The Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County borders on Tadzhikistan in the northwest, faces Afghanistan in the southwest, and is adjacent to Pakistan in the south. Tajik ethnic group has developed distinctive folk customs which have been influenced by the characteristics of the plateau, and of these customs, their wedding ceremony is particularly noteworthy.
Special token of love
Within Tajik ethnic group, singing in antiphonal style between young people in the vast grassland is a popular way to make friends and express love. Such custom is passed down from generation to generation. When the couple falls in love with each other, the boy will secretly send a pair of ear rings to the girl, and the girl gives an embroidered purse in return. Sometimes the boy receives a token with a burnt match from his lover, which means the girl misses him very much. Then the boy will send the girl a yellow purse filled with almonds and pebbles tied together by hair to show his deep love. You know a couple sends the same token, wooden shoes, to each other in Jing ethnic group while in Dong ethnic group the lovers change lantern cord.
Red kerchief – Betrothal gift
As for engagement, the boy’s father, brothers, and a female relative will go to the girl’s home with many betrothal gifts, especially a four-meter length red kerchief. If the girl’s parents approve the engagement, the girl will wear the red head-piece to imply that she is the fiancée now.
Bride sweats on the wedding eve
On the eve of the wedding day, the bride is shut in a room and covers with thick quilts until she sweats a lot. In Tajik ethnic group it is regarded that sweating in this way can make the bride more beautiful. Though it is very afflictive, the bride is willing to do it to make her more attractive.
Holding wedding ceremony in the bride’s home.
On the Tajik Ethnic wedding day, after arriving at the bride’s home, the groom drinks two bowls of butter-flavored milk at first and presents gifts (such as animals and clothes) to the bride’s family. A priest, who presides over the wedding ceremony, first sprays some flour on the shoulders of the new couple. And then asks them to exchange red and white ring tied with strips of red and white cloth and taste some salt water together. People of Tajik ethnic group think that the ceremony can make the couple love each other forever. In contrast, in Yi ethnic groupthe relatives express joy and blessing to the couple through wiping their faces with dark pot ash.
Tread on red Carpet to Begin New Life
On the following day, the newlyweds, escorted by a band, ride a horse to the groom’s home, where further celebrations are held. When they arrive, the groom’s mother put a new red carpet on the floor in front of the gate. The new couple steps on it together and receives blessings from the groom’s relatives who spread flour on their shoulders. Once they enter the house, a new life stars.