In Chinese tradition, a ghost marriage (also known as a Minghun or spirit marriage) is a marriage in which one or both parties are deceased.  Other forms of ghost marriage are practiced worldwide, from Sudan, to India, to post-World War I France (see Levirate marriage, ghost marriage in Sudan, posthumous marriage). The origins of Chinese ghost marriage are largely unknown, and reports of it being practiced today can still be found.
1. Types of ghost marriage
Chinese ghost marriage was usually set up by the family of the deceased and performed for a number of reasons, including: the marriage of a couple previously engaged before one member’s death, to integrate an unmarried daughter into a patrilineage, to ensure the family line is continued, or to maintain that no younger brother is married before an elder brother.
1. 1. Previously engaged
Upon the death of her fiancé, a bride could choose to go through with the wedding, in which the groom was represented by a white cockerel at the ceremony. However, some girls were hesitant since this form of ghost marriage required her to participate in the funeral ritual, mourning customs (including strict dress and conduct standards), take a vow of celibacy, and immediately take up residence with his family. A groom also had the option of marrying his late fiancée, with no disadvantages, but there have been no records of such weddings.
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