Title: Children Jumping on the Marital Bed
General Information about Item:
- Customary Folklore, wedding folklore
- Language: Chinese, English
- Country of Origin: China
- Informant: Katrina Yu
- Date Collected: 5-21-2019
- Katrina Yu is a 20-year-old woman who grew up in Hong Kong and is a ‘21 at Dartmouth College. She is very involved in sustainability on campus and currently lives with the interviewer at the Sustainable Living Center.
- Cultural Context: This tradition is an example of if-A-then-B superstition as if children jump the bed, then the couple will have many children. The desired outcome of the ceremony plays into the desire for a couple to have lots of children and particularly boys in traditional Chinese culture. The bed setting is organized by the parents or grandparents of the groom so they can pass on their luck and fertility to the couple.
- Social Context: I asked my friend Katrina if she knew about any marriage folklore and this is what she shared with me. She first learned about this folklore when she was around seven and was one of the jumping children on the bed, though she was eventually asked to get off the bed. This tradition generally takes place about a week before the wedding ceremony, though the informant reported her experience taking place immediately after the wedding ceremony, and is a part of a larger ceremony of preparing the marital bed. The process of setting up the marital bed is attended only by close family, including the jumping children, and is generally organized by the grandmother of the groom. The more children that jump on the bed the better as this will bring the couple even more children. Additionally, the genders of the jumping children matter and, in Katrina’s case, more boys were wanted on the bed as that is the gender of child that the couple wanted.
Item (Direct Quote):
- “So the folklore is that once the couple gets married we go to wherever they’re living in the future specifically their bedrooms and everyone gathers in their bedroom and the children the little children probably like under 7, they all get onto the bed and they jump on the bed because it will help the couple have lots of babies and especially because the couple wanted like boys like a boy in the future like they wanted more boys to jump on the bed than girls they and they thought that could help. Obviously, I don’t believe it but it’s something fun.”
- “I was one of the jumping children, and when I heard that they wanted more boys on I got really mad.”
- I think this folklore is a really interesting case of homeopathic magic and says a lot about a couple’s hopes for their marriage.
Collector’s Name: Anna Matusewicz
- Wedding Folklore
- Chinese Lore
- Homeopathic Magic