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A Celebration Heard 'Round The World: The Traditional Korean Wedding

"I Do" can be said in many languages. Join us as we explore the many unique wedding customs and traditions from three different cultures.

korea weddingThe Traditional Korean Wedding:
The Beauty of Korea is present in the photos above. Thank you to for assisting with portions of a traditional Korean Wedding Ceremony.

In Korea, the marriage between a man and woman represents the joining of two families, rather than the joining of two individuals. As such, the event was often called Taerye (Great Ritual), and people from all over participated. Steeped in traditional Confucian values, the ceremonies and events surrounding the actual marriage were long and elaborate, from the pairing of the couple to the rituals performed after the ceremony.

The Details:
Hand lanterns are used for lighting the way from the groom's home to the bride's home on the night before the wedding. Traditionally, the groom's family would carry a wedding chest filled with gifts for the bride's family.

Wedding ducks are a symbol for a long and happy marriage. Cranes are a symbol of long life and may be represented on the woman's sash. Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Constitution, and many of the world's major religions are active in Korea. Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, and Shamanism are the four major religions of Korea

For over 2,000 years, the traditional Korean costume, the Hanbok, has been worn by men, women and children. Originally, the Hanbok was made out of white cotton, silk or a scratchy coarse fabric called hemp. Today Koreans wear Hanboks in many colors and types of fabrics.

The Bride's Attire
The women's attire includes a chogori (short jacket with long sleeves) with 2 long ribbons which are tied to form the otkorum. A chima, a full length, high waisted wrap around skirt is worn. Boat shaped shoes make of silk, are worn with white cotton socks

The bride's attire might include a white sash with significant symbols or flowers. A headpiece or crown may also be worn.

The norigae is a hanbok decoration which has been worn by all classes of Korean women for centuries. It is tied to the skirt or the ribbon on the jacket. The knot on the top is called the Maedup.

The Groom's Attire
A jacket (chigori) and trousers (paji) and an overcoat (turumagi) are worn. The jacket has loose sleeves, the trousers are roomy and tied with straps at the ankles. A vest may be worn over the shirt. A black hat (moja) could be worn.

The wedding feast or reception, (kyorhon p'iroyon) can be a mix of traditional and western cultures.

Reader Comments (1)

ARTICLE CORRECTION: Confucianism is not a religion; it's a social philosophy that is indeed very influential in Korean culture regardless of one's religion. There are 3 \\\"religions\\\" represented in Korean temples Buddhism, Taoism and Animism while there are a number of Christian churches which bear red crosses in South Korea.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermb

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