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In ancient times, weddings (Honrye) were held in the bride's yard or house.
The groom traveled by horse to the bride's house and after the wedding ceremony took his wife in a palanquin (sedan chair) to his parents' house to live.
This second step is called Napchae, or ‘date setting’.
The grooms year, month, day, and hour (according to the lunar calendar), which is known as Saju, is written on a paper and wrapped in bamboo branches and tied with red and blue thread.
In the past it was generally considered a taboo for a man and a woman to marry if they both have the same last name from the same ancestor.
From this cultural influence, the article 809 of the Korean Civil code regulated marriages within a clan in the past, considering it as a type of exogamy.
However, the Korean Constitutional Court found this piece of legislation unconstitutional and asked for an amendment by the legislative branch in a 1997 decision.
Five judges found it unconstitutional and two asked for amendment by the legislative branch, whereas another two opposed the outcome of this decision.
As in Confucian values family and the customs of a family is placed above all.
Lastly, the package is wrapped with a red and blue cloth and sent to the brides family.
The birthdate of the groom is sent to a fortuneteller which sets the date based on the Saju. The last step in pre-ceremonial traditions is called the Napp’ae, or exchanging valuables. Of the three the most important is the Hanseo, or marriage papers.
Once the date is set the groom then sends a box to the bride which is known as a Ham. This is given to the bride in dedication to wed only one husband.
The wife is expected to keep this paper forever; upon death the papers are buried with the wife as well.