BEIJING — Local authorities and communities in China have come up with various measures to combat extravagant rural wedding traditions such as hefty “caili” (betrothal gifts), according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs on March 18.
According to the tradition of “caili”, the groom’s family is required to give riches to their future in-laws to either secure a happy marriage or display the family’s wealth. On occasion, the cost of this gift can put certain families in poverty.
In Ningling county, North China’s Henan province, all 364 villages have formulated village rules and regulations to promote thriftiness in hosting weddings and funerals.
Local governments in East China’s Jiangxi and Shandong provinces have also issued recommendations on several aspects of weddings, including the cost of banquets and the number of limousines.
To fully facilitate the reform against extravagant wedding traditions this year, the ministry has pledged to mobilize grassroots organizations in rural areas to promote such practices and explore new forms of weddings, such as group weddings.
The initiative was prominently featured in a document released by China’s central authorities on Feb 19, which prioritizes the development of agriculture and rural areas.