An Chng: Blessing of the Wedding Bed

By Peranakan Museum / July 26, 2017


Peranakan wedding beds are usually decorated with silk curtains, beadwork and embroidery, a reflection of the Peranakan’s love of ornamentation. The beadwork and embroidery, which features motifs such as insects, butterflies and birds, incorporates the concepts of fertility and wealth. This shows the Peranakan’s belief that like butterflies and magpies, the wedded couple too would reproduce successfully and quickly.

In addition, to bless the bed, a comb of banana, lemongrass and yam together with three lit joss-sticks are put in an earthen pot and kept under the wedding bed as these items symbolise wealth, longevity and fertility.

Another practice, which is still common amongst the Chinese in Singapore today, is to let a young boy roll over the wedding bed three times as a blessing to make sure that a male would be the first-born.