Traditional customs and practices come from a long history that transcend both time and space. Adhering to or incorporating such traditional customs into a milestone event such as your marriage ceremony makes it even more symbolic and meaningful as a way to connect with your parents, grandparents, and ancestors.
One such long-standing Chinese wedding tradition that continues to be practised to this day is the Si Dian Jin, a betrothal gift by the groom’s mother that symbolises a bride’s welcome into the family. No matter what Chinese dialect or ethnic group you come from, the Si Dian Jin forms an important part of the engagement and wedding ceremonies as a way to commemorate the joining of two families as well as welcome the bride into her new family.
In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing modern world, keeping the customs and traditions of Chinese weddings alive is a crucial way to honour and preserve one’s roots and heritage. If you’re tying the knot soon, here’s a helpful guide to learn more about Si Dian Jin.
WHAT IS SI DIAN JIN?
Si Dian Jin (四点金) translates to ‘four touches of gold’, and its name was originally inspired by the golden details on the rooftops of houses in the Teochew province during the olden days. It is a 4-piece jewellery set that traditionally includes a ring, a necklace, a bangle and a pair of earrings, representing a blissful future for the newlyweds.
WHAT DESIGNS OR STYLES SHOULD THE SI DIAN JIN HAVE?
Each piece of jewellery in the Si Dian Jin has its own unique meaning, such as the necklace representing continuity, and the earrings symbolising a perfect union between the bride and groom. Find out more about the meanings behind the Si Dian Jin so you pick out the right Si Dian Jin jewellery for your own wedding.
Apart from these cultural meanings and well-wishes for the newly married couple-to-be, Si Dian Jin jewellery also incorporates traditional and meaningful designs and motifs to symbolise a blissful marital union. For instance, the motif of a Dragon and Phoenix (龙凤) represent a match made in heaven and sends blessings to the couple for them to have a marriage that will last a lifetime. The Shuang Xi (双囍), translating to “Double Happiness”, is another common motif and design in Chinese wedding customs and items including the Si Dian Jin, and symbolises matrimonial bliss and happiness for the newlywed couple.
Gold has always been significant in the choice for Si Dian Jin due to its value. But today’s contemporary designs and trends allow brides to pick modern variations of the traditional auspicious symbols and jewellery materials such as jade and diamonds. There are many Si Dian Jin options available in Singapore for modern brides to choose from, whether in a pre-arranged set or through a bespoke Si Dian Jin selection. Many brides today also opt for Si Dian Jin pieces that can be worn after the wedding on an everyday basis or for special occasions.
It’s ultimately up to the bride to select what type of Si Dian Jin she would like to have as a symbol of her blissful matrimonial life ahead.
WHY IS SI DIAN JIN IMPORTANT?
The betrothal gifting of the Si Dian Jin is presented by the groom’s mother, which signifies the acceptance of the bride as a new member of the groom’s family. It also symbolises the groom’s commitment towards his future wife, giving her assurance that she will always have a roof over her head and be well taken care of.
At the same time, Si Dian Jin can be kept as a family heirloom to be passed from one generation to the next. This makes for a cherished tradition and extends its value beyond just a jewellery set. When handed down to your future children, they can appreciate the well-wishes and great significance behind your own Si Dian Jin when starting their own family.
WHEN IS SI DIAN JIN PRESENTED AND WHAT IS GUO DA LI?
In a traditional Chinese wedding in Singapore, the Si Dian Jin customs take place during the wedding preparation phase before the actual day itself. Around 2 to 4 weeks before the wedding, the groom’s family will visit the bride’s house on an auspicious date to deliver betrothal gifts including the Si Dian Jin. During this time the mother-in-law may present other jewellery to the bride during the tea ceremony, such as heirloom jewellery or jade jewellery specially bought for the occasion.
This day is also known as the Chinese betrothal ceremony or Guo Da Li, which marks the formal meeting between both families.
Rich in meaning and history, the tradition of Guo Da Li stems from the belief that when a daughter is married, she will be leaving her family and entering the husband’s family instead. Even though customs surrounding this aren’t as strict today as they used to be, giving the wife-to-be a warm welcome into her new family is still greatly treasured as a way to send her off into her newlywed life.
Betrothal gift baskets are given during the Guo Da Li ceremony to symbolise a groom’s promise and eternal commitment to the bride. These baskets usually contain traditional gifts such as a pair of dragon and phoenix candles, canned pig trotters or even a whole suckling pig, oranges, Double Happiness stickers, traditional wedding cakes, and a red packet for the bride (聘金, pin jin) which is also known as dowry money.
Additional or specific Guo Da Li items may vary depending on one’s dialect group, but ultimately, they all intend to convey good fortune and blessings onto the happy couple. This occasion not only showcases the generosity of the groom’s family, but also creates goodwill between the in-laws.
As the Guo Da Li takes place shortly before the solemnisation or wedding ceremony itself, it is seen as a way for both families to come together and celebrate the upcoming union of their children.
WHO SHOULD BUY THE SI DIAN JIN?
In present times, brides-to-be often choose to shop together with their mother-in-law to pick their ideal Si Dian Jin designs. This allows the bride to select a Si Dian Jin set that has designs that she likes, and also provides the opportunity for the daughter- and mother-in-law to bond and build stronger ties for a harmonious relationship. Other family members such as the bride’s mother, father, siblings, or even her future husband-to-be can also join in the shopping trip, turning it into a meaningful moment for the whole family.
HONOUR TRADITIONAL CUSTOMS WITH SI DIAN JIN COLLECTIONS AT SK JEWELLERY
Wondering where to buy your Si Dian Jin? Look no further. Here at SK Jewellery, our Si Dian Jin collection is beautifully crafted with the purest gold and intricate symbols to bestow blessings and good fortune for a blissful marriage.
Browse our Si Dian Jin sets online or in our showrooms in Singapore, and let us help you mark the special journey of your Guo Da Li, wedding day, and beyond. Discover more diamond rings and lab grown diamond jewellery in our collections, including the stunning Star Carat diamond collection.