Thousands of female graduates across China ditch the mortar board for wedding dresses

The wearing of wedding dresses along with other weird and wonderful outfits has become customary at Chinese graduations this year

A new craze across China has seen female university graduates do away with the traditional graduation caps for, of all things, wedding dresses.

Unlike Britain, where ingrained traditions of tearful parents, gowned lecturers and celebrity speakers  are all part of graduation day, in China there are fewer set in stone traditions and this has given birth to new ideas and rituals, including the wearing of wedding dresses.

During this summer’s graduation ceremonies, more and more of China’s female graduates have been adorning white gowns and tiaras to pose for the all-important graduation photo.

According to Liu Xiangping a student from Xi'an Polytechnic University in central China "The wedding dress makes things feel more meaningful."

Liu, who along with her classmates and thousands of other female graduates rent their gowns for up to and above $7 dollars a day to wear during their graduation.

With parents generally not attending, the importance of the graduation photo with classmates has become the most important aspect of the day, with those groups that have spent year’s together seeing their final pictures as the reward for their achievement.

Zang Xuehui, a 24-year-old senior at the Northeast Forestery University in Harbin pooled money together with five roommates to hire a photographer to shoot their graduation pictures. In total it cost the friends, who had lived together ever since their first year, the equivalent of $16 for three hours to take their photos.

She says that to graduate from university is something “full of significance” and believes that the wedding dresses and photos are a “unique way of celebrating this” with friends.

Many are now doing away with the traditional mortar board Many are now doing away with the traditional mortar board

Nevertheless, it is not only wedding dresses that have become customary attire for Chinese graduates. Other interesting outfits worn by graduates for their final photos have included students dressed up as pirates and builders, while other classes have seen students wearing Qing dynasty attire.

Despite the students believing that the wearing of wedding dresses for graduation is all in the name of fun, Lu Xiaowen, deputy director of the Institute of Sociology at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, believes the decision to wear a wedding dress has a more symbolic meaning.

For Lu she believes that wearing wedding dresses and other special outfits during graduation shows the last expression of creativity by Chinese students.

She believes that with massive competition facing grads for jobs, the decision to wear wedding dresses is seen as the final manifestation of freedom before entering the working world.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own