Tibetan wedding ceremony

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Tibetan wedding ceremony – Festival Tibet tours

Tibetan Wedding ceremony is one of the biggest and most important ceremonies  in life etiquette, which has been highly valued by individuals, families and Society for a long time in the Tibetan community and it is one of the most important traditional culture of Tibet.

In the past, in Tibetan areas, marriage etiquette and customs were strictly hierarchical, and the procedures and customs were different from each other. Here, we can only introduce the traditional Tibetan Marriage Etiquette and customs based on the general family situation in Tibetan area.


This is the initial procedure of Tibetan wedding ceremony. Once the man sees a girl and likes her, he asks for the woman’s age and birth of date, and goes to the astrologer for divination (Tibetan term “PAZI”). If the astrology says she will be a good partner for his marriage, then the man chooses an auspicious day, brings a white Tibetan scarf known as Khada in Tibetan, tea and wine and other gifts to the woman’s family, and propose formally.


When the two parties agree to the marriage, they choose a good day for their family representatives and marriage witnesses to work out the engagement. The contents of the marriage contract are mostly mutual respect and love between the men and women, filial piety to their elders, high moral character, or inheritance of property in the future.

On the day of engagement, the man will give each of the young and old in the woman’s family a Khada and rich gift. The woman will prepare tea, wine, rice, etc. for hospitality. After the representatives of both sides enter the main hall and take their seats in turn, the host’s house will serve “Chema” with tea and wine. Chema is made of Tsampa, butter and sugar which is the symbol of the auspiciousness.

The proposed family presents a gift, especially a “Bangdian It is a kind of Tibetan robe with various colors and thin horizontal lines” to the mother, which is used as the “milk money” for the mother for raising her daughter.

After that, they put the engagement in duplicate on the high foot plate, read it aloud by the witness, and another witness checked it carefully. After reading, the witness put the family seals of the two families on the marriage letter in public, and then solemnly handed them to the father of the other party by the representatives of the woman and the man. Then the two parents presented Khada to the witness to express their gratitude.

When the engagement ceremony was held, neither the young men nor the young women attended, only the family members. At the end of the ceremony, the women’s family invited guests for a feast and got together for one day. In the evening, when the men’s family left, the women’s family offered each visitor a Khada.

3. Preparation before the Tibetan wedding ceremony

Before marriage, the family of the woman also chooses a lucky day. Hand over the dowry. The amount of dowry varies according to the economic situation, but there must be a Bodhisattva, a Book of scriptures and a pagoda.

In the Tibetan society, the dowry was very important when there is a marriage and it has several thousand years of history. It is said that Princess Wencheng brought these three items when she came to Tibet, so it has been handed down as a necessary part of marriage dowry.

The marriage husband’s family invites astrologer to make a fortune to determine the wedding date (Tibetan “Nianzi”). On the first day of the wedding ceremony, the man sent someone to wrap a set of beautiful clothes and eyewear with silk and satin and send them to the woman’s home for the bride to wear.

4. Welcome relatives during the Tibetan wedding ceremony

On the day of greeting the bride, the man’s family will be looking for an identity person to bring a team of people, horses and colorful arrows, with bright mirrors, jade and beads on them, and a pregnant and well-dressed mare with the same color as the woman’s belongings for the bride to ride and go to the woman’s house to meet her new mother.

Before the arrival of the horse team, the women should hold farewell ceremonies such as tea and wine honoring “qiema”. When the men’s greeting team enters the door, first insert the color arrow on the bride’s back, and then put the setting jade on the bride’s head, indicating that the bride has belonged to the man’s family. When the girl goes out, the family members of the girl take the colorful arrow and the leg of the lamb in one hand and stand upstairs and shout, “don’t take my family’s blessing away!” repeatedly until the girl goes far away.

Starting from the horse team, the leader of the team should be the best one (usually the astrologer). He wears a white robe, riding a white horse, holding the nine palaces and eight diagrams in his hand. Then the wedding representative, after that is attendant of the wife and the bride’s attendant.

Along the way, the man’s family should wait beside the road and offer three drinks to the horse team. If you encounter people carrying patients, taking out garbage and carrying empty baskets on the road which is considered as an unlucky sign. During the march of the horse team, the entourage sang “Xieqing” (a big song), while the bride cried as she walked.

Before the bride arrives, the man must dress up the gate and prepare a mat for the bride to dismount. The mat is a pocket with barley and wheat, covered with multicolored brocade, and the surface is painted with wheat grain as the symbol . Family will hold “Chema” and barley wine at the door.

The traditional entrance ceremony is very complicated. From getting off the horse, entering the door, going upstairs to entering the hall, you have to drink an ode and present a hada. After the brides’ hall, sit at the bridegroom’s head, and the welcoming and seeing off teams also sit down in turn. Then they begin to offer “Qima”, tea and wine, and Khada to Buddha statues and parents.

After that, the bride and groom enter the bridal chamber, and the family begins to entertain the guests for three days. In three days, relatives and friends sent Khada and gifts one after another.

 Summary of Tibetan wedding ceremony

The etiquette is very complicated, and in the past, it was only held by families with certain economic strength. Of course. The marriage of contemporary Tibetan young men and women have long been very simple in terms of etiquette and customs. The biggest taboo of Tibetan Marriage and love is to forbid the marriage of close relatives, which conforms to the principle of human eugenics.

Marriage is not only forbidden between cousins and sisters, but also for those who have an aunt cousin relationship. Generally, matrilineal descendants can intermarry after four generations. In some areas, it takes seven to nine generations to get married. However, as long as the patrilineal descendants know that they are the same ancestor, intermarriage is strictly prohibited.

If you plan your Tibet tour including a program which can also visit a Tibetan wedding ceremony, it will be a very interesting and unique Tibet travel program and you will have a different and authentic experience of Tibet trip. Check more details about Tibet festival tours.

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