I read an interesting article today on Wedding practices around the World; now I love, love, love Weddings and I’ve seen them performed in all types of venues…or so I thought. Ever attended a Wedding hosted at a funeral home? They do exist!
Spirit marriages or “Ming Hun” is a dying tradition practiced by the Taoist Chinese — for the departed, usually involving two dead people. The marriages are typically arranged by the parents of the deceased who want closure after the death. Though most ceremonies involve two dead people, on occasion, there would be the marriage of a living and the dead and once performed, the living is not allowed to marry for three years!!!
Though the Wedding must take place at night, you may be surprised to know that the celebration itself is very similar to a traditional Chinese wedding. With an average planning time of four months and budget of RM 8,000-10,000, the 2 hour ceremony includes the traditional tea ceremony, dinner, hair-combing ritual, wedding certificate, wedding costumes, makeup, dinner, liquor, entertainment for guests, wedding cake, hell notes, paper mannequins and praying paraphernalia.
In addition, a select number of tables at the dinner will be left vacant for the couple’s dead friends to share their happiness.
The only physical evidence of the marriage, an additional name on the family’s ancestral tablet — usually the bride — to signify that she is a family member. And you thought you’ve attended some “out of this world events!”