Over the Oct 20th weekend, my mom hosted a Chinese version of an engagement party
'SICK BANG'- literal translation Cookie Day. Others may know it as Pig Day. Not everyone does it, I guess it depends how traditional your family wants to take this.
This is the basic list that my mom gave me.
On Pig Day:
The groom's family would send:
- An elaborate array of food ( Pig, chicken dried scallops, dried Mushrooms,etc)
- Traditional Chinese cake/pastries
- Religious items to the bride's family ( such as a new dress for the bride's sisters and new pair of shoes for bride' brother)
- Parts of pig ( Head and Tail)
- Traditional Chinese pastries
- Religious items to groom (new belt and new wallet)
Usually this happens a month before the wedding but we did this a few months earlier so that we could pass out our invitations.
In the morning, we had to go to grandmother's to pray and give offerings.
We ate breakfast and relaxed a bit while the older ladies did all the chopping.
I wanted to know more about Cookie Day so I googled and found this:
- The bride and groom’s families refer to the Chinese calendar and choose a “lucky date” for the cookie party.
- The parents on both sides negotiate and agree upon a number of special wedding cakes and cookies (in individual pastry sizes) that will be purchased by the groom’s family and presented to the bride’s family on the determined date.
- Anywhere from 200 to 700 cakes and cookies are typically ordered from special Chinese bakeries.
- They are considered to be part of the wedding dowry. The idea is that when a bride marries, she will part with her parents and assimilate into the groom’s family. In exchange for “losing” a daughter, the grooms family provides cakes to the bride’s parents to sweeten the parting.
- If the grooms family presents a large number of cakes, this symbolizes that the bride is marrying into wealth and she will be well cared for.
- A whole roast pig (Ours was 47lbs!) on a wooden red platter is also purchased by the groom’s family to present along with the cakes. The pig supposedly represents the bride’s virginity. Sometimes coconuts are also given as a symbol of fertility. I’ve heard that a live chicken should be included in the “dowry,” (He bought 7 cooked chickens instead since it's more practical).
- Someone from the groom’s side that is not the groom, his parents, or grandparents (We asked our Best Man-Ken) delivers the goods to the bride’s home where the entire extended family of the bride is waiting to feast.
- Once the pig is handed over, the brides relatives immediately chop off head and the hind portion and returned these to the groom’s family. This is to symbolize that everything has a beginning and an end.
- The bride’s family also has gifts prepared for the groom and his family including:
- Boxes of food and treats
- A wallet, belt, and suit for the groom.
- The bride’s family divvies up the cakes and distributes them to all the relatives. The quantity of cakes is determined by the seniority of guest or relationship with the family. These are supposed to be distributed with the wedding invitation. Several of the cakes are boxed up to return to the groom’s family also.
- A big family celebration ensues on both sides and the bride and groom are not allowed to see each other until the wedding day." (Yea we had the big party and saw each other afterwards!)
Yup- We did all of that and much more. I don't agree with most of the items because I feel like some of it is unnecessary but I think it is nice to have something like this to pass onto future generations.
Come back soon for Part 2 of cookie day!
Thanks for reading, I know it is picture and word heavy.