A swarm of mostly elderly villagers in eastern China blocked a groom and his entourage from picking up his bride in accordance with a controversial wedding custom involving money.
What happened: Over a hundred senior residents blocked the groom’s car and others as they headed to pick up his bride from her village in Taizhou, Jiangsu province, on Oct. 20, as per the Jiangxi Morning News. The moment, which was caught on a now-viral video, shows some of them even bringing children to the crowded area.
About the custom: The custom in question is called “lan men,” which translates to “blocking the door,” according to the South China Morning Post. As per tradition, the groom’s relatives must give the villagers whatever they ask for — from sugar and cigarettes to red packets of money.
The custom reportedly serves as a test for the groom’s determination. The bride’s relatives may also challenge him in various ways, such as asking him to sing and dance.
Reactions: The video attracted furious comments on Chinese social media. While a few defended the custom, many criticized it as an outdated tradition and even compared it to robbery.
“Such a disgusting custom,” one Douyin user declared.
Another commented, “Robbery is robbery. Blaming everything on customs is no excuse.”
“When I got married, I entered the village and distributed three cigarettes and 30 pounds of sugar. When I left, I gave out two cigarettes and over 10 pounds of sugar. It was very lively, just for some fun,” one shared.
“This is a mob crime,” another wrote. “It should be reported to the police.”