During the month of ghosts on the 14th of the 7th lunar month every year, unmarried young men and women of the Di ethnic group in Ngac Gia town, Song Bach district of Yunnan province will take to the streets to participate in the breast touching festival (Monai). Jie). According to tradition, during these three days, girls only wear clothes that cover one side of their chest, leaving the other side uncovered. People believe that the side of the chest that is covered is to preserve it for the future husband, while the side of the chest is exposed, and all the boys will be able to touch it. The girls outside seemed shy and ran away but had absolutely no intention of blaming or showing any anger. The festival’s rules are that men must touch women’s breasts enthusiastically, and women must accept it happily. Everyone believes that touching and being touched will bring them good luck.
Also on this occasion, single boys and girls will gather to attend and find their other half. When they find the right person, they will hold hands and go into the pine forest on the mountain to confide and chat.
Legend has it that this festival began around the Sui Dynasty (581-619) when most of the boys of the Di tribe were forced to serve as soldiers and died in war. After that, people held ceremonies in the 7th lunar month to pray for the souls of the dead. According to the shaman, the souls still cannot escape because before they died they had never touched a woman’s breasts. Therefore, the shaman asked to choose 10 young women who were “pure and had not had their breasts touched by men” to follow them to the afterlife. To avoid being chosen as sacrifices, girls in their 18s and 20s asked the boys in the tribe to touch their breasts. This custom has been passed down from generation to generation until now.
“BURYING” YOUR LOVER ON THE SAND BEACH – THE CUSTOM OF EXPRESSING LOVE OF THE LAT TUC ETHNICITY
The Lisu people or Lisu people are one of China’s 56 ethnic communities belonging to the Tibeto-Burman language group, and have always possessed a very rich and distinct cultural identity from ancient times to the present. Among the representatives of that culture, it is impossible not to mention the unique Kuoshi festival with the activity of “burying” one’s lover in the sand: The custom of expressing love of this nation.
“Burying” a lover in the sand is not simply a long-standing custom of the Lat Tuc ethnic group in Fu Kung (Yunnan, China), but it is also an opportunity for young people in the area to prove their love. their feelings for the person they love. On the traditional day of the 4th or 5th of January of the new year, all the loving couples in the village will wear colorful costumes and gather at Nu Giang River. to dance, sing, and play folk games.
What is especially notable is that couples in love will show their lasting love by “burying” their lover in the sand. With the help of a few friends, the boy or girl will pull his lover into the previously prepared sand bed and gradually fill it. Immediately after that, they will pretend to cry and sing sad songs, appearing to be very sad and sorry for their companion. This activity will last until all friends leave, they run to the sand pit and remove the sand from their partner with loving eyes.
The reason the Lat Tuc people always respect and preserve this tradition is because of its special meaning. On the one hand, the act of “burying” their lover will make everyone see the sincere and deep love of the people involved, and on the other hand, they have buried the “death” in the other person’s body. and will make their love last forever, and they will always be healthy and live long.
CUSTOM OF FEET BINDING
The custom of foot binding in China was associated with women throughout feudal times. The ancient Chinese believed that tiny feet were a symbol of luxury and nobility.
With bound feet, the girl cannot walk steadily and her steps will be as graceful as lotus branches swaying in the wind. Aristocratic daughters without bound feet only had the opportunity to marry men of lower classes, while daughters from poor families were easily sold into slavery.
In order to have small heels that the ancients gave the beautiful name “flower heels”, adults in the family will start using cloth bandages to bind the feet of their daughters and granddaughters from when they were just 2 years old. 5 years old, because at that time the foot bones are not fully developed and malleable.
Ancient people also beat the soles of little girls’ feet very hard to break the bones so they could be easily bandaged. When the cloth was wrapped, the girl was forced to walk on the floor, causing her feet to deform even more over the course of two years.
MINH HON (HON AM) – “Ghost WEDDING”
Marrying the dead, also known as ming kiss, appeared in China in the 17th century BC. In the 13th year of Kien An, Cao Cao’s son, Cao Chong, unfortunately died early. Cao Cao was extremely miserable and tormented because he could not marry Cao Chong while he was still alive. He wanted to find a dead noble lady for his son to marry. A short time later, upon hearing that the Chan family’s daughter had died prematurely, Cao Cao came to talk. They quickly chose an auspicious day and celebrated the wedding and then cremated the dead couple.
