Tibetan bride: glittering with jewels
As wearing gold and precious stones is considered auspicious for Tibetan brides, jewelry is a main aspect of the Tibetan wedding trousseau.
The groom presents his bride with her wedding gowns and jewelry, including bracelets, rings, the bazhu headdress and a silver gawu amulet, the day before the wedding.
The bride wears a gown with or without sleeves, depending upon the season, with a colorful apron at the waist and an abundance of gold, silver, bronze, aluminum, coral, agate, pearl, mother-of-pearl and xylonite jewelry. It makes a striking impression against her colorful wool and otter fur outfit.
Her bazhu headdress is complemented with silver coins that spangle her braids. She also wears big earrings, layers of necklaces, rings and strings of coins over her shoulders and at the waist, along with a belt of engraved silver, jade and coral ornaments with a bronze fastening.
Each necklace is made of 20-40 various size beads in coral (pink and dark red), amber and cloudy amber (orange and yellow), turquoise (blue and green), agate (red, blue and green), and ivory (primrose yellow). She may wear two, three or more necklaces, depending on the wealth of her family.
Bridal headwear includes white jade, amber, turquoise, agate and coral ornaments, as well as ruby and emerald earrings.
White is a significant shade on this colorful occasion: the bride rides a white horse to her future husband's household on the wedding day, treads on a white carpet and wears a white filmy hada (Hada is a long piece of silk used as a greeting gift. Presenting hada is to show purity, loyalty, faithfulness and respect to the receivers) twisted in her braid. She wears three wedding outfits, in yellow, white and red or green, white and red, for the three-day long wedding celebrations, which on the fourth day she hangs in her husband's closet. She then tosses the bridal white handkerchief, worn in addition to her jeweled finery, to her new sisters-in-law before setting off to visit her parents.