The earliest record of the “Daughter Wine” of the South China can be found in the Guide of Grasses and Trees in the South by Ji Han, who was from the Jin State. It was recorded that the southerner started brewing when the daughter was several years old, buried the wine in the bottom of pond, and dug it up for entertaining guests when the daughter was to be married. In Shaoxing, this kind of wine was developed to the famous “Huadiao Wine”. Huadiao Wine doesn’t have significant difference with the common Shaoxing wine in wine quality, except that it is stored in a kind of special jar. This kind of wine jar is carved with various patterns of flowers, characters, birds, animals, landscapes and pavilions when it is only a piece of adobe. When the daughter is to be married, the wine jar would be taken out, and a limner would be invited to draw “hundred shows” such as “the Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea”, “Auspicious Omen with a Dragon Entangling a Phoenix” and “Chang’e Flying to the Moon” by grease paint on the jar, with the good omen of good fortune and perfect conjugal bliss.
“Wedding feast” is usually another saying of wedding. Preparing wedding feast means preparing the wedding. Having wedding feast also means participating the wedding.
“Cross-cupped wine” of the Manchu nationality for wedding: when the night comes, wedding candles in the bridal chamber are lightened up. The bridegroom raises the red veil of the bride, and then sits in the left side of the bride. The lady of the bridegroom’s side who escorts the bride holds one wine cup and asks the bridegroom to take a sip; the lady of the bride’s side who accompanies the bride holds another wine cup and asks the bride to take a sip. The two ladies then exchange the two wine cups, and ask the bridegroom and bride to take a sip from the other’s cup respectively.
The “thankfulness feast for relatives by marriage” of the Manchu nationality before and after the wedding: The bridegroom’s parents shall prepare a feast, put the dishes into specially made gift box, and dispatch two persons to uplift and send the box to the bride’s home in order to express the thankfulness to the relatives by marriage for cultivating such a good daughter-in-law for them. Besides, the bridegroom’s parents shall prepare a “thankfulness feast for matchmaker”, put the dishes into round bamboo utensils, and dispatch one person to send the utensils to the matchmaker’s home by carrying on shoulder with a pole in order to express the thankfulness to the matchmaker for causing the marriage.
“Wine for greeting” and “wine for sending off” of the Daur nationality: As soon as the people of the bride’s side who accompany the bride arrive in the bridegroom’s home, the bridegroom’s parents should fill two cups with wine, and toast the guests with “wine for greeting”, which is also called “greeting cup”. All the guests shall drink to the bottom, indicating that the two sides are family. Later, the bridegroom’s family should prepare three feasts to entertain the guests. After the wedding, the bride’s relatives whose homes are far away will stay over in the bridegroom’s home and leave in the next day. While sending off the relatives, the bridegroom’s parents should stand in the inside of the door and toast guests with “wine for sending off” respectively.
“Wine for meeting the relatives by marriage” refers to the feast prepared for the engagement ritual. After drinking up the “wine for meeting the relatives by marriage”, the marriage is determined and the marriage deed has become effective. Afterwards, neither the male party nor the female party can break off the engagement at discretion.
“Wine for bride’s home visit”: On the day following the wedding, the newlywed shall “visit the bride’s home”, namely, returning to the bride’s home to visit the senior. The bride’s family shall prepare a feast for entertaining, which is commonly called “wine for bride’s home visit” and only covers the lunch. After the feast, the newlywed go back home together.
“Cross-cupped wine””: This is a traditional rite in Chinese wedding formality and was anciently called “He Jin (namely, drinking the nuptial cup)” (the character “Jin” means one white-flowered gourd is divided into two gourd dippers). “He Jin Er Yin” was recorded in the Book of Rites • Wedding Ritual, with the meaning that “one white-flowered gourd is divided into two gourd dippers, and the bridegroom and the bride hold one dipper respectively for gargling with wine” as explained by Kong Yinda. The extended meaning of “He Jin” is marriage.