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Tibet Post Wedding Rituals

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 | 7:30:00 AM

In Tibet, a new couple is not allowed to leave their home for three whole days—a test for both of them as to the strength of the marriage. If they persist, then Tibetans believe that their marriage will last forever.

The bride leaves her family’s house with her face covered by a cloth. She remains that way until she arrives at her husband’s house (often his parents house). Sometimes a man with a sword is presents a the husband's house. He is there to keep evil spirits away.

After the wedding ceremony, the newly married couple went immediately to the bridal chamber, where they both climbed into the bridal bed. Some ancient newlyweds shared honey and wine served from two glasses linked together with red thread, sipping first before exchanging glasses to finish the wine.

The bridal chamber remained open to all visitors during the entire wedding day and sometimes this open visitation lasted as long as three days. No doubt, a great deal of good-natured but humorous people came at this part of the extended wedding festival. The guest put khatas on the bride, groom. The khatas are very heavy by nature. In addition to that they also give the gifts to the couple.

After the bride arrives a second feast is held. A priest conducts another ritual. This time he informs the village and the family gods that a new person has entered the husband’s house and asks for their blessing. Everyone prays and gifts of silk are given to the couple and all the guests. After this is done the couple is considered husband and wife.

The formal wedding ceremony and arrival at the bridal chamber were followed by a very formal wedding banquet, called 'joyful wine.' During this feast, which recognized publicly the union of the bride and groom, as many courses as the groom's family could afford were served to one and all. It was not unusual for both the bride's and the groom's families to host several such feasts in the days immediately following the wedding. Proper wedding protocol meant all the men dined together and all the women did the same, although there was no mixing between the genders.

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