A ting hun is a Chinese engagement party, and features an official gift-giving ceremony. Whatever you decide to give the happy couple, bear in mind that the bride traditionally gives half of the gifts to her groom's family as a sign of politeness. Another tradition is that all gifts should come in even numbers, because, according to "China Bridal," "good things double" in Chinese culture.
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Gifts of tableware are a good idea, as items such as wine glasses, plates, bowls, cups and saucers tend to be sold in sets of even numbers. Also, such gifts can be used by either the engaged couple or the groom's family. When buying tableware for a ting hun, consider choosing items that are pastel or bright-coloured, as such colours symbolise hope and joy. Or, for an extra-special gift, consider buying silverware such as cutlery, candle holders, photo frames, drink trays and salvers. Silverware with ornate engravings is particularly impressive and is likely to be cherished by the recipients.
Other household items would also be of use to a couple that is soon to be married. First homes need things such as toasters, kettles, microwaves and coasters. You might think it's not worth buying an even number of the first three items, as any two-person household needs only one of each, but remember that the groom's family could always use any spare purchases. Moving away from the kitchen, bath towels, toiletries, furniture, curtains and bed linens, while not glamorous, are useful gifts.
Paintings or pottery items such as vases are sure to give a new home character. Such gifts are still suitable if they end up with the groom's family. What images should the paintings or pottery show? Ducks and geese are very apt, as both represent married bliss in traditional Chinese symbolism. If you're looking for an image with a mythical slant, a dragon and a phoenix symbolise husband and wife.
Food and Drink
The right food or drink gift is always likely to go down well on any given occasion, and a ting hun is no exception. Fruit is a particularly common gift in Chinese society, so nicely presented baskets of fruit or intricately decorated fruit bowls with fruit already in them are viable options. Other choices include decorative tins of tea or iced cookies, racks of spices or flavoured oils, and good-quality liquor.
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