婚俗改革 (hūnsú gǎigé): Reform of marriage customs
The Ministry of Civil Affairs recently announced it will promote reform of marriage customs in order to curb the excessive spending on dowries and extravagant weddings.
Marriage customs and wedding ceremonies are important for the harmony in families, communities and society. In some places, wedding ceremonies have become excessively extravagant as they have turned into a competition among relatives and friends, which puts a heavy economic burden not only on the families of the bride and groom, but also their wedding guests. Some civil servants even use their or their children's wedding as an excuse to collect money, which creates a negative impression among the public.
And some vulgar wedding customs such as getting the bridesmaids drunk undermine the joyful atmosphere of the weddings and can have serious consequences.
The ministry is therefore encouraging replacing extravagant wedding ceremonies with simple, solemn marriage registration ceremonies that not only ease the economic burden of families of the new couples, but also create a civilized and healthy marriage custom.