The Wedding Ceremony of Naxi People

In Naxi culture, young people usually get acquainted with each other on public occasions such as festivals. After an initial acquaintance, the two will ask a third party to act as a go-between, or matchmaker. Then both families will consult the horoscope of the young couple. If the horoscope bodes well, the boy's family will ask of the matchmaker that 2 tubes of tea, 4-6 boxes of sugar (in some place 2 pieces of salt are added to show a solemn pledge of love, suggesting perhaps that the suitor is prepared to accept the less-sweet with the sweet), and 2 liters of rice be delivered to the girl's family as an engagement gift.

During the wedding ceremony, a shaman recites scriptures for the happiness and prosperity of the new couple, and he draws 4 pictures as a special gift to the bridegroom. The pictures are of tiger, a conch, a vase and a bronze basin. The picture of the tiger depicts a tiger's body with a human's head. This picture is identical to that seen on the tiger totem in ancient Naxi culture.

On the occasion of an engagement, a banquet is a must, and when the wedding itself takes place, it lasts 3 to 5 days. The participants will include members of the extended family on both sides, as well as invited guests. At the wedding ceremony, when the bride asks those present to take their seat for the meal, a kowtow of humility must be made by the couple. After this has been received by those assembled, music will begin as the dishes are served. At the commencement of the third course of the meal, the person who presides over the wedding ceremony proposes a toast to those assembled, and at the fifth course, the bride and bridegroom drink a double toast to those assembled.

After the feast, the couple and their extended families gather outside to say good-bye as the guests depart.

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