I got up and peeked out the kitchen window, which faces the central courtyard. Looking down, I saw five musicians, a palanquin, people carrying signs with the "double happiness" character, everybody dressed in red -- yes! This can only mean a wedding! Okay, interesting time of day, but considering that we're having a quite a heat wave in Zibo, a sedan chair ride would be stifling for the bride later in the day, wouldn't it? Better to set out first thing in the morning. And probably the bride and groom are having a traditional plus a Western wedding, so that's a lot of ceremony to get through.
Some young men entered the apartment building, charged up the stairs and started banging and yelling on a seond floor apartment door, (one below me). The yelling and banging went on for a few minutes. I'm told that this party included the groom, who was admitted to the bride's apartment by the mother in law, after giving her some money.
Then nothing happened for a while. At least outside that is.
After fifteen minutes, the musicians set down their instruments and started smoking. The palanquin bearers also rested. Little girls from the neighborhood happily flicked the red curtain aside and played inside the sedan chair. I made coffee.
More than half an hour later, the bride, dressed all in red with her head completely covered with a red veil, was carried out of her apartment (presumably by her groom) and down the stairs to the palanquin. The wedding party fell into place, the musicians resumed playing, and the procession marched out through the complex. Paper had been pasted over the manhole covers all along the route -- this prevents evil spirits from coming up and threatening the happy union.
Unfortunately because I was looking out my window, which is very dirty on the outside, and the assembled wedding party was directly below, I got no worthwhile pictures. I snatched a picture of a wedding palanquin, or sedan chair, off the internet to give you an idea. I managed to record some of the music.
Oh -- speaking of weddings, congratulations to my parents! Today is their 61st wedding anniversary.
And speaking of anniversaries.