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Why Ordinary Women Can Wear Fengguan Xiapei At Their Wedding?

Fengguan xiapei are not clothes, they are accessories.

Fengguan means phoenix crown and xiapei means red cloud scarf.

Fengguan xiapei (Chinese: 凤冠霞帔 ; pinyin: fèng guān xiá pèi) is a set of hanfu accessories for ancient noble women and imperial wives.

At the same time, fengguan xiapei is also a woman’s clothing when they are married to show nobility.

If the fengguan xiapei is usually worn by women of high status, why would there be ordinary women wearing fengguan xiapei when they get married?

That said, there is a legend about this.

According to legend, at the end of the Northern Song dynasty, when the Jin army invaded the south, Zhao Gou, son of Emperor Huizong of the Song dynasty, came to the ruined temple on his way to escape and was rescued by a woman.

To thank him, he showed his identity and gave her a red handkerchief, said: “I will marry you. Then you just have to wave a red handkerchief, and I’ll recognize you.”

After he ascended the throne and became Emperor Gaozong, he went to marry the girl as promised, but the girl did not want to enter the palace and was afraid that she would disobey the emperor’s order, so she prepared a lot of red handkerchiefs, and asked all the sisters to wave red handkerchiefs every day.

This made Emperor Gaozong unable to recognize her.

To repay the grace that saved his life, Emperor Gaozong issued an imperial decree: “A woman from Zhejiang is allowed to marry by wearing fengguan xiapei, and ride a dragon and phoenix sedan chair”.

Although this is only a legend, in reality, there was a rule in the Ming and Qing dynasties that ordinary women could wear fengguan xiapei on the day of the wedding ceremony.

But, the style and material of the fengguan xiapei that ordinary women could wear are far from the real fengguan xiapei.

Slowly, this became a habit passed down from generation to generation until now.

However, women who remarry and become concubines are not allowed to wear fengguan xiapei.

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