Yin kiss reached its peak in the Song Dynasty. The book “Tac Mong Luc” records that if young men and women die without being married, they are forced to ask for marriage. Then they will read the hexagram. If the hexagram is good, they will organize a wedding for them and On the contrary, if it doesn’t work, they continue to ask “matchmakers” to find a suitable person.
It is known that until 1949, the Chinese government banned this custom of ghost weddings. However, this tradition is now returning and continues to prevail in people’s lives.
According to ancient Chinese customs, young men who, after getting engaged and waiting for the wedding day, unfortunately die suddenly, their families must complete the wedding, otherwise their ghosts will cause chaos, causing trouble for the family. quiet. After the wedding, they will conduct a burial, burying both the deceased and the newly married “wife” or “husband” together.
If both the bride and groom pass away, the family will use a representative figure. The dolls are treated and talked to like living people. If the living groom marries a “ghost” bride, a photo of the bride will be placed on the altar. And the groom wears black gloves.
Marriage must also go through a matchmaker, both families go to each other’s house to have dinner, and organize a sumptuous feast. In a “ghost wedding”, relatives and friends of the deceased are invited to celebrate with the “bride and groom”. The betrothal gift can be common items, or cash worth up to 5,500 USD.
Some Chinese people believe that a marriage is a lasting, eternal marriage. However, this custom was officially banned in 1949. Currently, weddings are still held secretly.
THE CUSTOM OF THROWING MUD AT WEDDINGS
The Dong people in China have a custom of throwing mud at each other on the day a girl gets married for 1 year. The girl and her 9 female friends played mud throwing with her husband and his friends in a muddy field. When they got tired of playing, they jumped into the river and splashed water on each other. Among them, any couple that notices each other will swim away and the guy in that couple will be invited to participate in the mud throwing festival next year.
A “HIGH NUMBER” BRIDE MUST STAY AT THE TEMPLE BEFORE GOING TO HER HUSBAND’S HOUSE
In Zhejiang province, China, if before the wedding day, both families of the bride and groom go to see a fortune teller and the fortune teller predicts that the bride will be “broken from the family”, then that bride will not be allowed to return in a palanquin. The husband’s house is like a normal wedding. Instead, about 2 or 3 days before the wedding, the bride must pretend to run away from home and live at a shrine or temple. She brought along some not-so-good clothes, an old umbrella, a sedge basket with old bowls, plates, and a pair of chopsticks, pretending to be a beggar so she could return to her husband’s house.
SEX WITH 20 NEWLY MARRIED MEN
According to ancient customs in Tibet, before marriage, girls must give themselves to at least 20 men. In the sparsely populated conditions of this area, it is difficult to do that.
To find the required 20 boys, the girls must go to the mountain trail. They spent many days waiting to find passersby, trying their best to satisfy the stranger. After that, the bride asked her lover for a souvenir to prove to the strict village elders that “that thing” had happened no less than 20 times, judging by the number of souvenirs!
“EATING PHO” THREE TIMES A YEAR WITH AN EX-LOVE
People of the Bach ethnic group in China have the right to run away from home three days a year to go on dates and even “hang out” with old lovers. When meeting, two people can freely confide in each other, express their long-held sorrows, and even have sex to satisfy their longing for a year of separation. No one has the right to interfere or complain about this. At the end of three days, the two sadly broke up, each went home and continued their current married life.
WOMEN CAN HAVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH ALL MEN
“Kingdom of women” is the term for the Ma Thoa tribe living around Lugu Lake, Yunnan and Sichuan provinces. The Ma Thoa are the only matrilineal ethnic group left in China. Women are the ones who decide on important issues, they control family finances, own land, and raise children. Ma Thoa women also have the right to sleep with any man they want.
At the age of 13, girls become women and are allowed to live in their own rooms and invite any boy they like to their house. However, Ma Thoa women rarely have sex with two or more men at the same time.
Because there is no marriage, the Ma Thoa people do not have the concept of divorce or separation.
Polygamy – ONE WIFE AND MANY HUSBANDS
Polyandry is still applied by many ethnic groups such as Tibetans, Uyghurs, Mon Ba… in China. It is known that when a husband wants to be close to his wife, he will place a token in front of the door, so other husbands will voluntarily avoid seeing it. Nowadays, husbands have many ways to share the same wife without having to fight. Furthermore, because they lived together for a long time, they had a special “telepathy” between them, with just a small signal, even a glance, to be able to know “who wants to be with his wife today.” ?” to arrange properly.
