“There really is no set marriage ceremony or ritual that Buddhists follow other than receiving a blessing from the monks in the temple shrine, and that could happen at any time,” I tell George as he sits across the table from me in our home above the Weasley. We are having left over Peking Duck, as this dish is one of his favorite Chinese meals. I look down at my wrist, at the gift he gave me for Valentine’s Day, one week ago today. He gave me the most precious jade frog scarab bracelet
. He always gives me the best presents, even when I am not expecting anything. Like him giving up Quidditch so Master Do could generate enough magic to scry so we could see Mami and Baba. George is like that…
“I didn’t think we would end up having a church wedding,” George replies as he wraps a few pieces of duck into a pancake. “But I know very little about Chinese wedding customs.”
“Well,” I begin as I wrap vegetables into another pancake, “Chinese wedding traditions are very different and have little to nothing in common with Buddhist practices. Chinese wedding traditions are very family and home-oriented and most take place before the actual marriage ceremony is performed.” George chews thoughtfully.
“I won’t know where to begin,” he says.
“Well, one of the things you will need to do right before the wedding, the day before, actually, is buy us a new bed,” I inform him.
“What’s wrong with the bed we sleep in now?” he protests.
“It is bad luck for a newly married couple to sleep in an old or used bed.” He looks exasperated as I speak. “We have to or our marriage will have bad luck.”
“I guess it makes some
kind of sense,” he complains, “But it’s a shame to discard a perfectly good bed.”
“We can put it in the guest room.” I spoon rice onto George’s plate when I see he wants more. “And something else.” He looks up when I stop speaking. “On the day before the wedding you must install the new bridal bed in our room with the help of a ‘good luck woman’ and a ‘good luck man’.”
“What is a ‘good luck woman’ and a ‘good luck man’?” His brows knit together.
“They are a man and a woman with many children and living mates,” I say with a smile. “The three of you put the bed together and place new linens on it.”
“That’ll be easy, I think
I know where I can find a couple like that.” George grins.
“Molly and Arthur?” I ask, and he nods. “That is not all you have to do when it comes to the new bridal bed.”
“I’m beginning to think that marrying a Chinese girl is going to be too much work,” he says between bites. “What else needs to be done?” he feigns exhaustion and irritation.
“Well, after the installation ceremony, the three of you will need to scatter some things on top of the bed.” I pick up my chopsticks and take a bite of rice.
“Like what?” he asks before he takes my hand across the table and adds, “You do know I’m just joking about being exhausted, don’t you? This stuff you’re telling me is absolutely fascinating.”
“I know, love.” I pat his hand before I continue, “Well, you and Arthur and Molly will need to spread dates, oranges, lotus seeds, rose petals, peanuts, pomegranates, apples, candies, and such all over the top of the covers, so we will have a prosperous and abundant marriage. Then the fun part comes,” I say and he raises his eyebrows in interest, “You must invite children of all ages to come and sit on the bed and enjoy the sweets and treats, the more children, the merrier. The confections that the children do not finish are put in a bowl and placed on a bedside table for the bride and groom to enjoy the following night. And then the children get to jump on the bed.”
“Now I like the sound of that tradition,” he chuckles, “I highly approve of any culture that encourages children to jump on the bed and eat candy!” He laughs outright, a deep and happy sound. “Really, Cho, I’m so lucky to have you. I take it the children are an omen of fertility?”
I nod shyly. “Yes, fertility and abundant happiness.”
“I think Mum and Dad are going to have a grand time partaking of this tradition.”
“I have never known anyone who fits the rolls of ‘good luck woman’ and ‘good luck man’ better than your mum and dad,” I say, “With their good fortune you and I should have a very blessed and long and happy life together and the Weasley family tree will blossom and grow tremendously.”
“I’m counting on it,” he whispers to me as he kisses my hand.