The Tay people (pronounced ‘Thai’) are the largest of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups, with a population of over 10 million, concentrated in the far north of Vietnam in Ha Giang Province.
While passing time and modernization have changed everyday life for life for many Tay families, many traditions endure, particularly the ceremonies celebrating marriage.
Taking place over the course of two days, the wedding ceremony takes place in the bride's childhood home. Members from the bride and groom’s extended family, as well as friends from surrounding villages, participate in repeated rounds of the card game 'Tam Cuc', communal meals and toasts to the bride and groom with fermented rice wine – the signature drink of Northern Vietnam.
At the end of the two-day celebration, spiritual leaders give blessing to the participating families and the bride is 'given' to the groom's family during an emotional ceremony involving the entire wedding party.