Khmer Weddings

In Khmer culture, there are a lot of traditions and rules from one generation to another generation to celebrate the wedding party. In the past, people celebrate it in 3 days and 3 nights. However, nowadays people might think that it would be wasteful to spend too much time and money on it, so they cut it a little shorter, for only 2 days now, but they still have to follow the important rules in the believe of bringing them luck and happiness. Here is how people celebrate their wedding party nowadays. rings On the first day of the celebration, we start at two o’clock in the afternoon to begin ‘Krong Pea Li’, this ceremony is made to pray and call for the spirit of both families to bless the new couple. The groom, parents of both families and guest are all joining in with the blessing from a monastery, except the bride. After, there is another ceremony ‘Sot Mun’ – this one is includes both groom and bride as they are both Buddhists. Three or five monks are invited. People have to be silent, with their heads bowed and their hands in prayer while the monks bless the couple and the guests. Another ceremony starts right after that, ‘Jeav Khan Sla’ which is the traditional ceremony for the newly weds. It is about not forgetting the good acts and love that their parents have given their children from the time they were born to now, when they are getting married and to remind them of how hard it is for parents raise the children. During this ceremony, the bride and groom sit behind their parents and hold an umbrella for them in the meaning of re-paying all the things they owe to their parents. At the end of the first day, after all the ceremonies are done, they enjoy their meals together and go back to their own house. hae jom nunIn the early morning of the second day, the bride and bridesmaids (often 3 maids) have to wake up at about 3 o’clock, do their make up and dress in traditional clothes and jewelry. The groom and groom-maids usually arrive at 6 o’clock since they just have to wear the traditional clothes and the ceremony will start at 7. ‘Hae Jom Nun’ is the ceremony that the groom, parents and relatives attend with a lot of fruits and desserts in the silver and gold trays brought to the bride house. The bride’s parents would come out and invite the groom’s family to their house in order to see the bride. Exchanging the ring is also done at this time. ‘Pi Thi Kat Sok’ the hair cutting starts after that, hair cutin the meaning of cleansing the past of the couple and get them ready to start their new life together. The bride and groom have to sit in the middle and are followed by their maids. One man and woman singers will dance and teasing the couples as they are doing the role of representing the gods who pretending to cut the hairs and spraying the perfume to cleanse their past. The family and guests then take turns cutting and spraying to bring the luck to the couple’s new life. Then we celebrate two ceremonies at the same time sompeas ptem‘Sompeas Ptem’ and ‘Bongvil Popil’. The bride will come out from behind the curtain and kneel down with the groom who has already waiting for her in the middle of the guests who sit in circle. The couple has to hold the sword in their clasped hands. Three lit candles are passed around three times and the guest will use their hands to wave above it to make the smoke fly to the new couple to act as a symbol of luck will be always stay around the couple. The guests and family then come up and tie red strings around the bride and groom wrists as the money or jewelry are given as gifts at this time. At last, the flower that we called ‘Pka Sla’ is thrown to the couple to represent that the couple has successfully been married. groupIn the evening, guests are all invited to the wedding hall, with usually the bride and groom and their parents all standing at the entrance to welcome the guests. Gifts of money are given to the bride and groom as to give them a good start their great new life together. Small souvenir gifts are handed back to the guests as in exchanging of gifts. The guests are served multiple meals (usually 8 kinds of food) and photographers taking pictures of them. At around 8 pm, the couple has to walk through the red rug that is put from the entrance to the stage with all the guests standing along the rug and throwing flowers to them. The couple giflowersves thanks to everyone while on stage, then the bride throws her flowers to the guests who are single and then they cut the wedding cake. Afterward, the bride and groom have to dance and are followed by all the guests in the traditional songs and modern music all night long. In conclusion, traditional Khmer wedding is a very joyful ceremony for the bride, groom, family and guests, all gathering and feel the happiness together.

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