As one of China’s 55 ethnic minorities, Bai ethnic group has its own distinctive marriage rituals and still keeps the tradition of monogamy. They are not permitted to intermarry with someone under the same surname or from the same clan, but they are allowed to marry people from other ethnic groups.
According to its marriage rituals, a girl will give the boy a piece of baba (a kind of Chinese cake made of rice), if she agrees to his proposal. Before the wedding, the groom’s family will prepare a wedding tent, and on the eve of the wedding day, they should invite those who are good at Chinese opera to perform in this tent. Neighbors and relatives will come to enjoy the performance while having fruits, wine and tea prepared by the host. After the performance, the guests should share a bowl of tangyuan (a kind of Chinese boiled rice dumpling) to express their best wishes for the new couple.
Carrying the bride on the back is a typical marriage tradition in Bai ethnic minority. During the wedding ceremony, the groom has to carry his bride on his back, walking around the marriage portion in the shape of the number “8”. While in some other places, the groom needn’t to go to escort his bride to his home and instead invites some groomsmen to do it. The groomsmen go to meet the bride leaded by listening to suona (a kind of Chinese traditional instrument) music and the matchmaker. When the groomsmen arrive, the bride’s family doesn’t go out to welcome them immediately until suona players have played the joyous music for six times.
There is also another interesting tradition after the bride arrives at the groom’s family. The guests always scramble to pinch the bride for good luck when she runs into the chamber after dressing up. The bride cannot get angry even when she feel very ache. But more peculiar for Yao ethnic minority, according to their old saying:“Biting the arm to make the heart hurt and the love will be loyal”, the young man must bite the girl’s snow-white arm to express his loyalty to love after engagement.