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The Hong Kong Jockey Club Series: Ceremony and Celebration – The Grand Weddings of the Qing Emperors

Hong Kong Heritage Museum
1/F Thematic Galleries 1, 2, 5 & Function Place
30 November 2016 – 27 February 2017

Jointly presented by Leisure and Cultural Services Department and The Palace Museum
Jointly organised by Hong Kong Heritage Museum and The Palace Museum
Solely sponsored by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust
Supported by Hong Kong Design Institute

 

The grand weddings of the Qing emperors were majestic state ceremonies and among the most solemn celebrations within the Forbidden City. From the founding of the Qing dynasty until its demise in 1911, only four emperors, namely Shunzhi, Kangxi, Tongzhi and Guangxu had the opportunity of proposing for and taking an empress after their accession to the throne, and had their wedding ceremonies held inside the Forbidden City.

The grand weddings of the Qing emperors involve extremely elaborate rituals, inheriting Han marriage rites practised in the Central Plain as well as incorporating elements of Manchu culture and customs. For instance, among others, the rituals known as Betrothal, Presenting Grand Wedding Gifts, Conferring Title, Receiving the Empress, Sharing of Nuptial Cup and Granting Banquets fully demonstrate the exaltedness and extravagance of court life, and manifest the unsurpassed authority of the emperor.

The present exhibition focuses on the grand weddings of the four above-mentioned emperors, displaying 153 items/sets of exhibits selected from the rare and unique collections of The Palace Museum. These documents, portraits, costume, personal ornaments, dowry objects, wedding ritual objects and court musical instruments, among others, will serve to explain the processes of imperial weddings and deepen visitors' understanding of the rituals of the grand weddings of the Qing emperors. Among the highlights of the present exhibition are the gold seal engraved with Huanghou zhibao (Empress's seal) surmounted by a dragon knob, the robe with Double Happiness and gold dragon motifs worn by Emperor Guangxu during his wedding, the duomu flask used in traditional Manchu weddings. Most fascinating of all are the two volumes of Comprehensive Illustrated Record of the Grand Wedding of Zaitian [Emperor Guangxu] (Zaitian dahundianli quantu ce), displayed in Hong Kong for the first time, giving a minute and precise visual account of the processes of Emperor Guangxu's grand wedding, vividly conveying the ceremonious and jubilant atmosphere of the event. Furthermore, artefacts highlighting local marriage traditions from local museum collections will also be displayed, allowing visitors to explore the similarities and differences between the grand weddings of the Qing emperors and wedding traditions practised by folks in South China.


Admission Fee

Standard (Adult) Group (Group of 20 persons or More) Concessionary#
Wednesdays to Mondays: $20 Wednesdays to Mondays: $14 Wednesdays to Mondays: $10

   #Full-time students, people with disabilities and one accompanying carer, senior citizens aged 60 or above
   Box Office will be closed 30 minutes before the Museum closes.
   Holders of valid Museum Pass enjoy unlimited free admission to the above Special Exhibition.

 

Audio Guide (Cantonese, Putonghua, English)

"Stories of the Qing Emperors' Grand Weddings" Audio Guide Application

This Audio Guide jointly produced by Hong Kong Heritage Museum and Hong Kong Repertory Theatre has selected the most representative exhibits to be highlighted in the form of radio drama. Museum visitors may download the "Stories of the Qing Emperors' Grand Weddings" Audio Guide Application to their smart phones to gain a better understanding of the grand imperial weddings.

Visitors are welcome to download the audio guide app during the exhibition period (– 27.2.2017).

(The Application is designed for smartphones running iOS 9.0 and Android 5.0 or above.)

App Store download QR code
Download the application at Apple App Store
      Google Play Download QR code
  Download the application at Google Play

Audio Guide Device in Exhibition Zones

Audio Guide Device is also installed in the Exhibition Zones. Visitors may press the button next to the exhibit to listen to the "Stories of the Qing Emperors' Grand Weddings" Audio Guide of that particular exhibit.

 

Exhibit Highlights

 Gold seal engraved with Huanghou zhibao (Empress's seal) surmounted by a dragon knob

Gold seal engraved with Huanghou zhibao (Empress's seal) surmounted by a dragon knob

1922

 

Portraits of Emperor Kangxi and Empress Kangxi in Court Attire

Qing dynasty (1644-1911)

 

Portraits of Emperor Kangxi and Empress Kangxi in Court Attire

 

Bright yellow lined male dragon robe with kesi-tapestry gold dragon, bat, cloud and Double Happiness motifs

Bright yellow lined male dragon robe with kesi-tapestry gold dragon, bat, cloud and Double Happiness motifs

Guangxu period (1875-1908)

 

 

Bright red padded female dragon robe with eight kesi-tapestry medallions featuring the Eight Immortals and gold dragons amid bat, Double Happiness and cloud motifs

Guangxu period (1875-1908)

Bright red padded female dragon robe with eight kesi-tapestry medallions featuring the Eight Immortals and gold dragons amid bat, Double Happiness and cloud motifs

 Pair of cloisonné candleholders with Double Happiness symbols

Pair of cloisonné candleholders with Double Happiness symbols 

Late Qing period

 

Ciyan tu (Granting Banquet), in Vol.8 of Zaitian dahundianli quantu ce (Comprehensive illustrated record of the grand wedding of Zaitian [Emperor Guangxu]) 

Qing dynasty (1644-1911)

 

Ciyan tu (Granting Banquet), in Vol.8 of Zaitian dahundianli quantu ce (Comprehensive illustrated record of the grand wedding of Zaitian [Emperor Guangxu])

 

 Fencai bowl with butterfly and Double Happiness motifs on yellow ground

Fencai bowl with butterfly and Double Happiness motifs on yellow ground

Tongzhi period (1862-1874)