. It is not a new concept and the folding bed is not a new trend. The Chinese folding bed is a basic approach to old world wedding decor, with traditional appeal and a slight touch of modernity.