6 Popular Wedding Banquet Dishes and Their Significance
If you’ve been to Chinese wedding banquets in Singapore, you may have realised the common denominator for all – the dishes. Each meal at a Chinese wedding banquet is carefully chosen for its symbolism and significance for both of you. Some of the more common significances include happiness, longevity and of course, fertility.
Before you finalise the dishes for your banquet, we’ve rounded up 6 of the more common banquet dishes and their symbolism to help you decide on an auspicious menu for your big day.
In the Chinese language, the pronunciations of fish and abundance are similar. By including a fish dish in your banquet menu represents yearly abundance for your relationship. At the same time, when a fish is served whole—with its head and tail—it also symbolises successful completion of the marriage.
In the Chinese language, scallops are said to sound like "children or raising children". As such, scallops are said to be a symbol of fertility and this dish is said to bless the couple with children during the marriage.
Sea Cucumber and Abalone
As with fish, abalone is said to represent abundance while sea cucumber, in Chinese, sounds like the phrase “good heart”. Incorporating these dishes as part of your banquet’s menu signifies that your partner and you will have a happy and smooth-sailing relationship. These dishes can be served separately or together.
Lobster and Chicken Feet
Lobsters are often considered to be a luxury dish for a wedding banquet. However, because of the auspicious significance of red to the Chinese, serving dishes that are red symbolises happiness and joy for the couple.
During a Chinese wedding banquet, chicken feet and lobster are served together as the first dish, a cold appetizer, to symbolise the Yin (Phoenix) and Yang (dragon) of the marriage, respectively. The Yin in marriage points to the bride and is represented by chicken feet because it’s also referred to as “Phoenix” feet. While the Yang points to the groom which is represented by the lobster which translates to “dragon shrimp”.Roasted Duck
In the Chinese culture, ducks are believed to be a symbol of fidelity. When served whole, it also represents peace, unity and a lasting union. Additionally, its brownish-red skin also doubled as a dish that represents luck.
An Asian food staple, noodles also come with auspicious significances for married couples. In the Chinese culture, noodles have been known to represent longevity because of its long strands and in the context of a wedding banquet, the presence of noodle dishes is to bless the couple with a long and happy marriage and life together.
Apart from signalling the end of the banquet meal, desserts are also included as part of the menu to symbolise a sweet marriage for the couple. Red bean soup or yam pudding was some of the more common and traditional desserts for banquets. However, in weddings today, desserts are replaced by other pastes and puddings.
There you have it, a guide to the 6 popular wedding banquet dishes and their significance. So when it comes to planning your wedding menu, you know where to go.