Think of the whole wedding process. When is it most common for the tears to be falling? Probably at the engagement when your beloved drops to a knee and pulls out that stunning bling to commit to you. The other main time for wedding tears is at the altar when the groom sees his bride-to-be for the first time in full wedding get-up.
However, for the Tujia people in China, things are a little different, because they actively encourage their brides to shed a tear.
For a whole hour.
For One Month.
This happens in the month preceding the wedding when the bride is expected to go and cry for the groom. It’s obviously tears of happiness in a way because it is designed to get all sorrows out of the system so the marriage can be happy. There’s more, because ten days into the ritual, it’s common for the mother of the bride, followed then by the bride’s grandmother to come along and sit and cry for an hour with them. But this isn’t just sitting around and all just sobbing and wailing, the crying is done in different tones to express different levels of sorrow, like singing. This is in stark contrast to the father of the groom who cries for a whole month after the wedding about how much the ceremony cost him.
Also, did you know that….?
In the Yugur culture in China, it’s traditional for a groom to shoot their bride-to-be with a bow and arrow. Fortunately for the bride, this is without the arrowheads, so it is an arrow escape for her. But even then she still has to be shot three times. Then the groom goes and snaps those arrows which is supposed to symbolize that the couple will forever be in love. Maybe it’s supposed to make the bride ‘quiver’ all over with affection for her groom.