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Bai People's Wedding Ceremony

Bai's wedding customsIf you have a chance to take part a Bai nationality wedding in Dali, it will be an overwhelming experience. Not only to taste special food and wine, but also see colorful folk costumes and experience interesting life of this China's ethnic group. Bai imposes monogamy marriage. In the past, parents arranged marriages, and young men who were going to be married had to pay much cash for betrothal presents. In recent decades, love life among young people has been going better; they have the freedom of choice. However, the procedures and customs during the traditional wedding ceremony are still maintained.

A young man and a young woman are in love they will be engaged. The bridegroom has to hire worker to build a stage for the wedding at his home. On the day before the ceremony, he must invite local singers and actors to perform dramas and his close friends and relatives to celebrate his marriage in advance. The wedding day the bridegroom will be very busy after he has got up. He shall prepare the banquet and receive invited guests. Music will be played when the guests begin to have their meal. When welcoming the bride, some places where the bridegroom cannot go according to Bai traditional customs. Therefore, the best man of the wedding and the bridesmaid will stand for him to fetch the bride. The old relatives of the young woman receive the welcoming team under the loud and happy wedding music. The interesting thing is, they will be asked a few odd questions by old people, like "where are you from?" and "what did you see on the way to here?" The replies must be quick with some senses of humor, or else it may be laughing stocks.

Bai's wedding customsThree courses of tea are to be toasted by 4 to 6 boys from the young woman's family to the bride welcoming team, and then the bridegroom has to toast to the parents, brothers and sisters of the bride. After that, abiding the old customs, the bride has to cry intentionally and sadly in front of her parents, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, as well as housemaids. She has to express her grateful heart to father and mother while she is crying. Again, loud and happy music is playing when the bride is going to the bridegroom's house. 

After the bride has come to the bridegroom's house, make-up work must be done. Children take fire touches to run to and fro happily because wedding is the best time for them to play and share the happiness of the family. They will accompany the bride to enter bridal room, where placed may things that are regarded auspicious such as horse saddles, a mirror and three arrows, which are to wish the couple should be diligent, brave and happy. After a brief rest, the bride has to pay respect to the heaven and the bridegroom's parents. The new couple has to sit on a pillow, it is said that if who sit on that first, who will be the master of the family. However, this is a joke. In traditional Chinese culture, man is to do business outside and woman has to care about the family and children wholeheartedly. A bowl of very spicy noodles is eaten that the couple will be in tears and feeling tired. This makes the guests laugh unstoppably. The couple drinks cross-arm wine, which means husband and wife will respect and love each other forever. At night, the bride, the bridesmaid, and the old women from the bridegroom's family should attend a dinner. After that, the bride should pay respect to the bridegroom family's elderly members, each of whom will be given a pair of shoes made by herself, they will give some money in return, too. The bride's relatives who are younger than her and children from neighbors will pay respect to her. Gifts will be given to the youngsters. All the guests enjoy candies and fruits, while attending a noisy party in the bridal room. 

Bai nationality in Dali has long history. They have created brilliant culture and contributed much to China's scientific development. Bai cultivated crops like rice, barley, wheat and beans in the Neolithic Age and mastered in water conservancy. They also achieved Bai's singing and dancingexcellence in calendar, astronomy, medicine, painting and architecture. The world famous Dali Tri-pagoda, something looks like Big Goose Pagoda in Xian, is still standing and weathered through many years of natural disasters, especially earthquakes. Stone figures in Chaochuan Shibaoshan Mountain's Grottos (朝川石宝山的石窟) are fine arts from Tang and Song Dynasties made with high and delicate techniques. The figures' shape looks like real human beings.

Bai is also good in singing and dancing. An old Chinese film "The Five Golden Flowers" has publicized the beautiful songs and dances to the mass Chinese people. Bai's folk tunes and mountain songs, often accompanied by traditional musical instruments, but different singing styles in different districts.

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