Burmese marriage is somehow similar to several other developing countries like China, Vietnam, etc. However, there still exist differences among the cultures. How weddings are celebrated or what the bride and groom have to do, it mostly depends on the beliefs and traditions of that country. In this article, Go Myanmar Tours delivers you an insight into Myanmar marriage and Wedding let you have a deep understanding of Burmese people, culture as well as their traditional customs.
Myanmar Wedding Tradition
Because of having a variety of creeds, Myanmar wedding ceremonies may be simple or elaborated, mainly depend on the family’s financial status. In big cities, Burmese have cars or parades in the wedding processions; some kinds of instruments like trumpets or trombones, lights hung over the house which may cause much more expenses. The wedding in remote villages is unlike that. However, whether it is celebrated in cities or rural areas, the marriage still remains rich and clearly demonstrate Myanmar lifestyle and culture.
Since the 18th birthday, Myanmar celebrates twelve auspicious occasions. One of the most important events is the wedding day; and two other are the monkhood’s last day and the jail releasing day – the three happiest days in ones’ lifetime.
In Myanmar society, when a woman and a man fall in love and want to live together, they are supposed to announce to people around by letting their neighbors from seven houses on one side of the street know the case. Most people, especially brides, however, desire to celebrate a wedding under the witness of community. This will require much more preparation, particularly from the groom’s family.
Marriage in Myanmar
The initial step in a marriage is that the groom’s parents or an elder being highly respected will visit the bride home to discuss with her family about the ceremony detail such as time or place or what will be in the wedding. This negotiation to come to the final decision is traditionally obligatory even the two families are close to each other.
The next step, as well as the most important one, is signing the certificate of marriage at a courthouse which may be in the township or at Supreme Court Justice in front of a judge and witnesses. Firstly the bride signs into two copies of marriage documents and the groom followed. After the witnesses sign, the couple will receive the wishes and blessing from the judge, together with his signature in the document. Since that moment, they become husband and wife legally. Moreover, after that, some parents even invite a “Natkadaw” (spirit medium) to the couple’s new home, offering coconut, banana and tea leaves on a tray in order to hope that the spirit will protect that couple, help them stay healthy and successful in work and life. In some Buddhist families, they invite monks to their home then offer food and listen to their sermons.
How Is Burmese Wedding Ceremony Celebrated?
After finishing the stages above, Burmese people will celebrate their wedding. The day that the ceremony takes place will depend on the birthdays of the couple, and of course, it will be an auspicious day. The bridal couple will wear formally with white, cream or yellow color, basing on the costume they have worn at the court. The bride will be wearing lots of jewels and flowers on her head. Each guest entering the wedding hall will leave their gift on the table and receive a flower with a thank you card. In some villages, due to having no restaurants or hotels, the event will be held in front of the bride’s house, built with decorated bamboo and gold-paper.
After that, tiny flowers girls lead the way, carrying traditional cups. Then the groom enters, preceded by his parents, followed by one or two men. When the groom sits on the left side with his family, the bride enters with her parents and bridesmaid. It is ready to start the ceremony. The parents go around greeting the guests while the new couple sits with the best man and maids in attendance. Sometimes they must be fed a spoon of rice by another couple. After an elder gives a speech on the responsibilities of marriage, the master of ceremony will blow a conch shell to announce the successful ritual. As the lively and loud music being played, he throws to everyone handfuls of puffed rice together with flowers, coins, petals or small gems.
As there are many different ways of a wedding in Myanmar, the traditional one is still appreciated due to the chance for everyone to gather. Although the rituals play important parts in the wedding ceremony, they cannot decide whether the couple stay married forever. It is love, sympathy, and understanding which can play that role.