I have attended many of my friends' weddings in the countryside and I realized that, in the north, the wedding meals always start from 10am and some times, in some families, at 9am depending on where they live. It's quite funny because most people in the west would consider that to be breakfast time. When attending these weddings, we have to leave Hanoi very early in the morning to be there on time. At these weddings, it's common to stay there for one hour, eat all the food, drink all the rice wine, get pissed then piss off. Sounds not pleasant but it really is pleasant and fun and I love it.
The atmosphere of these weddings is really great, warm and special. The neighbors come and help the family out by cooking, decorating the home, talking to people and some of them sing and dance as well. It's so cool. Most of these couples are quite young, from 18 to 25 years old and they sometimes look a bit funny in wedding dresses. Also, it's quite normal for the brides to be a bit pregnant so the weddings have to be rushed so that they still look okay in their wedding dresses.
The food at countryside weddings is always different to other weddings in the city because they use so much MSG, salt and sugar. In different areas, they serve their own special dishes such as cat, dog, rat and buffalo meat but they don't tell you at the beginning. They wait until the end of the party. I have eaten these meats before and they are really tasty but I wouldn't try if I had known. A warning note is: if you have a weak stomach, do not go into the kitchen because you may be surprised at their cooking methods. Most of the food that they cook is near the floor and it's not like a normal kitchen. Some people take a pill before they go to countryside weddings as their stomachs are not so strong.
If you have a chance to go this kind of wedding, go for it and enjoy the great atmosphere, try to be a local and try all the food and you can experience real northern Vietnamese culture.
Labels: Seasons, The North, Traditional Culture, Travel