Sunday, May 28, 2006

Beijing - Wedding Celebration - Mess TentRelatively mellow weekend, although there was a great deal of activity in the neighborhood. When I arrived home on Friday evening, after dinner and bowling with some of my colleagues, I noticed some people erecting a large army-green tent outside of my apartment building—one of the largest I had seen. Previously, I thought the tent was only used during funerals, but as I would learn on Saturday, they were also used for weddings and other events.

Saturday, in the early evening, after spending the day with Angela looking at fabric for our own wedding attire, we returned to find the parking lot outside our apartment building full of people. Large red diamonds bearing the Chinese character for double happiness were attached to either side of the entrance to the giant tent which was packed with revelers eating and carousing. There was also a performance with music and loud distorted singing going on outside the tent which lasted until about 10PM.

On Sunday morning, I woke up at about 7:50AM to the sounds of more music blasting up to us on the sixteenth floor. Was something else happening? There weren't too many people around when I looked out my window. I went back to my book and coffee. A couple hours later, I heard a drummer and some cymbal players begin playing. I looked out the window again and noticed a number of people wearing dragon costumes. A crowd had gathered. It looked as if the wedding celebration was continuing!

Beijing - Wedding Celebrations 4Dragons Bar the WayThere were four dragons in the street dancing around a man holding a greenish orb. After 30 minutes of this, a large crowd had gathered around the dragons. Fireworks and firecrackers were lit. The bride and groom arrived in a stretch limousine and, under a shower of confetti launched from long cardboard cannons, the groom had to carry his bride across the threshold of the building while simultaneously braving the wrath of the dragons. There are a few more pictures in the usual location...

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