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Wedding of herdsmen from high mountains

09-26-2010 13:51 BJT

The Khalkhas have very grand wedding ceremonies that mainly include two procedures, engagement and marriage. When announcing their engagement, the groom's side will carry gifts on a horse and visit the bride's home. White cotton is bundled at the horse's head announcing the engagement. The bride's parents will prepare the best food to entertain the groom's side. In some other areas, the cotton at the horse's head must be bundled by the bride's side, and some flour will be sprinkled on the groom's guests to show that they agree to the marriage and wish a happy and smooth marriage.

Wedding of herdsmen from high mountains

Normally, the wedding ceremony will last three days and is usually planned for the end of the month. The wedding ceremony is mainly held in the bride’s home. On the first day, the groom will bring gifts and visit the bride’s home accompanied by his parents. The gifts include two freshly killed sheep, with one being a boiled whole sheep and the other being a roasted whole sheep after its internal organs have been scooped out. In addition, dozens of small livestock are also brought to bride's home. When close to bride's home, the groom's side will begin a game in which they throw the slaughtered sheep at the door of the bride's home, and then, they will be enthusiastically welcomed by all other women of the bride's family.

Before the wedding ceremony begins, the bride's relatives and friends will bundle the bride and groom together. At this time, the groom's father and brothers will give gifts to bride's relatives and friends, asking them to untie the couple. When the wedding ceremony officially begins, an elder from the groom's party will open the skylight of the yurt with a stick, casting candies and snacks from the skylight. The guests will fight for these candies and snacks to share the happiness. Then, the bride's mother will sing a song for saying goodbye to her daughter and an activity will also be held, namely the bride and groom sit back to back, with a bag covering their heads, and other people take turns to tap their heads with a sheep hoof and then pull them up and dance together. After that, a local priest reside over the wedding ceremony, following the reading of marriage vows and breaking off a piece of crusty pancake dipped into salt water to give the bride and groom for eating, a symbol of growing old together and never parting.

The next day, the bride and groom's families will hold traditional activities such as horse racing, goat grabbing, and wrestling as congratulations. In the evening, the bride will visit her sister-in-law's home to meet the groom. The guests will crowd outside the yurt and the traditional folk instrument of the Khalkhas is played and people begin dancing and singing a happy song until midnight. After they receive gifts, the guests will allow the groom to enter the bridal chamber and then leave. On the third day, the bride will go to her husband's home with a large dowry. When passing a village, they will be given a warm reception and blessing. Within a few days of staying in her husband's home, the new couple will also be invited by relatives and friends to take part in all kinds of activities, so their honeymoon normally last a long time.

Editor:Shi Taoyang |Source: CNTV.CN

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