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Traditional Vietnamese wedding is a beauty of Vietnamese culture. According to Vietnamese’s conception, Wedding is one of three most important things in their life: build career, build their house and get married. Due to the influence from Confucianism and Buddhism, getting married is not only the task of the couple but an important task of all family and parentage because the wedding has an other meaning is patrilocality.
The Traditional Vietnamese Wedding ceremonies
Traditional Vietnamese wedding has many complex procedures. In the past, there were six main ceremonies: Nap thai (the Matchmaker comes to the bride family to talk about intent to marry of the groom family), Van danh (asking bride’s name and date of birth to ask fortuneteller about the suitability as Confucianism conception), Nap Cat (the matchmaker comes to bride family to announce about the good news of suitability), Nap Trung (the groom family brings the wedding gifts to bride family), Thinh Ky (the groom family asks for the holding wedding date), and the last also the most important part is Than Nghinh (Groom and his family comes to bride family to welcome her to their family, becomes a family’s member).
Nowadays the procedure has been simplified, but it still keeps the cultural beauty. The wedding now has three main parts: Dam Ngo, An Hoi, Le Cuoi.
Dam Ngo in traditional Vietnamese wedding is the day that groom’s family comes to bride’s family to ask the permission for the couple’s love. Before, the groom family have to ask the fortuneteller for the good day to do the Dam Ngo ceremony. This is a ceremony to formalize the marriage of two families. Through this ceremony the families can know more about each other. The offerings of the Dam Ngo day simply is betel and areca. On this day, two families discuss the procedures for engagement ceremony and wedding. After this day, the girl is considered as having husband.
An Hoi ceremony (Engagement) this is the step that the groom family brings their wedding gifts to the bride’s family to show their sincerity and asks the bride family for the wedding. This ceremony is the same with Nap Trung ceremony in the past. In the procession, the groom, his family and close friends bear elaborately decorated lacquer boxes, covered in red cloth. Inside these boxes are gifts representing the wealth that the groom's family will bring to the bride's family. Gifts are betel, fruit, wine, boiled pig that are decorated beautifully.
On the Le Cuoi (wedding day), in the good time that the fortuneteller said, one of the elder of groom’s family would be the representative of the groom's family followed by the groom's mother, the groom, then the rest of his family and close friends come to bride family to lead her to new home – groom’s home.
First of all, the elder of groom family will ask the permission from bride family to lead her to groom home, become their family’s member. After that the elder of the bride family will agree and say to the groom family, hoping the groom family will love the bride as their own daughter. The groom will come to the bride’s room and leads her come out. The permission ceremony begins in front of the bride's ancestor altar. The bride and groom burn incense sticks, asking for permission from the ancestors to bless them. Finish the procedure at the bride’s home, they move back to the groom’s home with the welcoming of all the family. The bride and groom, in front of all their guests, will serve tea (or wine) to their parents. Each parent will then give advice about marriage and family to the couple. The newlyweds will be brought to the groom's ancestor altar, where another ceremony takes place and the bride is introduced to the groom's relatives. Finally, the bride is brought to the couple's room and shown their marriage bed.
Traditional Vietnamese wedding clothes
In each area of the country has a different kind of wedding cloth. But normally, Vietnamese people wear the Ao dai in the wedding day. The Ao dai of the bride is in red color symbolize for luck and happiness. The Ao dai is decorated by flower or phoenix pattern. The bride also wear the head dress named “Khan Dong”. While wearing Ao Dai and Khan Dong, the bride walks slowly and show her charm. The Ao dai is very discreet but also ingeniously shows the slender beauty of a youngster. The groom wears a simpler male equivalent of the dress, often in the blue color. The relative also were their beautiful Ao Dai in many different color.
Traditional Vietnamese wedding gifts
Guests are expected to bring gifts, and it is traditionally in the form of money in an envelope. At one point during the reception, the bride and groom will go from table-to-table to thank guests for their blessings.
Traditional Vietnamese wedding symbols
Traditional and modern symbols of marriage are often featured during Vietnamese marriage ceremonies as decorations on the wedding lacquer gift boxes (or the red cloth that covers them), or even the decorations in the homes of both the bride and groom. They usually include lanterns, doves, the hearts shape, initials name of the couple. However, one symbol that is indispensable are the words "song hỷ" . This phrase also appears as the character 囍, it is two words “Hỷ” means luck and happiness stay together symbolize for the happiness of two people and two families.
Traditional Vietnamese wedding is a beauty in Vietnam traditional culture. It shows Vietnamese conception about marriage and family: Family is one of the most important things in their life, they must have the responsibility to protect and preserve. It also shows the tradition of respecting ancestor and parents. Wedding is the mark of the link between two people and families. It may has many difficulties in the future, but they have to hand in hand overcome difficulties in life.