Tradditional wedding of Dao Quan Trang ethnic minority group in Yen Bai

  •  Thursday, February 20, 2020

There are four groups of the Dao ethnic people in the northern mountainous province of Yen Bai – Dao Do, Dao Quan Trang, Dao Quan Chet and Dao Lan Tuyen – who live in the four districts of Van Yen, Tran Yen, Yen Binh and Luc Yen.

Dao Quan Trang’s traditional wedding ceremony spans three days and two nights. The ceremony now has become much simpler. 

Before the wedding, the future bride and the groom’s families gather to prepare foods and wedding gifts and offerings.

On the big day, to bring the bride home, the groom’s family sends a 11-member delegation, including the head delegate, the master of the wedding ceremony, the groom, best men and young men who can perform duet songs well, shaman and shawoman; all dressed up in the Dao tradditiional attire.

Upon arriving at the bride’s house, the groom (in yellow robe), goes directly to her room and spend a night there while the bride is hidden elsewhere.

Outside, the wedding ceremony goes on with its procedures.

The bride is readied to go with the groom to his house.

At a designated time, the bride returns to her room, covering her face with a hand fan as the Dao people believe that if not doing so, the bride would lose her spirit and it’s a bad luck. The shaman of the groom’s family hands her the yellow robe the groom wore the day before, representing their love for each other. Meanwhile, the groom’s group sings to welcome the bride.

At the strike of the good point of time, around 10pm, a man leads the delegation back to the groom’s house, holding a torch in his hand, meant to ward off bad lucks and evils and lighting the way for the bride. 

The shaman and the best men and maids bring the bride to the groom’s house. According to Dao’s customs, no matter how far the two families live from each other, the bride’s delegation has to stop somewhere midway and wait there until the good time, at around 5 – 6pm, to enter the groom’s house.

A young girl cousin from the groom’s family covers the bride with an umbrella as she walks the staircase to the house, meaning the groom’s family will protect their new member. The groom is not allowed to welcome his bride or look at her face until all rituals are done.

At the end of the ceremony, a reception is thrown for the two families and their guests to congratulate the newlyweds.