Ten-mile red trousseaux in wedding ceremony; infinite love between bride and groom
There came the large and mighty procession to escort the bride with firecrackers set off here and there and the gongs and drums and other jubilant music for the wedding ceremony lingering in one's ears on their way. The bride's sedan, bed, cabins, cases, etc were all with resplendent and gorgeous red and golden paintings. The procession extending for miles to escort the bride showed their jubilance and luxury all the way and this was the spectacular occasion when the rich families in east Zhejiang Province in ancient China were marrying off their daughters, which was also commonly referred to as "Ten-mile Red Trousseaux". Those elaborate articles for the wedding with profound cultural connotation are still with sparkling charm and infinite vitality.
The so-called "Ten-mile Red Trousseaux" was the occasion for families to marry off their daughters in ancient China. According to the ancient marriage custom, except the fine and soft articles such as bed necessaries, clothes, shoes, jewelry, bedclothes and needlecraft for brides, those red mirrored dressing cases such as the bed, needlework plate and spindle would be sent to the groom's house through heavers and laid by the bridesmaid, which is known as "Making the Bed".
As for the trousseau, the large pieces of furniture would be carried by two people and complete sets of red barrels shouldered by one person with one at each end. The pail, fruit barrel and other wooden articles together with the small pieces of articles such as the porcelain insulators and earthen jars would be put in the boxes carried on a pole to the bridegroom's house. All cases and boxes would be painted bright red and golden. The spectacular procession to escort the bride extending for miles from the bride's house to the bridegroom's looks like a golden dragon wrapped with red garments, brimming with auspice and jubilance to show off their affluent family possessions. Thus it is called "Ten-mile Red Trousseaux".
The Qiangong sedan, Wangong bed, offspring barrel and so on were all articles for wedding ceremony in ancient times with special designs, exquisite techniques as well as profound connotations. They are so marvelous that they never lose their appeals to audience until today. Only the single piece of red and golden basin shelf in the Qing Dynasty contains infinite charms and connotations, let alone the red and gold lacquerwork made in the period of time when three liang (a unit of weight) red paint cost one liang gold and the elaborated "Qiangong sedan" taking thousands of labor hours.
Girls from the south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River have made an indissoluble bond with trousseaux throughout their lives ever since the day they were born.