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Bridal Pastries

I handed out Bridal Cookies at work today. I gave Fiance Guy a box for the Magellan crew too. People always like food of any sort. =)

Apparently, it's a Southern Chinese tradition because my co-workers from Northern China tell me they don't do this =}

Traditionally, the parents of the bride would give "Bridal Pastries" (literally "marrying-off-the-daughter cookies") to friends and family to announce their daughter's marriage. They are essentially a flaky pastry filled with sweet lotus paste. Sometimes, they had other things in the lotus paste, like salted duck egg yolks, almond flakes, sweetened coconut shreds, etc. Parents would bring the pastries along when they hand delivered the invitation to the guests.

Chinese wedding invitations are always hand delivered wherever possible, never just mailed. But that was back when everyone lived in the same village or city. Or at least on the same continent.

In Chinese tradition, you never visit someone empty-handed, it's considered rude. You always bring a gift of fruit or some kind of sweet food - in Taiwan, business visits are always accompanied by pineapples because the Taiwanese word for "pineapple" is homophonous with a phrase that vaguely translates as "come here", but it means "to attract the business connection".

It used to be that only the bride's side gave their guests bridal pastries, but in time, people have forgotten and guests on both sides received them.

In the spirit of modern day efficiency, we enclose Bridal Pastry coupons in the wedding invitations. These coupons are pre-purchased and redeemable at a Chinese bakery. They used to be specifically for bridal pastries, but recently, they've just become gift certificates for anything that's available in the bakery. Everything, that is, except "special order items". And bridal pastries are special order items.

It really peeves me that I bought 150 bridal pastry gift certificates for $10.00 each, totalling $1,500.00 and my guests could not get bridal pastries with them. >K{


The Bride of the First House

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