In Korea, the marriage between a man and woman represents the joining of two fa">

Korean wedding traditions

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.

Historically, the neighboring countries of Asia, especially China, perceived Korea as a 'country of courteous people in the East.' This epithet says something about the Koreans' traditional esteem for decorum, courtesy and propriety. Indeed, it is certainly true to say that Koreans are known to be very polite and friendly, and their hospitality is internationally acclaimed.

Professional matchmakers paired up likely candidates for marriage, with the new couple often meeting for the first time at their wedding! The families considered many factors in the decision, consuting with fortune tellers for predictions about the couple's future life together. During the Chosun period, people married in their early teens, with the girl often being several years older than the boy.

groom's procession The groom usually traveled to the house of the bride for the ceremony, then stayed there for 3 days before taking his new bride to his family's home. The actual ceremony involved many small rituals, with many bows and symbolic gestures. The participants were expected to control their emotions and remain somber.

Although Koreans have kept several aspects of the traditional ceremony, most modern ceremonies resemble Western marriage ceremonies more than traditional Korean ones. However, many folk villages and museums across the country regularly perform ceremonies to keep the traditions alive.

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