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The Wedding of Bai

After a young man and a young woman get engaged based on free love or with the help of a matchmaker, the young man's family must ask someone to erect a wedding tent before the marriage date. On the eve of the wedding day, they should invite those who are good at Chinese operas to perform in the tent. People appreciate the performance while enjoying fruit, tea and wine prepared by the host. The performance lasts till midnight and after it, all the people present share a bowl of Tangyuan (boiled rice dumplings) to wish a great reunion.

The next day is the wedding day. The bridegroom's family begins to arrange a banquet to entertain guests in the morning. When guests are enjoying good dishes after tasting rice wine, the bridegroom together with his groomsman begins to toast to guests one table after another in the music played with suona horn.

In some places, the bridegroom does not go to meet the bride and escort her to his home for wedding. It is the groomsman that goes to meet her in suona music under the leadership of the matchmaker. When they arrive at the gate of the bride's home, only after suona players have played joyous and bright items loudly for six times would several relatives of the bride's family go out to welcome them into the house.

Senior members of the bridegroom's family are waiting at the gate of his house for the arrival of the bride and other people. As soon as they enter the house, the bride goes upstairs accompanied by the bridesmaid and senior female members of the bridegroom's family to dress up. After she dresses up and gets ready for entering the nuptial chamber, two little boys of ten years old or so rush into the nuptial chamber with pine torches in their hands from the starting point of the stairs in people's joyful laughter and talks. Then the bride, supported by two bridesmaids with their hands, runs into the chamber while people scramble to pinch her and laugh happily.

In a moment after the bride enters the nuptial chamber, a ceremony is held for the new couple to kowtow to the Heaven and Earth, and to the parents. On the next day, the bridegroom sends the God of Happiness to the home of the bride's parents and the bride pays her first visit after marriage to her parents. In general, the bride returns to her new home on the same day. If it is far way, she stays in her parents' home for the night. By then, the wedding ceremony ends.

Tea Etiquette of Bai Ethnic Minority

The three-course tea etiquette is a special custom of the Bai Ethnic Minority in treating guests. In Dali area, after entering the house of the host, you become their guest. The host will hospitably invite you to take a seat in the main hall and talk with you while preparing the tea.

The tea is usually served in three courses. The tea is bitter in the first course, sweet in the second and most memorable after the third.

The first-course tea is as crystal-clear as amber. The host pours two to three tea drops into the cup, adds some boiled water and then hand it over to the guest with both hands. After that, the host begins to sing a sweet song to show his or her warm welcome.

Then comes the second course. The host takes out a small bowl with flaky walnut kernel and brown sugar in it. After hot tea is poured into the bowl, the boiled water begins to writhe in the bowl and flaky walnut kernel looks like cicada alas. Together with the tea fragrance, drinking the second-course tea is really enjoyable.

The third-course tea is more out of expectation. The host adds a half spoon of honey and two to three Chinese spices into the baked tea, which leaves a lingering and refreshing mellow when tasted.

With the opening up to the outside and the development of tourism, the three-course tea has become the etiquette of the Bai people to treat friends they first meet. No matter where you visit in Dali, you will have an opportunity to enjoy the three-course tea accompanied with singing and dancing.

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