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Tourists get a taste of 'grabbing marriage'

CCTV.com

08-02-2014 19:33 BJT

China is a country with 55 ethnic groups, and each group has its own unique marriage customs. There's even one called 'grabbing marriage', among some people of the Miao ethnic group. Recently, dozens of couples got the chance to experience this unique tradition in southwest China's Guizhou Province. Let's find out more.

China is a country with 55 ethnic groups, and each group has its own unique marriage customs.

China is a country with 55 ethnic groups, and each group has its own unique marriage customs.

'Grabbing marriage' is a symbolic move to show a couple's decision to get married. Early in the morning, the man brings several friends to wait for the woman outside her bedroom. The man gives a signal to the woman using a flashlight, and the woman then comes downstairs to meet him. After that, he must bring a dowry to the woman's parents.

"This is my first time here, plus I haven't married my girlfriend yet, so I'm very excited right now. This custom is new for me," said a tourist.

There are 66 couples taking part in this unique experience. Led by two respected seniors in the village, the grooms carry the dowries to their future in-laws. The dowries always includes food, clothes, money and more. Glutinous rice cakes, a traditional snack of the Miao ethnic group, are essential. The couples are required to exchange the cakes and eat them to show their affection.

China is a country with 55 ethnic groups, and each group has its own unique marriage customs.

China is a country with 55 ethnic groups, and each group has its own unique marriage customs.

China is a country with 55 ethnic groups, and each group has its own unique marriage customs.

China is a country with 55 ethnic groups, and each group has its own unique marriage customs.

After that the couples take a trip around the village, spreading their joy and happiness.

"Being part of this ceremony makes us feel young again. It evoked the excitement and happiness I felt when I married my wife. We are truly happy to be here and this is amazing!" said a tourist.

The activity is part of a local culture festival, aiming to promote the traditions of the Miao ethnic group. The couples have been chosen from an online audition, and come from different places around China.

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