An Old Ritual With a New Spin

While the most seemingly bizarre wedding traditions actually can make for the most unique wedding experiences, you don’t have to faithfully recreate the original rituals as they were once performed. If you’d like to try putting a modern spin on an old wedding tradition, check out this fun adaptation of long-observed Chinese ritual.

“Zuo Tang” or “Sitting in the Hall,” from the Sichuan Province in Southwest China
Nearly a thousand years ago, the mother of a Chinese princess was so devastated that her baby girl was promised to a man she disliked she spent an entire month weeping in despair. Chinese mothers everywhere thought this was a fabulous way to express motherly love, and thus the Zuo Tang weeping tradition was born. As the tradition evolved, the brides became the ones expected to weep, and so the ritual began a month before the wedding day. Ten days into the weeping month, the bride’s mother would begin weeping with her daughter. As the days went on, the other female members of her family would join in the tears, until every female relative of the bride was weeping together. Brides who didn’t weep enough were often shunned or beaten by their mothers because the harder, longer and more often a bride cried, the more she was thought to love her family.

Round up all of your female relatives a week or two before your wedding day to have a “crying” themed karaoke night.
In all fairness to modern Sichuan brides, recently the Zuo Tang tradition is upheld by simply singing “crying marriage songs” in lieu of month-long weeping. You can take it one step further. Gather all your female relatives sometime in the month before your wedding day and take them out for a night on the town. Hit up a karaoke bar for some singing and dancing. If you really want to get in the sobbing spirit, theme the music choices according to song titles and lyrics about crying or weeping.

Try This “Wailing” Playlist:
“Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake
“Cry to Me” by Solomon Burke
“Don’t Cry Out” by Shiny Toy Guns
“Big Girls Don’t Cry” by Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
“Cry” by Siouxsie & the Banshees
“Can’t Cry These Tears” by Garbage
“Boys Don’t Cry” by the Cure
“Don’t Cry Baby” by Madeleine Peyroux
“Crybaby” by Janis Joplin


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