Traditional Wedding In Vietnam
Traditional Wedding In Vietnam
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The wedding is one of the most important traditions of Vietnamese with many customs. Like other countries, this ceremony is also considered the happiest event of one's life.
Have a look at wedding traditions and customs guide to understand more about Vietnamese wedding.
Proposal Ceremony (Dạm ngõ)
As one of the most traditional wedding customs remaining in today’s Vietnamese society, the proposal ceremony is the meeting of the two families where the groom’s family will visit the bride’s family to ask permission for an official relationship of the children with the aim of getting married.
This ceremony often takes place without any complicated rituals, and the gifts that the groom’s family brings to the bride's are expected to be the betel and the areca. The main purpose of this meeting is to help both families to come to an understanding about the upcoming marriage. A proposal ceremony is considered to be a good start for a successful marriage.
Engagement Party (Ăn hỏi)
Engagement is an official announcement of the wedding and often takes place half a year or a few months before the wedding. In the past, almost all marriages were arranged by the parents, and the children had no choice but to follow their parents’ arrangement. Thus, this ceremony is considered to be more important than the wedding as it marks the start of the relationship between two families.
The engagement is not only a ceremony but also a milestone of the bride’s life, in which she officially becomes the groom’s fiancée. Traditionally, the date for the engagement is often chosen carefully by both families based on couples’ birthdays and the time they were given birth according to the Lunar calendar. In today’s society, the engagement is not as essential as it used to be as the bride and groom often try to reduce unnecessary customs. There are many couples decide to celebrate their engagement a few days or a month before their wedding.
The gifts usually include betel and areca, husband-wife cake (Banh phu the), wine, tea, engagement ring, and a roasted pig, and they usually go in pairs, representing the couple. The fiancé’s family prepare these gifts before the engagement, placing them in an odd number of trays, and covered the whole thing with red cloth because the odd numbers and red color are believed to bring young couple luck and happiness.
There are 5, 7 or 9 males from fiancé’s family bringing the trays of gifts and the same number of females from fiancée’s family receiving them. The requirement for those who bring or receive engagement gifts is that they haven’t got married. These people are often the bride’s and groom’s relatives or friends.
On the engagement day, the fiancé’s family will bring their gift to the fiancée’s family. After the receiving-gift ritual, the couple will pray in front of the fiancée’s family altar in order to ask for approval from fiancée’s ancestors. After that, the fiancé can give his fiancée the engagement ring with cheers of both families. On this occasion, the bride, and sometimes even the groom, will wear ao dai, the Vietnamese traditional dress.
Wedding Reception (Đám Cưới)
The date of the wedding, and also that of the engagement, is chosen carefully and usually decided by a Buddhist monk or a fortune teller. Before the wedding, the groom’s family will come to the bride’s home again with betel and areca as a gift, officially asking to receive the bride. The bride’s family will confirm one last time the wedding and other proceedings.
On the wedding day, the groom’s family and some of their close friends will come and receive the bride at her house. After a formal tea and candle ceremony and some speeches, the couple would turn to their parents, receiving their advice and bowing to them. The groom’s mother would give the bride jewelry for good fortune.
The wedding reception will take place at the groom’s house or a restaurant. Some weddings in the countryside often last for 2 to 3 days with a large number of guests. Before the main ceremony, the couple will stand by the door, welcoming the guests and take pictures. As the couple walks onto the stage, the ceremony will start with the announcement of the host together with many cheers from guests.
After that, the couple will go from table to table in order to thank their guests for their attendance. Karaoke is almost a must in every Vietnamese wedding, especially in the countryside. During the reception, Vietnamese guests often enjoy signing up to sing and dance on stage to celebrate this special event.
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