Over the weekend, my family joined Ching Mei's family at their house for the traditional pre-matrimonal gift exchange ceremony, also called "sung jit". Sung jit, a hokkien term loosely translates to "giving day" differs quite a bit from family to family, but basically from what I've been told, it's giving of dowry and all things sweet and nice to the bride's family. Nowadays, it's mainly symbolic, and it is meant to give everything a new couple would need in their new life together.
So, off we went to her parents' home bearing sweet oranges, sweet sticky rice cakes, sweet biscuits, sugar coated persimmons and winter melon, red dates, a whole roast suckling pig, bottles of whiskey or brandy and dowry money. Ching Mei's grandfather prayed to the gods and ancestors, and after that we just mingled with the family, drank sweet packet drinks and crispy pork buns. We then adjourned to a Chinese Restaurant for lunch. What an affair, but only a warm-up for what's in store for us in a couple of weeks time!
It was such a colourful event. I'm sure everything given and received is meaningful, a symbol of love, luck and richness in life for the bride and groom.