Although recent years have seen wedding ceremonies conducted by the Dao Lo Gang ethnic group in the northern province of Thai Nguyen become simplified, they still feature many aspects of the traditional ritual.
|The ceremony begins from the moment the bride enters the bridegroom’s house. No matter which ethnic group the bride is from, when marrying a bridegroom from the Dao Lo Gang, the bride must follow the bridegroom’s traditional customs.|
|An old woman is on hand to guide the bride in following the various customs of the bridegroom.|
|The bride must hide her face in order to ensure that no stranger can see her.|
|A shaman gets preparations underway for the main rituals ahead of the wedding ceremony.|
|Before the bride can enter the bridegroom’s house, the shaman asks her to step over a knife and a bowl of water placed at the main door.|
|The bowl of water and the knife are placed in order to halt evil spirits potentially entering the house.|
|Tradition dictates that the knife must be left in front of the house for a total of three days.|
|The bowl of water is spilled and then turned upside down.|
|Both the bride and bride groom receive support from relatives as they take part in the ceremony’s main rituals.|
|It is traditional for the bridegroom and bride not to see each other during the wedding ceremony.|
|It is customary that the bridegroom bows down a total of 12 times in order to pay homage to the ancestors.|
|People of the Dao Lo Gang ethnic group play traditional musical instruments while the rituals are underway.|
|Wine is among the offerings presented to the ancestors.|
|The bride and bridegroom must drink wine during the rituals to show their promises to live happily together forever.|
|The shaman then ties a red scarf onto the altar in order to protect the newly married couple. The scarf will be removed three days later.|
For the Red Dao, a ceremonial music band is an important part of happy events such as wedding ceremonies. The cheerful sound of clarinets and drums expresses the joy of the bride, bridegroom, and their guests.
The “Nhay lua” (fire jumping) ceremony of the Red Dao ethnic minority people in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang has been listed as a national intangible heritage.