top of page

Han Ethnic Traditional Wedding Ceremony Demonstration

2 June 2013

SOAS University of


UK Research and Development Centre for Chinese Traditional Culture


UK Han Culture Association

School of Oriental and African Studies Chinese Student & School Association

On June 2, 2013, hosted by the Institute of Chinese Traditional Culture and co-organised by SOAS and the British Hanfeng Society, the lecture of the Han Chinese traditional wedding and traditional Chinese musical instrument was held successfully at SOAS.


In the first half of the lecture, some members of the British Hanfeng Society first brought a show of "the Zhou Dynasty Wedding" for everyone. Dignity, elegance, tranquility, and the low-key gorgeousness of the ancient Zhou dignity changed people's stereotyped impression of the noisy and extravagant Chinese wedding. In the subsequent explanation, Hui Juan from the British Hanfeng Society discussed with the audience the characteristics, system and evolution of traditional weddings of the Han culture. The traditional Han wedding ceremony can be divided into three major systems, namely the "Zhou system", the "Tang system" and the "Ming system". The Zhou is the basis and etiquette template for all Han traditional weddings, and subsequent generations of weddings are based on this, with era-specific variations. A complete set of Han traditional wedding can be divided into three stages and six steps. The three stages are the pre ceremony, the actual ceremony and the after ceremony. The six major steps are "family visiting", "name exchanging for fortune reading", "showing couple’s names to ancestor", "exchanging the marriage agreement letters", "dates deciding" and "escorting the bride". ", collectively referred to as the "six rituals." The orthodox Zhou wedding has the characteristics of no joy, no guests, and anti-extravagance, which fully embodies the solemnity and privacy of the wedding itself.


In the lecture on traditional Chinese musical instruments, Mr. Shi Yi, a young folk music performer who came from the United States, introduced the classification and development of Chinese musical instruments by means of video and physical display, combined performances. The history and use of Chinese musical instruments were explained in a straightforward way. Mr. Shi has been learning vocal music since his childhood, and he has mastered a variety of traditional Chinese musical instruments, especially wind instruments. Through his professional experience, especially the experience of promoting Chinese folk music overseas, he has not only accumulated rich performance and teaching experience, but also the inheritance of Chinese folk music, the uniqueness of Chinese music culture, and the development of Chinese and Western music. This time, he not only introduced well-known Chinese musical instruments such as Guqin, Guzheng, Dizi, Dongxiao, Ruan, etc., to the audience, but also showed elements of ancient Chinese music like Xun. He also improvised and played in traditional Han costumes on the streets Together with the flute and Xuanji, several Chinese wind instruments were played for everyone.


Whether it is the solemn and tranquil Zhou rituals, the deep or joyous traditional Chinese music, we see the exquisite connotations of the ancients and the Chinese people's attitude towards life based on the culture’s etiquette and advocating nature. It is something inspired in the nation’s blood and it is the culture’s most valuable treasure.

bottom of page