Couple rejected for using photo wearing Hanfu clothes on marriage licenses
Published: Mar 04, 2021 03:20 AM
The registration photo taken by the couple wearing Hanfu.  Photo: Lizhi Video.

The registration photo taken by the couple wearing Hanfu. Photo: Lizhi Video.

The Local civil affairs department in Wuxi, East China’s Jiangsu Province recently rejected a couple’s registration photo for their marriage licenses because the couple appeared to be wearing traditional Hanfu clothes, which sparked an outcry on the internet, with many netizens calling on valuing the traditional costumes in China.

“There was no precedent of wearing such clothes for a marriage license,” said a Wuxi civil affairs bureau employee, Lizhi news in Jiangsu reported Tuesday.

“I like Hanfu, and I have seen many other people taking their marriage license photo wearing hanfu before,” said the bride Tang, according to a video posted by Hongxing News on China’s social media platform Sina Weibo on Tuesday.

The civil affairs department employee “might not have known Hanfu, and felt like they were performance costumes,” she said.

Hanfu, the traditional Chinese Han clothing, has seen resurgence in recent years. Many young people dress up in these garments and head out with friends to take pictures during their time off.

The topic has sparked outcry on the internet, gaining views from more than 470 million netizens on Sina Weibo, sparking discussions on the recognition of Hanfu and whether it can be used in registering for marriage.
Some netizens agree with the official staff, “It’s better to standardize the identification photo,” wrote one netizen on Sina Weibo. While more netizens think that “what is not regulated by the law can be done.”
Many netizens disagreed that Hanfu was described as “costumes.” One netizen posed the question -shirts, shirts, suits, and cheongsam are fine. Why not Hanfu? It’s traditional Chinese clothing, and it’s reasonable.”

In response to the online discussions, the implicated employee said that they would further research whether Hanfu photos can be used for registration.

A Hanfu lover surnamed Huang from Shanghai told the Global Times on Wednesday that from the photo posted by Tang, the Hanfu clothes they wear are traditional Ming-style Hanfu which is prevalent in China's Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

The reporter referred to Regulations on Marriage Registration of Jiangsu Province and found that regulations about marriage photos do not expressly prohibit couples from wearing Hanfu.

“I registered for marriage in Hanfu photos quite smoothly in Changsha, capital of Central China's Hunan Province,” Huang said to the Global Times. 

“Many Hanfu lovers in WeChat group that I added have posted their marriage licenses in which Hanfu photos were stuck. There are examples in many other cities, maybe it is just the first case in this place,” Huang added.