> Korean Food Culture > 4 Ceremonial Occasions
and Food > Hon-Rye
Wedding ceremony is a social procedure by which a couple's
union is publicly certified. By sharing party food,
participants join approval of the marriage.
This is also called 'Gyo-Bae table' or 'Dae-Rye table.'
On the table shall be laid, in prearranged order, a pair
of candlestick with blue and red candles, a pair of base
with pine tree and bamboo, two bowls of white rice, fruits,
rice cakes, and two chickens wrapped in cloth of blue and
In the old days, blue color signified bride and red color
Pine tree and bamboo symbolize keeping of chastity, while
chestnut and jujube fruits mean longevity and bearing many sons,
all of which are indispensable to table display.
It has long been customary to perform wedding ceremony at main
floored room or courtyard of bride's house.
Originally, Pyebaek (Pye-Baek) was a formality implemented
for bride's parents only.
A folding screen was set up at main floored room, and groom's
parents sat (father at east and mother at west) before food
table to receive bride's bow.
Normally at this formality, jujube fruits and chestnut are
given to groom's father while jerked beef given to mother.
Region-wise, in Gyeongsang province jujube and chicken
are mainly used, whereas jujube and pheasant are often used
in Jeolla province.
Jujube and chestnut involve the meaning that「I will
lead a married life diligently and carefully」, while
jerked beef means「I will serve you sincerely and consistently」.
As for jujube fruits, only flawless and thick ones were selected
and cleansed in water. Then, sprinkle wine on surface
of each fruit and insert pine nuts on both sides. Next,
pass the fruits through crimson thread to form a line, which
are then heaped up on dish.
As for Pyebaek chicken, one cooked in a steamer is dried,
and then will be decorated with red pepper or egg. As
for slice meat, seasoned beef minced and shaped into oval
type (Pyun-Po) and beef cut into thin slices, seasoned with
sesame oil and dried on wicker tray (Yuk-Po) were used.
Each eight slices of Pyun-Po and Yuk-Po are bound into a package,
wrapped with color paper, covered with oil paper and then
wrapped again in a large cloth.
'Gu-Jeol-Pan' is a side dish to take with wine for groom's
father, which consists of dried ginseng, shrimp, pattern-pressed
candy, dried slices of seasoned fish, dried persimmons, slice
octopus, confectionery, ear shell, etc. Beob-Ju is normally
selected as wine for groom's father.
When wedding ceremony is finished, the couple visit groom's
house bringing some food prepared by bride's mother as present,
which is called I-Ba-Ji food. Groom's house also gave
a table of food to bride, so that she can taste them and
reflect in cooking. This tradition of food exchange
has been continued long to become a custom.
Ibaji food shows cooking skill and domestic habits of the
family. It mainly includes flavored glutinous rice,
meat, rice cakes, fruits and various side dishes. Its
kind and cooking method are different a bit in each family.
In Gyeongsang province various rice cakes (white one, colored
one covered with bean flour, one with flower patterns imprinted),
fruits, pan-fried food, slices of boiled meat, beef, ribs,
pork hock, dried fish and liquor are normally included in
Ibaji food, while in Jeju province, pork, chicken, egg, bean
curd, rice and liquor are generally included.