Asia is the largest and most populated continent in the world. It stretches from China in the East to Turkey in the West and from Russia in the North to India in the South. There are more than fifty countries on the continent of Asia, and there are different ethnic, religious and cultural divisions among the people of this vast continent. To describe the traditional wedding clothes of the different races that reside in Asia would be voluminous. Here, only some of the Asian wedding clothes will be described.
In China, the colour red is considered to bring good luck to the bride and will protect her from evil spirits. In Northern China, the bride wears a one piece frock called Qi Pao, which is elaborately embroidered with gold and silver designs. A red veil is worn over the face by the bride during the wedding ceremony. In southern China, the bridal costume consists of a two piece dress called Qun, Kwa or Cheongsam. The dress is adorned with phoenix and dragon designs, which symbolize the balance between male and female power. The traditional dress for a Chinese groom is a black silk coat worn over a blue rode with dragon designs on it. The headgear of the groom consists of a black hat with tassels on it.
In the larger part of India, sari is the traditional dress worn by the bride. The sari of the bride is red in colour. Here again, there is a traditional and superstitious believe that the colour red is auspicious and protects the bride from evil spirits. The embroidery work done on the sari depends on the wealth of the family of the bride. Rich families get embroidery work done in gold thread. Precious stones may also be stitched into the sari. Some Indian brides prefer to wear a lehnga with a short blouse. The lehnga is a long skirt, which has again elaborate embroidery on it. The base colour of the lehnga is red and the amount of embroidery again shows the wealth of the family. The tunic or blouse is also embroidered.
On the head, the bride wears a matching veil. Indian wedding dresses are usually long and loose as the wedding ceremony is performed sitting on the floor. The Indian groom will be dressed in the dress of his region, which usually consists of a long shirt and pantaloons. The shirt of the groom will have a white base and may have some embroidery on it. The richer Indian groom will wear a long buttoned up coat, called a sherwani over a shirt and pantaloons.
In most parts of Turkey, the costume of the bride has gold and silver coins stitched on to her wedding dress. The coins show the wealth of the bride. There are different bridal dresses worn in different parts of Turkey, but the use of coins on the dress is found in all of them. The Turkish groom wears the traditional dress of the region that he belongs to.
These are just some of the traditional Asian wedding dresses. Nowadays, most young couples have given up wearing their traditional wedding dresses and have adopted for the western style. It is only in India and in parts of China that the bride and groom dress in their traditional wedding dress.