Wedding ritual of the Nung ethnic group in northern Vietnam


Young Nung boys and girls from the mountainous northern province of Lao Cai make friends and go out together when they work in the fields or go to fairs.

The groom’s family take the bride home.

Luon singing sessions at night are also good opportunities for them to find a partner. When a boy and a girl fall in love, the boy’s family sends a matchmaker to make a proposal to the girl’s family.

Tran Chi Nhan, deputy head of the Hoang Su Phi District Culture Bureau, Lao Cai Province, said a love offer is the first step in a marriage.

“At the proposal meeting, the boy’s matchmaker asks the girl’s parents to allow their girl to marry. They meet again 10 days later in an engagement ceremony, to which the boy’s family brings an offering that includes a rooster, a bottle of wine and sweets. Then they cook the rooster. The rooster’s paws are given to a shaman who uses them to predict a lucky date for the wedding ceremony, ”says Nhan.

During the engagement ceremony, families discuss what gifts the groom will give to the bride’s family. Gifts should include a pair of chickens, a pig, 15-20 bottles of wine, sticky rice, and sticky rice cakes. The groom gives the bride jewelry such as bracelets, silver beads, and silver buttons with which to make her wedding clothes.

“The bride’s wedding clothes are the biggest expense. The groom’s family gives his in-laws coins or money to give birth and raise his wife, as well as money for the mother’s breastfeeding and the care of the grandparents ”, explains Vang Thong Chung, a Nung man from Muong Khuong district.

Wedding ritual of the Nung ethnic group in northern Vietnam
The newlywed couple bow to the ancestors.

On the wedding day, the groom’s family takes the bride to their home. When the groom’s delegation arrives at the bride’s home, relatives spray water on them to wash away bad luck before they enter. The groom places sticky rice cakes on the altar and burns incense to ask his ancestors to allow him to marry him.

The parents of the bride are not allowed to accompany the bride to her husband’s house. The bride covers her head with a red scarf and the groom holds a black umbrella as he takes her home.

“On the way to the groom’s house, if they cross a stream, it is the matchmakers, not the groom, who carry the bride. Until the bride has bowed to the ancestors of the groom, she does not officially belong to the groom, ”says Nhan.

Upon arriving at the groom’s house, the bride receives a tub of water and rice. She goes into the kitchen to boil the water and put the rice on a shelf. This means that she will bring good luck to the groom’s family and take good care of the family.

After that, the matchmakers burn incense on the ancestor altar. The young couple bow to the ancestors and the bride takes off her headscarf to become a member of the family. They go out to party with parents and guests.

Source: VOV5

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