You’ve probably heard about Guo Da Li (过大礼), but what about the less well-known tradition Hui Li (回礼; return of gifts)? These presents are symbols of the bride’s appreciation for her soon-to-be husband and his family.
Before we go into detail about what items to prepare for Hui Li, let’s recap the list of items to be given during Guo Da Li, which has a relation to the items to be given back during Hui Li. Guo Da Li items include the following:
• Money and jewellery
• Food and drinks
Out of these, Si Dian Jin (四点金) is the most important and well-known gift, consisting of a pair of 916 or 999 gold earrings, bracelet, necklace, and bangle. This set of jewellery is given by the mother-in-law to welcome the bride into the family and ensure that she is well taken care of.
For Hui Li, the bride’s family will return a portion of the Guo Da Li gifts as well as other items to the groom’s family. This is to signify their gratitude for the generosity of the groom’s family and also to share the good fortune between the two families.
So, what do the brides have to give back to their grooms for this traditional Chinese wedding custom?
LIST OF ITEMS FOR HUI LI
MONEY, JEWELLERY, AND OTHER VALUABLES
1. A PORTION OF THE GUO DA LI ITEMS
Half of the items given during the Guo Da Li ceremony will be returned to the groom’s family, including the mandarin oranges, wedding cakes, pork trotter cans, and the phoenix candles. Some of the Pin Jin ((聘金; bride price) must also be returned. The common practice is to return about 50 to 90 percent of the original amount.
2. GIFTS FOR THE GROOM
Similar to how the Si Dian Jin is a welcome gift for the bride, this gift for the groom is to accept him into the bride’s family. Popular presents include a wallet, watch, or belt accompanied by a red packet. Some brides may even choose to include commemorative items like the Auspicious 999 Pure Gold Plated Figurine or Blissful Marriage 999 Pure Gold Bar (2G). Not only are these a beautiful reminder of the couple’s endless love, but they can be used to decorate the matrimonial home.
The bride’s dowry for Hui Li consists of the following items:
- Gold jewellery: As gold is considered a precious metal that retains its value, 916 or 999 gold jewellery is often given so that it can be passed down as an heirloom to the next generation. 999 gold is often preferred as part of a Hui Li as it represents the utmost purity of the blessings upon the couple.
- Fate coins: They are believed to bring amicable relationships to the couple. Alternatively, couples can consider getting a 999 pure gold coin to commemorate this momentous occasion.
- Chinese wedding tea set: The Jing Cha (敬茶; serving tea) ceremony is a tradition in Chinese weddings. This tea set will be used when the bride and groom pay their respects and gratitude to their elders.
- Dining set: The dining set consists of a pair of chopsticks, spoons, bowls, and plates. It represents an abundant life for the newlyweds where there is no worry for basic needs like food and drinks. Modern-inspired dining sets like the Tiggerific Feast 999 Pure Gold Mickey Bowl Bundle, Tiggerific Feast 999 Pure Gold Pooh Bowl Bundle, and Golden Rice Bowl 999 Pure Gold 金饭碗 take this a step further by using gold to represent the wish that the couple will enjoy blessings of wealth and riches. Sets such as these can also be kept and passed down to the next generation, serving as a timeless memory the couple will treasure for decades to come.
- Bedsheets and duvets: The sheets and duvets will be on the couple’s matrimonial bed during the An Chuang (安床; setting up the bed) ceremony for a harmonious marriage with many offsprings.
- Bedside lamps: As part of tradition, these bedside lamps will need to be lit for three days and three nights to provide a bright life ahead for the newlyweds.
- Sewing basket: This basket should contain an even number of colourful threads, needles, pin cushion, and scissors to allow the bride to be able to sew and provide for her family.
- Five-piece descendent set: This descendent set is to signify prosperity and longevity for the couple’s descendents. The five-piece set is made up of a hot water flask, bathtub, pail, basin, and potty.
1. ORANGE JUICE/SYRUP
These liquids are in exchange for the alcohol received during Guo Da Li. The sweetness of the juice and syrup symbolises the love and affection that the couple will have for each other for the rest of their marriage.
2. CHINESE STEAMED CAKES
Chinese steamed cakes, also known as Huat Kueh, are a symbol of good luck and prosperity for the groom and his family. They are also often offered to the gods during auspicious occasions, in the hope that good fortune will be granted.
1. RED UMBRELLA
The Chinese believe that red is a powerful colour. This is why a red umbrella is given to shield the bride from any evil spirits, bad luck, and negative elements during the Chu Ge (出阁; leaving the bride’s house) ceremony .
The ruler signifies a prosperous future for the newlyweds with many sons and daughters.
HAVE A BLISSFUL MARRIAGE AFTER YOUR HUI LI WITH SK JEWELLERY
Chinese weddings are a beautiful blend of traditional customs and modern sensibilities. Though not as well-known as the Guo Da Li ceremony, Hui Li is still an important aspect of a Chinese wedding.
Not sure what to get for your Hui Li gifts? Let SK Jewellery help you. We’re the leading provider of bridal jewellery, including engagement rings, wedding rings, Si Dian Jin, and wedding gifts in both 916 gold and pure 999 gold.