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Ghost Marriage in Chinese Religion


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#1 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 03:43 AM

You've probably seen "ghost marriage" in chinese movies.

Ghost marriage is called "Gui Hun 鬼婚" in chinese. Such marriage is also often called "Ming Hun 冥婚" or "Ying Hun 阴婚". It refers to marriage in the non-human realms, such as the underworld, the realm of ghosts, realm of hell etc.

Ghost marriage formed a part of the ancient chinese marriage practice that had its root dating from Pre-Qin era. In the Book of Rites 《周礼》, it was recorded “禁迁葬者,与嫁殇者。” (forbid the moving of the tombs/coffin of those who had passed away and died young, but getting marry). This implies that if a person had not married, but had died at an early age, he/she could still undergo a marriage ritual for him to 'get married in the underworld'.

The ancient chinese emphasized greatly on marriage when a person reached a certain age. In ancient times, a man will usually get married at 20 years old while a girl will get married at 15 years old. If he died without getting married, he would not enjoy the practice of worshipping/honoring by their relatives. In addition, if a person died young but had no partner, it would seem very sad for such a person. This is probably the origin of Ghost marriage.

The rituals of ghost marriage is quite similar to any marriage of the 'lived person'. The only difference is that the married deceased persons would have their coffin buried side by side to each other.

1. I'm just curious to know if ghost marriage still exists in today's chinese religious practice (esp. Daoist). Does anyone has further information regarding it and its ritual? Any contribution and comments are appreciated.

2. It seems that the ancient chinese assumes that when a person die, he 'becomes' a ghost. How do we know for sure that he/she will become a ghost after a person dies?
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#2 Tao Tai Lang

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 07:39 PM

2. It seems that the ancient chinese assumes that when a person die, he 'becomes' a ghost. How do we know for sure that he/she will become a ghost after a person dies?


I'm not 100% certain, but don't Chinese religions say that all beings possess a spirit that lives on after death? It's without exception that a person that dies will become a spirit in one form or another according to this belief.

#3 Minty

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 04:13 PM

I have seen a movie about this. The lady who was trapped into this arrangement was very upset she had sex with one of the servant boys and she cuts the doll made to be her dead husband into pieces.(She's supposed to sleep with the doll). In my opinion this tradition is really ridiculous. What kind of live, the living person would have marring an already dead husband?

Edited by Minty, 10 July 2006 - 04:14 PM.

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#4 sg_han

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 03:53 AM

i am glad to say this chinese tradition exist in singapore=)
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#5 Lin Duanwen

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 09:57 AM

i am glad to say this chinese tradition exist in singapore=)

The tradition of Ghost marriage 冥婚 indeed exists in Singapore.

Please see the report written by Singapore Paranormal Investigators.

http://www.spi.com.s...files/index.htm
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#6 Jave Wu

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 02:43 PM

Ghost Marriage has been with Chinese (and some other races around in the World too) for many many thousand years, and this is a true fact that we can denied on.

This is indeed a very old but mysterical rituals to perform.

Many people dont believe that in the Modern Singapore today, there are still people who engage Masters to perform such a ritual in the City God (Cheng Huang Ye) Temples in Central Town Area (CBD).

As some of the dearest members here have pointed out that why must a ghost get married?

In chinese, we belived that, if a person who died young and without marriage, this is consider as "not complete" for the death. This death will have a "anger" in their soul that they will want to get something in return in sometime. What are the returns? many folks believed that are wealth, health and also lives. So in-order to prevent the death from getting such "returns" from the living mortals, the family will try to arrange for a "Death Marriage" for the son/daughters or so.

As for women who died without marriage, in chinese, we believed that such ladies will not be granted to reborn for their next life, so in-order not to let their died daughters to suffer in hell, usually traditional families will engaged Death Marriage after 1 or 3 years of the death.

As for children under chinese age of 12 will be excluded, as chinese believed that this is their destiny in this life. So for young little girls or boys, no Death Marriage is needed unless after the "Souls grow-up" and "send Instant Messages" to their parents that they need a partner in the other world.

:P
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#7 KaLing

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 04:46 AM

As for children under chinese age of 12 will be excluded, as chinese believed that this is their destiny in this life. So for young little girls or boys, no Death Marriage is needed unless after the "Souls grow-up" and "send Instant Messages" to their parents that they need a partner in the other world.

:P

These "Instant Messages" come via dreams don't they? :)

In my opinion this tradition is really ridiculous. What kind of live, the living person would have marring an already dead husband?

Hmm..I'm sure there are people who are so close and heartbroken over their partner/husband/wife that they'd willingly go ahead with this yin/yang marriage.
Although it does sound really strange.
And personally, those paper dolls are creepy.

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#8 sg_han

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 04:58 AM

err kaling yes via dreams...or through fortune tellers...
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