...and spawned this XD
Title: Idiot's Guide to Marriages in Xing
The wedding carriage (provided by the groom's family) is to adorn the image of eighteen saints. This is to ward away the evil spirits that might approach the bride on the wedding day. The wedding clothes of the bride and groom are to be in red, to attract good luck to them with its bright colours as well as frighten off anything from the darkness.
Ed: What are these? *points at the eighteen saints*
Al: *slaps his hand* Don't POINT at them, Niisan, that's disrespectful!
Ed: ...somehow, Al, I feel as though you've learned more about her culture than mine...
Al: Whatever. Niisan, here, try this on for size. *slips something on him*
Ed: Why am I wearing a red pom-pom in front of my chest...?
Meat is to be tied in front of the wedding carriage for fertility and to symbolize a full marriage.
Al: Niisan, you have to tie meat to the front of the wedding carriage.
Al: Don't tell me you didn't buy meat...
Ed: I don't even UNDERSTAND what this all has to do with marriage...*thinks* ...can we use hotdogs...?
On the day of the wedding, the groom is to leave his house bright and early with the sound of firecrackers behind him. A procession of clamouring musicians will follow him to the bride's house, making as much noise as possible to attract people's attention as well as their blessings.
The bride is to have her brushed to the fashion of a married woman by the goodluck woman (usually a female relative whose birthdate is in good rapport with the bride's). After she is cleaned up and dressed in the traditional red dress with the wedding crown and red veil with the phoenix embrodiered on it, as well as red silk shoes, she is to be taken out of her room.
First, the bride is taken out of her house by a female attendant, and then as she is carried away on the wedding carriage, her mother throws a basin of dirty water out the door to signify the daughter (which was a burden on the family) has left. The daughter would throw a fan out of the wedding carriage, since the word for "fan" is close to "separation."
Mei: Nyan, wo iyao tsu gia luh! Tsai gian! *waves* ("Mother, I am getting married off! Good bye!")
Mei's mother: *dumps dirty water out the door*
The bride is then carried off to the groom's house, accompanied by female attendants whose birthdays were also chosen to have a good rapport with hers on this day. They sprinkle grains and beans in front of the sedan chair's path, a sign of fertility. Firecrackers are set off to ward off evil spirits, once again.
Once the bride arrives at the groom's house, the groom is to kick open the wedding carriage doors to greet the bride.
Al: Niisan, not so hard! And not with your automail leg!
Ed: ...sorry...I forgot and thought that I was fighting...
Red carpet is to be laid out, along with a horse saddle. The red carpet is to ensure that the bride does not step on the earth, and the saddle, sounding like the word for “tranquility,” will ensure such for the bride as well as still an evil horse spirit said to sweep the bride away. The groom is to physically carry the bride over the threshold of his house to signify that he has brought her into his family.
Ed: What's with that saddle just sitting there?
Mei: For the evil horse spirit. Now carry me, Elric-xian...no, Shian-Gong!
Ed: ...O_O buh...?
Mei: I can't step on the earth or look at the sky.
Ed: No, I'm just confused about what you're calling me NOW.
Then, when the bride is on the red carpet on the other side of the groom’s gate threshold, an attendant is to put an umbrella over her so that she does not look at the sky.
Winry: *carrying the umbrella* Whew, wow, Ed, even you're under the umbrella.
Ed: WHO ARE YOU CALLING SHORT!!!!
Al: ....tsuh hwun in...tsuh muh tsuh iyan... *shakes head* (This wedding…how is it like this…)
Mei: Tong gahn. (Agreed.)
There are more rituals to be made as the bride and groom make their way to the house’s main hall. Sweet-smelling incense grass is to be spread to ward off small orges, and peach wood arrows shot into the skies with willow bows to keep larger ogres away.
Before she is to arrive in the house, the bride is to step on a roof shingle and break it to show that she is breaking her princess-like behaviour that she was allowed to have in her old household, since she is now someone’s wife. Then, she is to leap over a hearth of burning fire, which will cleanse her of any bad aura she is bringing from her old household.
Mei: Okay, get me the roof shingle!
Ed: What? Are you going to chuck it at someone like you did that one arrow?
Mei: No, I'm going to step on it.
Ed: And THEN what?
Mei: I get to jump over a hearth of burning fire.
While there are all these rituals before the wedding, the ceremony itself is actually very simple. First, the bride and groom pay respects to the Heavens by bowing towards the sky. Then, they are to bow to the groom’s parents as well as offer them tea as a sign that they will still serve them as a married couple. If the groom’s parents are not present, someone who raised the groom, or the altar where the parents' portraits are respected.
Ed: WHAT ARE THEY DOING HERE?!
Roy: Hello, Fullmetal. *grins* Congratulations.
Al: I invited them, Niisan...Brigander General Mustang was always like a father to us...^^; and I felt it was rude to have them miss out on the si-jyo...
Ed: Not bowing to you. Ever.
Roy: Then the wedding won't be finished, Fullmetal. Would you want your bride to be humiliated like that? And it's rude to keep a lady waiting.
After the wedding ritual, the bride and groom part-take in a grand feast with the rest of the family and friends. Usually they eat traditional lucky foods, and would also part-take in a pig’s heart to show that they are now of one heart.
Ed: O_O NO. That's it. We do it the Amestris way. I can take the hotdogs on the wedding carriage--
Al: -_- which was kinda your fault...
Ed: I can take the willow arrows being flung all around--
Mei: For good luck.
Ed: But the line is drawn HERE. NO PIG'S HEART.
After that, the bride is taken to the nuptial chamber to wait on the nuptial bed while the groom drinks with his friends and family. While usually installed the day before the wedding, sometimes the nuptial bed is blessed on the day of the wedding with a young boy jumping on the bed to ensure that the couple will have sons.
Al: Okay, my turn.
Ed: *snickers* What, Al, are you going to have to sniff that weird incense grass or something?
Al: No. *climbs onto the marriage bed and starts jumping*
Ed: =_= How comes you get to have all the fun...?
Finally, after the groom is done entertaining his guests, he will go off to the nuptial chamber to meet with his bride and have their first night together as a married couple. At times, their friends and family will barricade them in the room until morning, waiting for juicy details.
Winry: Can you hear anything?
Mei: What are you doing?
Ed: *claps hands* Sound-proofing the door.