|Ảnh minhThe groom's family brings offerings to the bride's family (photo: thienduongvietnam.com)|
Based on the horoscopes of the couple, the man’s family chooses a good day to bring offerings to the bride’s family. Senior members of the two families then discuss the wedding gifts. Tran Quoc Huynh, a Tay who lives in Na Tra hamlet, Khang Chien commune, Lang Son province, said that normally the groom’s family has to prepare 400 kg of pork for the wedding party and bring to the bride’s family 100 kg of pork, round glutinous rice cakes, roosters, wine, and money. Huynh said: “The groom’s family prepares 3 to 10 trays for the marriage proposal ceremony. In the past, this has to include a 35-kg pig, 60 round glutinous rice cakes, 2 roosters, and two bottles of wine. The two families share have a meal before discussing the wedding day and presents. The bride’s family might ask for 1,500 USD, 100 kg of pork, rice, cakes, and wine.”
Huynh said all main courses include pork. The groom’s family must bring not less than 100 kg of pork. “They must bring 100 kg of pork or more. Normally we make 6 or 7 dishes of pork for a table. The bride’s family often prepares 40 tables to serve up to 320 people. On the wedding day, the groom brings a roast pig to the bride’s family.”
Hoang Phuong Anh of Tan Lap hamlet, Mai Pha commune, Lang Son province, said the wedding present symbolizes the goodwill of the groom’s family. “It’s our custom. The groom’s family should bring an extra 5 to 7 kg of pork so both families will be happy. We have to check the pork before delivering it to the bride’s family. If there is less than 100 kg, the bride’s family will ask the groom’s family to add some more.”
Poor families, who can’t prepare enough themselves, ask their relatives to help them. Mr. Huynh again: “In the difficult past, we didn’t have industrial bran for the pigs. We fed them vegetable mash and banana trees and they grew slowly. A one-year-old pig was about 50 to 60 kg. We needed to ask our relatives to raise some pigs for our son’s marriage.”
The relatives were responsible for raising a fat pig for the groom’s family. The custom of “helping raise a pig” is no longer upheld in Lang Son. But the Tay have always had a tradition of mutual support in preparing weddings for their children.