Huai'an China Culture Folk Customs
Pressing Bed Before Marriage
As a marriage custom, "pressing bed" is very popular in Huai’an. At the night before marriage, the bridegroom invites one to four strong virgin boys to sleep together with him.
According to the legend, during the Northern and Southern Dynasties, poor worker Wang Erbao from Huai'an married a beautiful widow when he was 30, at the night before his wedding, he dreamed that a tough man slashed him and robbed his wife. The next day, he married his wife and they loved each other dearly; three days later, Wang Erbao had to left his wife and went to work for a landlord. A rich man in the village was attracted by Wang Erbao's wife and robbed her at midnight. But the villagers thought the bride was lost because of some evil energy. And in order to dismiss such energy, people began to let strong virgin boys to "press the bed" at the night before wedding, this behavior became a local marriage custom later.