There is a kind of marriage customs of Tujia culture in Zhangjiajie, that is the girl who will marry must cry, which means Tujia girl before marriage will cry with her mother, aunt and sisters. And they also will sing at the same the time, as an expression of kinship between family members and parting pain. And it also expressed dissatisfaction with the feudal arranged marriages and indignation.
When the wedding day is agreed, generally they will have cried for ten or fifteen days before marriage. When the night falls, the bride’s close sisters and female relatives sitting in the bride’s boudoir begin to hide their face with a handkerchief and accompany the bride burst into tears to pour out their heart. The scene is really sincere, tearful and touching. The forms of crying are single cry, double cry and all of people cry. Crying language is mostly Chinese now. Some villages of Tujia minority still cry with Tujia language, its tone and charm are particularly wonderful. The content of crying marriage is very various, such as “cry parents”, ”cry forefathers”, “mother cry daughter”,” cry matchmaker” and so on.
It is said that they begin to learn crying marriage at the age of eleven. Because the bride’s “Crying Song” which is good or bad is an important criterion to evaluate whether she is smart or not, but also is a key to her status in husband’s family.
They should have been crying to the day of marriage.On that day, the men who help bridegroom meet the bride will play the Suona and carry the palanquin. And the bride’s side will carry a large quadrate table quickly and stand in the doorway. They will ask prearranged “steward sir” and “protocol officer” who help bridegroom meet the bride to sing in antiphonal style. After defeating “steward sir”, protocol officer will surrender “three cans of tea and six gifts” in order to enter the room, which is known as “the gifts of blocking the door”. In the room, the men who help bridegroom meet the bride will be blackened by a group dressed girls with soot. Those men certainly do not show weakness, so they also use this strange way to play tricks on girls. Finally, the bride stops crying, and wear bridal veil to sit in the sedan. Listening to festive music, she gently closes her eyes and tries to get a rest. Because she knows the days that they can disturb the bridal chamber will last three days and three nights, regardless of manners.