Wedding Reception - Chinese Culture - Timing


There are two times listed on the invitation: 恭候 (greeting) and 入席 (reception). Typically, they are at least two hours apart (some may be four hours). The first one is the time the groom and bride, along with their family, will be ready to receive guests and greet them; the second one is the time the reception/banquet will start. The gap between those hours is referred to as entertainment time. Very often, the restaurant will provide poker and májiàng (麻將) for gambling; the time can also be used to socialize with other guests and take photos with the bride/groom and their families. Nowadays, in the U.S., you are less likely to see májiàng being played before the banquet; it is often replaced by a cocktail party. However, if the wedding reception takes place in southern China, Hong Kong, Macau, and even parts of Canada (where there is a large Cantonese population), májiàng might still be played before the dinner.

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