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In traditional Chinese culture, the color for wedding is Red. White is for funeral. Today both traditional and western bridal ideas are being practiced. 

The other day I saw someone replying to the empress of china’s photoset about how inaccurate for the two characters being dressed in white. Maybe because he saw this post, or maybe he saw some info online? anyway I want to make a clarification about why Chinese funeral dress is white.

White is just what it appears to be. Chinese wear clothes made of undyed fabric for funerals, no decoration, no pattern, no embroidery whatsoever. Some are like beige because of different fabric’s natural color.  The fabrics are usually roughly made and not comfortable to wear. 

As you might have seen, those costumes in teoc are white but with red and golden embroideries all over them.

 I also read something like “Chinese emperor always wear yellow dragon robes”. That’s true if the emperor stays in the front court having meeting. When the emperor in the back palace he can wear anything. Also, yellow is not the only color for dragon robes in the history, there’re black very common, red and purple. Dragon is indeed a must for the pattern. 

for an emperor, the Dragon must also have five talons for the claws. high officials get four claws and lower ranking important people get 3 claws.

source: my mom

That’s a social status ranking in Qing Dynasty. Before Yuan almost all the dragons have 3 claws. Ming Dynasty dragons have 4 claws. 

you are my encyclopedia on china

Black wedding dress was actually the norm in the late Qing and Minguo. 


This batuan (八团)eight circles type of decoration was influenced by the Manchurians.


Then people decided they like flowers and birds.

夏梦 in the 50s.


(picture source:

White clothes are the norm for many dynasties as well (dyes are expensive and also the court banded coloured clothing for the merchants (not that people actually followed the law, if they had the money, most of the time).. Brown (more shades than I can imagine) was super popular in Yuan dynasty because Han people in general were not allowed to wear other colour. 

Traditional mourning clothes are not dyed and without hem – to show that the families were so sad that they cannot keep up the appearance.