Selecting the perfect wedding date is one of the most complicated and time-sensitive tasks on a bridal to-do list. From location availability to special occasions to desired season, so many factors play a role in the decision that your original 365 choices quickly dwindle. Snagging your desired weekend wedding date is even tougher.
Chinese couples consult a fortune-teller to help them choose the luckiest wedding date. The 5,000-year tradition is so ingrained in the culture that couples may hasten or postpone their wedding plans to escape an ill-fated day.
Divining Lucky Days Through the Tung Shing
The Chinese Tung Shing divines the best engagement and wedding date to ensure a couple’s lifelong happiness, harmony and prosperity. Experts in suan ming (fortune-telling) consult the guide for lucky signs and fortunate omens based on astronomical activities, such as moon phases and tides. They also study the names of the bride and groom as well as the year, month, day and hour of their birthdates, which is referred to as the Four Pillars of Destiny.
he activities and directions outlined in this ancient Farmers’ Almanac mark the most auspicious date and two-hour period. The fortune-teller master also reads the couple’s faces and palms to choose a huang li (wedding date). Most often, an even-numbered month and date is selected.
The guide also pinpoints the luckiest time to install the bridal bed, an activity carried out by a fortunate woman whose husband, children and grandchildren are all alive.
Avoiding Unlucky Days
The all-knowing almanac reveals days to avoid as well. The 2010 Year of the Tiger, which did not contain a first day of spring, was an unlucky time to get married. The number four symbolizes death, so it is generally rejected as a wedding date. Seven can be a lucky or unlucky number. However, Chinese couples typically avoid the entire month of July when the spirits leave the underworld to visit the living during the Ghost Festivals.
In contrast, 08/08/08 was a widely sought-after wedding day. The number eight, which represents wealth and infinity, is the luckiest numeral in China. Any date that contains nine, which signifies longevity and eternity, is also popular. Numbers two, three, five and six carry positive associations as well.
Certain pairings can change the destiny of a number, such as 28, which symbolizes double prosperity, and 24, which represents the joining of two people and new beginnings.
Choosing a Wedding Date
Since the Tung Shing relies on a lunar calendar, couples actually have to wait to choose a date until the updated version is printed at the end of the year. Many Chinese wedding venues require a one-year advance reservation, so it is best to select a date as soon as the guide is released. Venues typically charge higher fees for popular auspicious dates.
The good news is that 2015, the Year of the Sheep, is a fortuitous year to tie the knot. The lunar year spans February 19, 2015 to February 7, 2016, and is the eighth sign of the Chinese zodiac. The Sheep, along with her counterpart the Ram, brings harmony and romance, encourages exploration and growth and ushers in prosperity and fertility.
Read our articles to learn about how the Chinese use fortune telling to pick names for their child