November 13, 2009

Henan Bride Wedded Posthumously

The comments...are interesting.

Groom looking at his parents-in-law. This is the first time that someone wore red in the funeral home

ghost marriage (wiki):
In Chinese tradition, a ghost marriage (also known as a Minghun or spirit marriage) is a marriage in which one or both parties are deceased. Chinese ghost marriage was usually set up by the family of the deceased and performed for a number of reasons, including: the marriage of a couple previously engaged before one member’s death, to integrate an unmarried daughter into a patrilineage, to ensure the family line is continued, or to maintain that no younger brother is married before an elder brother.
Dated: November 11


An unusual wedding took place yesterday at Zhengzhou's Funeral Home. Under guidance from the pastor, the bride in the "crystal casket" and groom Liang Yu (余亮) joined in holy matrimony.

The Wedding

The pastor's questions sounded loud and clear inside the silent funeral parlor: "Will you have this woman, Jinying Zhang (张金莹), to be your wedded wife, and love her for the rest of your life?"

"Yes I will!"

The bride, however, was not by Liang Yu's side to echo his answer. She rested quietly inside the "crystal casket" behind him.

A gigantic funeral wreath, decorated by the Chinese pictogram Dian (奠), was quite conspicuous in its presence behind Liang Yu. And contrary to typical wedding procedures, he could neither place a ring on the bride's finger nor kiss her. Instead, he glanced lovingly at her portrait hanging above the coffin. They had not been able to take wedding pictures before Zhang unexpectedly passed away.

The wedding officially ended with the pastor pronouncing them husband and wife. Yu had finally given his beloved a wedding, though it was one beyond his strangest dreams.

During the ensuing funeral services, teary relatives and friends gathered around. The pastor appeared very nervous due to the unorthodox ceremony. Yu had never gone through anything like this either, but he knew he did not have the luxury to cry: Zhang's parents needed be consoled first. They are quite old, and the grief of losing their daughter hit hard.

Yu was the last person to bid his bride good bye. He wanted to kiss her one last time, to see if he could wake up the sleeping beauty. Truth finally penetrated: This gentle compassionate girl and all those good times they spent together are forever gone.

Love at First Sight

Yu is from Chengdu, Sichuan. He works as a salesperson for some computer store in Leshan (乐山).

Zhang was a devout Christian from Zhengzhou, Henan. Before her untimely death, she had been attending a vocational school in her home city.

When the two met on December 1,2006 during Yu's military stint in Zhengzhou, both fell in love at first sight.

The relationship had a rough beginning because the parents were set against it.

Yu was younger than Zhang by two years and did not have a stable job. Her parents thought it would be quite a horrific thing for their cherished sick daughter to marry so far way from home.

His parents also had misgivings. An older girl who has epilepsy. Surely their son deserved better.

Despite of the opposition, love grew and blossomed. The two called each other daily and met weekly. By the time Yu retired from the military, their parents had finally accepted the relationship. That was December 2008.

The couple engaged in April. Soon after Yu's mother died from a heart attack. Only obtaining their marriage certificate in August briefly allowed Yu to shake off his grief.

In the eyes of the law, Yu and Zhang are already married.

Broken Dreams

The two daydreamed together on the day they got the marriage certificate. Yu already planned out the photo shoot, which was to be in Chengdu. Where exactly in Chengdu mattered no at all because his bride was surely going to be the most beautiful woman that day. Perhaps she can even create her own style and look with what she learned in school.

Little did Yu knew that these plans would never be realized.

On the afternoon of November 8, a phone call came from Zhang's father. In a slightly shaking voice, he told his son-in-law: "Ying fell sick around 5A.M. We are all at her sister's should come as soon as possible." Yu immediately prepared to fly back to Zhengzhou from Chengdu, all the while hoping things were not too serious.

That night at 7PM, Yu received another call: "Be prepared. She...probably won't make it."

When Yu saw Zhang at 6PM the next day, Zhang was already lying in the funeral parlor. The parents-in-law asked if he had any wishes. He wanted to bring her back to their home in Chengdu. But, he thought, Zhang will probably be more comfortable resting in her home province.

Fulfilling Promises

Yu suddenly became very calm. He had promised his wife a wedding, because she mentioned once that a woman is the most beautiful when she wears her first wedding dress.

He searched frantically for a wedding apparel store at midnight on November 10. All were closed by that time. Eventually Yu woke a friend up and picked a gown from his shop.

Zhang's parents arranged for the funeral home. Their request surprised the owner. In all the seven years he was in this business, the man never imagined that anyone who want to hold a wedding there, in such a mournful place.

Yu dressed the bride himself and stood by watching as makeup artists who came at dawn made her beautiful.

Zhang dreamed often of a honeymoon in South Korea. Now that the wedding is over, he will take her picture and embark on their honeymoon journey.


1. Support. This is a man as he should be.

2. A really touching story. I feel happy for the bride. To be loved by such a good man makes life worthwhile.

3. As a bystander I can only say this is a tragedy. Am shocked but not really touched by the story. Not that I am a cold person, but what we see might not actually be the truth.

4. You know what I think? All his gestures are completely empty. Maybe he has some ulterior motive like trying to get a piece of the woman's inheritance? I really think he is hiding something. I mean they already got their marriage certificate, which makes them husband and wife. If he loves her so much, then why won't he take her back to Chengdu to be buried with him? If he loves her that much, why doesn't he kill himself? Yes, he has some evils plans that he is not telling.

5. Isn't he from a poor family? Honeymoon in South Korea? The girl's parents must be footing the bill. He becomes their son-in-law just to get their money. Hypocrite.

6. To early to judge this guy. Let's see if he will marry again. I hope you are not just doing this as a show for the rest of the world.

7. True love transcends life and death.

8. I can't believe some of the nasty comments I am reading. If they didn't hold the wedding, he will be able to claim that he is still a bachelor. That definitely makes finding a second wife easier. Instead, he chose to keep the promise because he is a decent man. Why are you guys asking him to commit suicide? Love is not the only thing that matters in life. There are other important duties and responsibilities. Some people constantly want others to that case, why don't you rid us of your presence first?

9. How rich is the girl's family?

10. I want to cry.

11. Didn't know a man like this existed.

12. Oh my god. He is so brave to marry a ghost. What if he falls in love with someone else? She might start making troubles for him.



  1. It is strange why my comment disappear?
    The reports you shared are very interesting.

  2. Heh, sorry to hear that. I don't delete comments and was under the impression that blogspot doesn't either.


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