11. The Engagement

 

Since Mr. Lyan promised the marriage, D z Yun started to prepare for the engagement.

The engagement was very different from nowadays.

First of all, De Yun must have a matchmaker to present his engagement proposal.

He asked Uncle Bu to be the matchmaker to go to the Lyan’s residence to proposed the engagement for him. Uncle Bu was a close friend of Mr. Lyan. He visited Mr. Lyan frequently. At the Lyan’s, Uncle Bu acquainted with Dz Yun. He was of the opinion that Dz Yun was an honest and gentle boy. He understood  Dz Yun and Yu-Wen loved each other. He was willing to be the matchmaker.

The Matchmaker played a crucial role in those days. Without a matchmaker, there would no marriage.

Only for preparing the engagement there were three steps:

Step 1: For the boy’s side —  he should have a matchmaker who should know both persons well and willing to be involved with this engagement.

Step 2: First of all, the matchmaker should bring a piece of red paper with the boy’s birthday and eight characters of a horoscope to the girl’s parents and an engagement ring. The girl’s parents will take boy’s birthday and eight characters to a fortuneteller to be checked to see if this boy’s date of birth and eight characters of a horoscope would match with their daughter’s. If there is no problem and also they think this boy may be an ideal son-in-law to be, they would accept the ring and the red paper.  In return, they would give their daughter’s birth date and eight characters of a horoscope to the matchmaker to bring to the boy’s parents. The boy’s parents will do the same as well.

.     Step 3:  After everything was OK, the matchmaker would prepare two pieces of formal “Big Dragon and Phoenix Card” for each party. Those Cards carries both boy and girl’s birth dates and eight horoscopes. The one for the girl’ parents was printed with a pair of Phoenix on the very right side of the card.   The one for the boy’s parents was printed with a pair of Dragon on the left side of the card.  These “Big Dragon and Phoenix Cards” were really big! They were about one foot long and three feet wide solid red silk cloth framed with gold thread.

Until both cards were accepted,  the marriage ceremony is awaiting!  By now, if any of the two party refused to accept the big red card, the engagement is canceled. There will be no wedding!

Yu-Wen valued the Small Card and the Big Dragon and Phoenix Card so much. Because of the war, her family moved from place to place. The lost many valuables but these two cards always with her. Until they settled down in Taiwan, She hung them on the wall in her bedroom by her bedside. Along with her mother-in-law’s portrait. The person who loved her so dearly!

Small Dragon and Phoneix Card

Big Dragon and Phoneix Card

 

–To be continued–

12. The Marriage

is on the way