Daur ethnic group: chicken liver decides wedding day
Daur is the title that the people from the Daur minority call themselves. It means "pioneer." They were descendants of Khitan, an ancient ethnic group in China. Living on hunting, agriculture and fishing, Daur people mainly inhabit the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Heilongjiang Province, while some live in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
Setting a Marriage Date
The special but interesting way of the Daurs setting a marriage date is via divination based on the liver's superficial features of a chick, which is killed by the young man and girl.
After being entertained in the young man's home, the girl is asked to join hands with her husband-to-be, handle one knife together and kill the selected chick. The date will be set according to the appearance of the liver. If the liver does not have a lucky appearance, the young couple should kill another chick.
To celebrate the marriage date setting, an "engagement feast" is prepared, and the young couple will drink a bowl of alcohol separately and link arms to drink. All the guests and relatives onsite will be entertained and they'll join in the all-night celebrations with drinking, singing and dancing.
Sending the Bride
Different from many other ethnic groups, a Daur bride will not be picked up by the groom or his relatives. Starting off in the early morning, accompanied by several young relatives from her own family, the girl is sent to the groom's family. Without any crying when she leaves, the bride and her relatives sing songs happily all the way.