Since Ancient times, Chinese people practice the giving of gifts to the family of the bride, which is a sign of betrothal prior to the wedding ceremony. This tradition is made up of two parts – first, the groom visits the bride’s home and presents gifts, two weeks before the day of the wedding. This is also referred to as the Guo Da Li, which assures the bride of the groom’s word of honor to keep his promise. Several items are included in the basket such as peanut candies for Teochew brides or rice candies for Hokkien brides, even number or at least 8 pieces of tangerines, betrothal jewellery for Teochew bride, whole roast pig (or 6 tins of canned trotters of pigs) for Cantonese brides, 2 bottles of brandy and 2 pairs of phoenix and dragon candles. The second portion of the betrothal tradition is the giving back of the gift by the bride to the groom.
This symbolizes her goodwill , and the return gifts may include 2 bottles of honey or orange syrup, as well as the other items in the betrothal basket, with the exception of the jewellery and 1 pair of dragon candles. As for the betrothal jewellery, this may include 1 pair of earrings, ring, necklace, and bracelet made of gold. The jewellery is also considered as the Si Dian Jin, which is a gift from the mother-in-law. This gives the bride an assurance that she will always have a comfortable life with the husband. Traditionally, brides are not allowed to use anything from the betrothal package. Brides are also not allowed to receive the groom when he delivers the package and wedding invites can only be sent out after the betrothal package is delivered.