Traditionally, a wedding of Giay people will take place when 2 families have done the ceremonies namely betrothal ceremony (also “proposal”) and bargaining ceremony (re-proposal).

More about Giay people’s wedding

Wedding custom of the Giay

In these ceremonies, the two families, basically, discuss lifelong marriage of their children and choose “the day” of the wedding. After that, the groom’s family will send matchmakers to the bride’s house to inform the exact time they will meet the bride and bring her home.

Giay culture and costumes in the wedding

Giay people’s wedding ceremony has more procedures than most of other wedding cultures. To be more specific, the group of people going to the bride’s house must include the groom, groomsman, groom’s brother to walk the horse for the bride, 4 pi le artists, 2 girls and some others to bring the betrothal presents.

The bride’s family put pink powder on the face of the groom’s crew

In order to get into the bride’s house, the groom’s family have to remove the obstructions by call-and-response singing. First, they have to sing to have obstacles at the gate removed and get to the front of the bride’s house. Second, this traditional singing will help them remove the pink ribbon and thorny tree branches at the door. The groom’s family keep singing until everything on the table, including 2 small cups, 2 basins of water, 2 bottles of alcohol and 2 broomsticks, are put away. Now they can get inside.

Once they get inside, water will be splashed on their body and pink powder will be painted on their faces to express the hospitality of the bride’s family. Then, the young couple will pray their ancestors in front of the altar.
You may probably think the groom can now bring his spouse home. Well, not before they drink up a huge alcohol barrel and “struggle” with the whole bride’s family to bring the bride out.

After that, a strong woman of the groom’s family will bring the bride on her back. Now they can officially go home, of course, with the bride.

The bride is carried by her sister-in-law at the wedding

At the groom’s house, the sorcerer has been waiting to do all needed procedures to welcome a new member for the family. The young couple will then stand at the altar and pray their ancestors before get into their room to uncover the red veil of the bride.

As the wedding reception begins at the groom’s house, people start to sing happy songs to wish the new family a lifelong and happy marriage.

Groom’s sister brings the bride to the horse
The groom brings her spouse home for other rituals

The wedding culture of Giay people is so special, isn’t it? 

The groom uncovering the red veil of the bride

If you want to understand more about traditional cultures of Giay people and other ethnic groups, Sapa always welcome you to come and experience all these things on your own.