A Kwa Qun is a traditional Chinese wedding costume composed of a long, silk blouse and a long skirt.
Historically, only members of the Chinese imperial family were privileged to wear this costume. But the Kwa Qun has not been confined to imperial brides since the Yuan Dynasty. A Yuan emperor, Khan, saw a courtier pick up old clothes for his sister as a wedding costume. Feeling pity for the girl, Khan granted her an imperial Kwa.
The Kwa was then made available to ordinary people, and it became a mainstream wedding costume. However, the Kwa was not popular among the poor, as it was still a luxury. The popularization of the Kwa increased with a fall in prices. Many brides can afford to wear them now. In any case, most brides now rent Kwa's instead of buying them. This contravenes older practices. Older generations insisted on buying their own Kwa's and passed them to their daughters. Old people think that renting a wedding costume is not good.
They worry about bad luck being passed through them in case someone who has rented the costume before does not have a happy marriage. In the past few decades, Kwa's have been richly decorated with dragons and phoenixes, representing Chinese emperors and empresses.
Chinese wedding costumes are usually red, which is regarded as a lucky colour. Green, pink, purple and gold are also available.