The custom of Chinese family
The Custom of Chinese Family
The Culture is one full of rich traditions, customs, values, and superstitions that they still uphold to this day. They are religious in observation of different festivals during the year though the smaller ones no longer regarded as important. Some major festivals the Chinese people observe include the Lantern Festival, Double Seven Festival, and Chinese New Year amongst others. The timing and fall of a major festival within the normal calendar depend on the Chinese calendar, as one year may not be the same with another.
They value the family unit and marriage observed as a social and sacred institution for the continuance of the family and the lineage. There are many customs associated with it. After marriage, the woman moves in with the family of her husband and she is the ‘property’ of her husband and therefore no longer part of her parent’s family. With modern times, the man and the woman to get married have ample time to know each other unlike in the past when there were arranged marriages between the brides and groom’s family. The parents from both sides, the groom and the bride take over all the marriage arrangements to preserve the traditional customs, values, and superstitions and pass them over to the young couple. They highly regard weddings as they are a show of ‘might’ and wealth and the expensive it is, the better the rates and social status of the family of the groom.
Funeral ceremonies also regarded in the Chinese culture as they send out the dead to their final resting place.
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A traditional ceremony involves a lot of prior arrangements and funeral rites conducted on the dead that depend on how old the dead was, the social standing, their marriage status and if they held any position in the society as a leader. Intense funeral rites performed on elder males in the society and more so the married with many children, an unmarried man, and a child have no or fewer rites performed on their bodies. The funny thing is that sometimes the funeral rites begin even before the person dies, as a coffin bought before with three humps.
They cover mirrors to avoid the reflection of the mirror, as they believe one who sees the reflection might attract death to their family. The corpse washed before placing in the coffin after proper clothing depending on the colors. They believe if a body is dressed in red and placed in the coffin it will transform into a ghost and torment the living after the burial. The close family of the deceased expected to wail loudly as a sign of loyalty and respect and during the wake people celebrate with the bereaved family as a sign of mourning and support with them.
The Chinese have many superstitions around brooms where they believe their sole purpose is sweeping as a method of cleaning the houses or the shop. They have the belief that the brooms have spirits, they therefore not used for other purposes like cleaning places of worship like the altars, and where their gods in their households reside. During the major festival of the New Year’s Day, they have the tendency that if one sweeps using the broom they will swipe the good year’s luck. The broom is not used during the Spring Festival as well.
When one beats another with a broom, bad luck follows them for a long time and they are cursed but with reversing the curse, the person hit with the broom has to have their body part rubbed a few times to erase the curse. They believe in luck whether good or bad with numbers and believe that number eight is the luckiest number for them while number four the unluckiest one as it sounds for them like death. Seven also stands for death and the number one loneliness hence avoided at all costs in identification whether of car plate numbers or house numbers.
The Chinese regard the dogs highly and they believe dogs can detect ghosts and if a dog howls, there is impending death as that serves as a warning. Any fluid from the dog’s eyes and particular the eyes can give someone the power to see and communicate with the spirit world and exorcists use the fluid to predict the future. Other superstitions revolve around cutting nails and toes at night as they believe that will attract a visit from a ghost or the dead. The cuttings from nails disposed of in hidden places where no one can find them as one with bad motives could use them to curse the family or the individual.
They also have beliefs on moustaches and beards in that those who maintain long ones in their bodies could attract bad omens and luck to their families and as such left to the busy working men as they ‘have no time to shave’. Women in the Chinese culture should be well behaved and talk softly unlike the men who can talk loudly and deemed ‘acceptable’.
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