Saturday, 3 November 2012

Wedding Food Symbolisation

This year's social calendar has been brimming with engagement parties and weddings as friends around me are at that stage of looking to progress to an important milestone of their loving relationships.  I wish those embarking on this next chapter all the very best and happiness in the world.

I was invited to a Vietnamese engagement party the other weekend and was curious about the symbolisation behind the food presented. I have attended Chinese wedding dinner banquets in the past and they also serve similar dishes.

The following explanations are from ehow and another blog on Vietnamese culture:

Roast Pork

  • The groom presents his bride's family with a whole roast pork as a wedding gift during the engagement ceremony. This is a traditional gift. According to Kaimee, the pork is a traditional symbol of virginity in the Vietnamese culture. This symbolism makes it an important gift for the engagement.

Husband-Wife Cake

  • The husband-wife cake is offered as a gift from the groom to his bride as a symbol of marriage. The cake is sticky, which is used to symbolize the marriage ties, states Vietnam Beauty. The name in Vietnamese is "Banh Phu The."

Betel Leaves and Areca Nut

  • Betel leaves and areca nut, which often go together, are a part of Vietnamese culture and are often given as gifts from the groom to the bride's family during the engagement. The Vietnamese chew on the leaves and nuts for flavor and stimulant. Vietmedia states that chewing the betel leaves and areca nuts is comparable to a habit of smoking or drinking coffee in the U.S. or Europe.

Wine and Tea

  • Wine and tea are given as gifts from the groom to the bride's family. The wine and tea are gifts for celebration of the engagement. The gift does not have the special meaning that comes with roast pork or husband-wife cake, but it is an appropriate gift for the groom to present the bride's family during a Vietnamese engagement.


Quail. According to Shu Shu Costa, the author of Wild Geese and Tea, pigeon has tender meat that symbolises peace. Quail is offered whole to each guest so each and every one will also experience a peaceful life.

More explanations to come...

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