Chinese door games, known as chuangmen, originated from the idea that a bride is a prized daughter, worth so much that her family refuses to marry her off easily. Therefore, a man worthy of her hand must pass certain “tests” to claim his bride-to-be. Today, this Chinese wedding tradition is celebrated by making the groom play a number of entertaining door games, which can be a part of the procession or played at the banquet or tea ceremony.
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Traditionally, door games will happen following the groom’s procession to his bride’s home. The bridesmaids will refuse to “surrender” the bride until the groom has completed the tests. Today, there are a number of ways you can incorporate Chinese door games into a Chinese wedding banquet or wedding reception. If you are looking for a few Chinese wedding traditions to incorporate into your wedding, these Chinese door games will make for fun and lighthearted memories for years to come.
No Money No Honey
In this traditional Chinese wedding game, the bridesmaids hold the bride hostage in her home until the groom presents the bridesmaids with enough red envelopes to satisfy them. This game is designed to prove the loyalty of the groom, that he will do whatever it takes to get his bride. This Chinese door game is perhaps the oldest and most traditional game that you could incorporate and can be played either as part of the wedding processional or at the door of the wedding banquet. If you choose to play this game, you’ll need to be prepared with many red envelopes!
The Four Flavors of Life
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The Four Flavors of Life is another classic funny Chinese wedding reception game. Marriage is a part of life, and is bound to have its sweet, sour, bitter and spicy moments. To better prepare the groom for this reality, play this game with your “sweetheart.” This is another great game to work into your wedding procession, or even better, your banquet full of tasty foods. Gather up foods and drinks that represent each of these flavor profiles, like candies, vinegar or chillies or Chinese medicine, and feed them to your fiancé in a blind taste test. They’ll have to guess what they’re tasting and you’ll get to see their funny expressions!
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The Q+A test is a cute and tasteful wedding game to play at your Chinese tea ceremony. To play, prepare a list of questions about the bride and the couple’s relationship. A family member or bridesmaid will then ask the fiance to answer these questions. If they answer enough questions correctly, then they pass and the fiancé can have their bride!
Declaration of Love
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This Chinese door game is perfect for a tea ceremony setting as well as a wedding banquet. In order to win over his bride and prove his love, the groom has to make an elaborate and heartfelt declaration of love. This declaration can come in the form of a vow, a poem, or an original song. The aim is to convince the bride, and if she is satisfied, the groom wins! You can even find some inspiration from ancient Chinese love proverbs.
No Pain No Gain
Often, there is so much pain women must go through in relationships — from the emotional pain of heartbreak to the physical pain of childbirth. This Chinese door game will give the groom a taste of what women go through, at least on a smaller scale, and will test their pain tolerance. The groom sits in a chair while the bridesmaids take turns waxing his legs. To win, the groom must endure the waxing from each bridesmaid.
Ice Bucket Challenge
To partake in this Chinese wedding tradition, the groom and the groomsmen have to put their feet into a large bucket of ice water. There will be mahjong tiles in the pot that they need to pick them up using their feet and toes only. The ice water poses even more of a challenge and it becomes a game of skill and strategy, as well as endurance.
Pass the Seaweed
Source: Acorn Productions
Another classic funny Chinese wedding reception game. To play, the groomsmen and the groom have to stand in a straight line. The first person in line will be given a sheet of seaweed to pass along — however, they can only pass it to one another using their mouths all the way down the line without dropping the seaweed. To heighten the stakes, the seaweed sheet can be cut into a smaller piece. This game is sure to elicit laughs, gasps, and big sighs of relief.
Maybe your beau is no poet, but for your fiancé to get through this Chinese door game, they have to sing a very sappy romantic love song loud enough for the bride to hear. The more sappy, cheesy, and romantic, the better! Then the bridal party can keep asking the fiancé to sing louder, and bonus points if they can stay in tune or come up with a catchy song.
These 8 Chinese wedding door games, ranging from funny to traditional, will be sure to get your wedding party excited for the events and you and your betrothed excited for your relationship to come. While a lot of fun, Chinese door games have long been a part of Chinese wedding tradition, and what better way to celebrate your love for your new partner than through connecting with your culture!
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