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Tibetan Customs: Marriage

The marriage procedure varies greatly in different areas of Tibet. Generally, the two sides of a marriage could not belong to the same family, and the animal, which symbolizes the year in which one is born, should be suitable with the other. When making a proposal, the boy should first offer hada to the parents of the girl. If the girl's family accepts the hada, it shows they agree to the marriage. Then they will select a lucky day to settle down the marriage. The boy's family give "milk money" (money for raising the girl) and other gifts to the girl's, representing they are engaged with each other. Before the marriage, the boy offers clothes, headwear and bracelets to the girl. Someone must head the team going to the bride��s home to greet her with high reputation and social status. The bride's family also will send her out. Besides a series of ceremonies, the bridegroomis family will also hold a grand banquet.

Lhasans pay much attention to the wedding ceremony. Today, when a man and a woman fall in love with each other, their parents will meet to decide upon the marriage. Generally speaking, a new family is formed through ceremonies such as "asking the hand of the woman," "being engaged," "having the bride greeted home," and "holding the wedding ceremony." Each ceremony includes drinking and singing. In the past, the bride had to ride a horse and would enter the home of her forthcoming husband before the rise of Venus. This also applied to a man being married into his wife's family. Having money saved up, the Lhasans spend a large amount on the wedding ceremony. Three or four drinking shelters will be put up along on the path the bride travels. A wedding ceremony generally lasts for three to five days. During this period, hosts and guests eat and drink to their heart's content.

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