Fortune tellers were called upon to determine the most appropriate time for a wide variety of important life events within the family, including the best day to open a business, hold a funeral or inter the dead, or start school.  When two families proposed a marriage arrangement, a necessary step included taking the names of the prospective bride and groom to the local prognosticator, who would then determine whether or not the match was auspicious, based on an evaluation of the characters in the names.