The ‘lap chai’ is a ceremony where wedding gifts are exchanged between the families of the bride and bridegroom. This ceremony takes place before the wedding day, on an auspicious date selected by both families. The ‘lap chai’ is traditionally an elaborate event. Processions of gift bearers, wind instrument players and relatives would all come together to mark the union between the 2 families. Gifts were carefully prepared and sent from the bridegroom’s house to the bride’s at the auspicious hour. On reaching the bride’s house, the gifts were laid out, after which certain items were taken and replaced with gifts to be returned to the bridegroom’s family. Those gifts not taken would also be returned. This is a pair of Hennessy bottles that were part of a tray of gifts from the bridegroom’s family to the bride’s family, which included the bottles, a pair of candles and an auspicious number of oranges. The bottles of alcohol symbolised the bridegroom

Early 20th century
Straits Settlements
Gross measurement: H:30cm x Dia:7.4cm
Accession No.
Collection of
Peranakan Museum
Folklife Collection