This is a whole new use for a rooster,
In south China, there was an odd custom; where, in an elaborate wedding ceremony, a woman was married to a rooster.
In that time, at Wu Wi district, Guangdong, many men left to go overseas and find work. They were very young when they left home and overseas they worked very hard. Any money they made was sent back home for the family. While they lived overseas they were just like a work machine, with no time for leisure and certainly no time to find a wife. So, most of the men remained un-married. Also, many of the men wanted a Chinese wife. As a consequence they were very lonely and asked their parents back home to help.
So their parents in China helped them to find a wife in their hometown.
When a suitable girl was found, the parents paid some money to the girl’s family. This was called ‘engage money’. The girl was then formally affianced to the son. The girl could then only wait for the son to return home and marry. But this was often a very sad and forlorn vigil, as the son was often too poor to return home, especially if he was sending all his money to his parents.
After the girl was affianced, she couldn’t stay at her parent’s home indefinitely. Eventually she had to marry and live with her ‘parents in law’. However, she could not do this without a formal marriage ceremony and a groom. So they used a rooster as a stand-in for bridegroom.
Absurdly, the rooster wore red silk on its head, and after the wedding it stayed with the bride for one night.
If, after a few years the husband did not return, the wife could then adopt a boy for their heir. On the day the son was adopted there was an elaborate ceremony with lots of food. Joss sticks and red candles were burnt to worship heaven and earth, and to tell to the ancestors of the new son in the family.
This rooster marriage was a very empty and lonely marriage. Sometimes the husband returned once or twice, sometimes the husband married overseas, sometimes in their whole life the couple never met. They often both remained alone and lonely until their death.
Also, in that time, the woman was bound by the old tradition that women couldn’t marry again, even if the husband died or simply disappeared. Who know how many women lost their whole life’s happiness.
My grandmother told me about her cousin’s story. Her cousin was forced into a rooster marriage, and in her whole life she only had her husband’s photo for company. She never met her husband. She was forced to look after her mother-in-law and father-in-law their whole lives. After her parents-in-law past away, her husband’s family only gave her a very small, dark and damp room to live in. They didn’t give her enough food to eat and in the end, she became very sick. While she was sick, no-one looked after her or looked in to see how she was. One bitterly cold night she died in bed. It was three days before someone past her room and found out that she had died. What life this was this!?
Today, we must look back; not just for being sad, but also to make sure that the same sad thing cannot happen again.
................ perhaps a recipe for rooster is the answer