‘Marry a ghost’ A wedding rite in the afterlife world

A wedding is not only a ceremony in the human world but a wedding can be done in the afterlife world as well. This time, ACUPay will introduce the ancient Chinese tradition that has existed for centuries and remains in some areas today: the ‘marriage with ghosts’ or ‘Minghun’ tradition.

History and origin of a wedding with ghost

‘Minghun’ 冥婚 or ‘Peigu’ tradition has been around since the ‘Shang Dynasty,’ a belief that has existed since 3,000 years ago as an after-death wedding ‘between the dead and the dead.’ The families of the groom and bride will bury their bodies together because the Chinese believe that if life is born and dies without marriage, the afterlife will be unhappy and their families will not be happy either.

What does ‘Marry a ghost’ look like?

‘Marry a ghost’ is a ceremony so that those who have died single will not feel lonely in the afterlife world. This rite was previously held only when both the groom and bride were dead. If that is the wedding of a dead man who marries a woman will be called a ghost marrying “a wife”  If that is the wedding of a dead woman who marries a man will be called “a ghost marrying a husband”

In the ceremony of ghost marriage between those two who have died, both parties must consider the merits of each other such as equal social status and age of bride and groom. The families of both sides must have their seniors in Feng Shui as matchmakers. The bride’s family will charge the bride price and have something to exchange such as rice, tea, sugar cane, and incense depending on the region. In some places, other items will be given such as money, jewelry, housemaids, and houses which are made of paper like those used in the Gongtaek ceremony.

In the ghost wedding ceremony, a ceremony is held in front of the stone of the bride and groom. The most important step is to dig a bone from the bride’s grave and place it in the groom’s grave, which is like sending the bride to the groom so that they can live together.

This kind of ghost wedding ceremony is still a belief that was passed down as a custom for the deceased ancestors. It is one of the gratitude of descendants. Currently, it is still practiced in some Chinese provinces. Most cases like this are found in northern and central China.

Behind the Belief of Marry a Ghost

Marriage is very important for Chinese people. It can be called one of the values that everyone must marry and have a family. Marriage in this afterlife is something that reaffirms such values with the belief that a daughter who is single must be married to prevent their soul from becoming a “hungry ghost” to haunt the family’s life.

Nevertheless, this marriage can be like consoling the bereaved families of both families, as well as building friendships and healing after child loss.

Here are beliefs and values that emerged hundreds of years ago, reflecting parents’ attachment and concern for their children who passed away from this world. Today, the Minghun tradition gradually disappeared due to current beliefs and social conditions.

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