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The Wedding of Dong

Escorting the Bride in Dark

The bridegroom's family does not have to prepare a bridal sedan chair, but send a way guide and another gift escort to the bride's home. It is until the midnight that the bride is escorted to the bridegroom's house. The gifts are simple, usually including 30 to 40 jin (1 jin = 0.5 kg) of pork, 20 to 30 jin of wine and some dishes.

Engagement Tea

In Longsheng County, young people who find each other congenial exchange keepsakes to confirm their love affair. It is until the young lady sends the engagement tea to the young man's family that their relation is made known to the public. The young man's family prepares sticky rice cake, food, and drinks, etc., for his uncle to send to the young lady's home. Relatives of the pair's parents then introduce the young man's and the young lady's disposition, moral quality and so on to each other. Hereafter, the two sides should scrupulously follow the promise and are not allowed to break the engagement at will.

Way Guide

Way guide is a unique wedding custom of the Dong ethnic minority. The way guide, a man who guides the bride to the bridegroom's house on behalf of the bridegroom, is usually served by a young man from a family with four generations, a flourishing population of family members, who is regarded as the luckiest by local people in the village.

On the day before the wedding date, the way guide takes the gifts to the bride's family. After the cockcrow, girls in the village wake up matrons of honor. The girls won't let the bride go out of the door until they eat their fill. The way guide should have the gift of gab and be not afraid of interrogation. The noisier the girls, the happier the bride's relatives, because it shows the bride is gregarious.

Change Lantern Cord

On the eve of the wedding, the way guide hangs the bridegroom's lantern on the bride's door and hastens the bride three times to set off. After that, the bride goes out of the door reluctantly. Before leaving for the bridegroom's house with the way guide, the bride cuts off the grass cord of the lantern, and takes out a plaited colorful ribbon to fasten the lantern, indicating she and the bridegroom have already linked heart to heart.

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