“AFFLICTIONAL MARRIAGE” – AFFLICTIONAL MARRIAGE
“Tau marriage” or “Visit marriage” is a form of “stealth” marriage, a custom of the Ma Thoa ethnic group in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces. Accordingly, every night the boy rode his horse to the house of the girl he liked, climbed up the ladder the girl had set up to enter her attic. The boy usually carries a hat, a stick and some dumplings.
The girl will hang the hat outside the window so that those who come later can see it and retreat. As for the stick used to scare away snakes or scare her dogs, the dumplings are also “bribe gifts” for the dogs to easily “break in”. They will stay together all night, but the son must quietly go home before the rooster crows.
Boys and girls who are having an abusive relationship will call each other “A Tieu” or “Tieu Ba”, because in the Ma Thoa language there are no words “wife” or “husband”.
If the boy doesn’t like it, the girl has the right to chase him away or not let him climb into her attic. In addition, the ladies have the right to open the door tonight and set up a ladder for this guy. If they are not satisfied, they can “ban the door” and let another guy go upstairs another night.
When a girl becomes pregnant, the relationship between the couple becomes closer. The boy will often come to visit and take care of the child, but absolutely will not be allowed to take the child into his home.
At night, the young man goes to his “wife’s” house, and early in the morning he returns to his own house, starting a work session such as farming, hunting, going to the forest…, while the women stay at home to weave brocade and bring it to the market to sell.
The custom of “stealth marriage” is based on the consent of both parties and is not allowed to be forced, but there are also regulations prohibiting people of the same or close bloodline from “stealth marriage”.
THE PRACTICE OF WEARING HATS MADE FROM THE FALLED HAIR OF ANCENES
The Long-horn Miao ethnic group living in Suojia village, Liupanshui city, Guizhou province still preserves this strange custom. Long-horned Miao women have a custom that every time they comb their hair, they keep the fallen hair and make a hat from the hair of their mothers, grandmothers, great-grandparents, and even ancestors. That is a way for them to remember and show respect for their ancestors.
This custom originates from wearing cow horns, because in the past cows were sacred animals to the Miao people. Then, to decorate and show respect to their ancestors, the Miao people created this special hat.
The hair is dyed and maintained to always be shiny. The mother will give her daughter the hat when she gets married.
Hanging a coffin on a mountain is a simple way to understand the form of mystical burial – one of the most ancient forms of burial in China.
Huyen burial – in which the word “huen” means hanging, that is, hanging the coffin of the dead on extremely dangerous vertical cliffs. People believe that high cliffs or caves are quiet places, suitable for the soul to rest. From above, the dead can see the blue sky, rivers and mountains, away from the noise of the human world. Therefore, some localities only call the burial place “immortal function”, “immortal furniture”, “immortal station”.
According to people’s beliefs, coffins are hung on steep cliffs so that the deceased can be closer to God and their ancestors.
Due to the influence of nature, coffins gradually get older, get damaged and fall down, and people put them in lower positions. Most new coffins are larger in size and more colorful.
RESPECT DOGS MORE THAN PEOPLE
Chinese Ha Nhi young people are very economical with their words when in love. They use giving flowers to each other to talk about love. The boy gave the girl 2 flowers, 1 yellow and 1 red. The girl gave the boy a red or yellow flower. Yellow represents hesitation, red represents love.
The girl gives a bouquet of flowers with a single petal flower in the middle, which means she is single and does not have an official boyfriend. If there is a double-petal flower in the middle, it means the girl already has a lover.
Ha Nhi families are very picky about their daughters-in-law. In the newlywed bride’s family, the mother-in-law is called the heavenly dog. Legend has it that in the past, the Ha Nhi people did not know how to plant trees or weave fabric.
Heaven’s youngest daughter stole her father’s rice seeds to give to the Ha Nhi people, teaching everyone how to weave cloth to make clothes. The youngest girl was called back to heaven, turned into a dog and banished to earth.
Since then, the Ha Nhi people have great respect for dogs. Tet of the Ha Nhi people is often held solemnly. But the first bowl of rice must be for the dog, then everyone can enter the party.
Among the above customs, most of them are bad customs but to this day they still exist very clearly in the subconscious of the Chinese people and are very difficult to change. All of them create a very unique Chinese culture. If you want to discover more about this beautiful country, book a China tour with Viet Viet Tourism now! Hope you will gain useful knowledge on this trip!