You are here > Home > Quick Navigation > Folk Custom > Marriage

The Wedding of She

Among the ordinary people of the She ethnic minority, there is a practice of marrying a man into and living with his wife's family besides marrying a woman into a man's home. A man married into a signorine's family is called Zuo Nuxu and a man married into a widow's family is called Shangmen. Those sonless families prefer to get a man married into their families, and quite a lot of families with sons marry their sons into others' families and leave one daughter at home to get a son-in-law married into their families.

If a man is married into and living with his wife's family, then his children should use the surname of her wife. If they have two sons, one uses his surname and the other, his wife's surname. If both the husband and the wife are single child, they have to take care of both parents' families in the first couple of years after marriage. Several years later, they settle down in the family with fairly good economic conditions.

Before the marriage, there are two processes: matchmaking and engagement, which involve much etiquette. On the very day, both sides attend a singing banquet that usually lasts till midnight, in which if the singers from the bridegroom's side cannot give right answers to questions raised by the bride's singers, black ash will be applied to their faces, making the whole room burst into laughter.

On the next day, the bride shows courtesy to her ancestors, reporting the marriage and asking for blessing in front of her ancestors' memorial tablets. Then, her mother lays dowry for her on the bed and they weep together in deep affection.

The third day is for the formal wedding. The bride should arrive at the bridegroom's home before the dawn. On the way, she should not turn her head so as to ensure the new couple live together forever. At the gate of the new home, she shall tread on the red bags laid on the ground in front of her while opening an umbrella, indicating that she'll carry on the ancestral line. On the way to the mid hall, the bridegroom's relatives and friends spread raw peanuts on the ground, wishing her to give more babies. In the mid hall, the bride meets with the bridegroom for the first time and they worship ancestors together.

On the third day after wedding ceremony, the bridegroom accompanies the bride to her parents' home and they live there for two or four nights before return.

Quick Navigation

New Article