Wedding traditions in Mongolia, customs, rituals, costumes, and more

The traditions of Asian Weddings are one of the most rooted in beliefs and religions, as they have been celebrated for thousands of years with the birth of their culture, adding details of the new time, while retaining the most important in its history.

There is a set of folkloric and indigenous elements that we only find in wedding traditions in Mongolia, a country in East Asia that still continues to carry out ceremonies with ancient acts inherited from its ancestors.

Wedding Traditions In Mongolia

The Matchmaker

Although this is an ancient tradition, there are some Mongolian tribes that continue to carry out the intervention of a matchmaker, which will be in charge of analyzing possible women who are compatible with a man, since the recruitment comes from the man’s family.

From the age of 8, some families start looking for a wife for their male children so that in the future they can get married. If the matchmaker convinces the family of the prospective bride, then the man and his family go directly to ask for her hand at the correct age.

The Bride Must Be Difficult To Conquer

wedding traditions, customs, rituals

For Mongols, a woman’s acceptance or “yes” is much more valuable if she is slow to give an answer or repeatedly rejects it. This act symbolizes spiritual purity and family honor for the intended, as well as the mettle of the suitor.

If, on the contrary, the future boyfriend gets the yes from his parents or from the girlfriend herself during the first two attempts, then it could be considered as an act of contempt for the man, since it would mean that the woman is not worthy enough to conquer it.

A Ballad Of Love

Another of the great wedding traditions in Mongolia is the classic ballad of love, a local chant that is recited by the groom after the girl’s family accepts him as a suitor and future husband, taking with him some family present

That is why the groom offers some alcoholic beverages for the girl’s father, butter for the mother to prepare delicious dishes and sweets for the bride, as a special present. Some stories say that they also had fairies since the lyrics of the ballad say so.

The Wedding Date

As we commonly see in Asian weddings, the wedding date has a symbolic and determining character for the future of the bride and groom, according to their own superstitions. Therefore, it was preferable that significant days were chosen for the beliefs and religions of the Mongols.

The groom’s family goes to a Lama so that he can select the most appropriate date for the event since he has knowledge about local celebrations and about the days when he can have more luck and fortune. If the couple chose a negative date, their marriage would be the same.

Perpetual Commitment

If the commitment is made during the childhood of the future spouses, the groom acquires a perpetual and unchangeable responsibility with the bride’s family, which consists of visiting her during all the important dates and celebrations carried out by them.

If you do not come for any reason, the marriage could be reconsidered, since promises and commitments are of the utmost importance to the culture. In turn, the boy must bring a present to keep his future wife attentive.

Nine Gifts

For the Mongols, the number nine represents fertility, longevity, and happiness. That is why the groom’s family must bring 9 gifts and presents to the bride’s family, thus representing the royal commitment and luck or fortune for the marriage.

In the case of the engaged, he has to grant four additional gifts for the bride, which are 4 dresses for the 4 seasons of the year, with representative colors and ornaments. Gifts range from cows, camels, and, to a lesser extent, horses. All white.

The Suit Of The Bride And Groom

Unlike other cultures, in Mongolia the bride and groom wear practically the same suit since it is part of the indigenous clothing that they have used since the beginning of their culture, only differing by color and by some details and accessories.

This costume is called Deel, and it is a classic and traditional dress that Mongols wear at the time of marriage. This can be inherited from their parents, although they can also be designed by themselves to give the couple more luck.

A Song To Find The Bride

On the wedding day, it is the groom who looks for his fiancée to his parents’ house, riding a horse or a camel, and dressed in his wedding suit ready for the occasion. Upon arrival, he will meet the bride’s relatives forming a barrier at the door of the house.

At that moment, the groom must recite through a local chant, the reasons why he is going to look for his fiancée. If those on the barrier respond with rejection tunes, the suitor has to continue singing until he opens up and can pick up his future wife.

Camel Carriage

We have all seen the traditional carriages that take the bride and groom to church in Western cultures, but in Mongolia, they use camels, usually a couple of them and raised by the family so that “the load” is completely familiar.

In addition, there are times when the groom goes on one of the camels and the bride in the carriage, as an act that symbolizes the leadership and the role of responsibility that the man will have in the future marriage. If the family comes from far away, they try to leave in time to meet on the road.

The Red Veil

The bride’s dress has a peculiarity, and it is that her veil is not white but red, a wedding tradition that we only find in Mongolia. This is combined with a peach-colored tunic or cape to finish giving the final touch to the outfit.

The bride is dressed by her neighbors and the women of her locality, who are in charge of making all the necessary arrangements to make her presentable, just as tradition dictates. Also, they sometimes wear an accessory inherited from an ancestor for good luck.

Cheese And Lamb Banquet

The typical national dishes cannot be absent in a Mongolian wedding celebration, so their most favorite foods are national cheese and lamb. The family and those closest to them celebrate the wedding by tasting the most delicious dishes, prepared by themselves.

To the sound of the music and folk tunes of the region, traditional dances come together to celebrate a feast in style. Of course, the bride and groom always have to be together, since from that moment they have become an inseparable couple for life.

Three Laps About The Store

There are nomadic Mongols who live in special tents. In that case, the bride must get on a horse after having married, and give it three laps around what was her house, as an act of detachment and farewell to what was her home during her life.

After that, the groom takes control of the horse and they gallop together to their new home.

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