Planet China

Arch enemies

“You shall not pass” is one of the wizard Gandalf’s most famous lines in the Lord of the Rings movie franchise. This month the same phrase was being shouted with the same determination by two wedding parties in a rural county in Guangxi province as they tried to usher their respective brides home.

The problems began as two sets of relatives headed homeward from two different celebrations near Yulin, reports website Sina. One of the celebrating groups – the Lin family – had set up a traditional wedding arch across a road to welcome their new bride home and it was incensed when members of the Qi family tried to escort their own bride along the same route (from the opposite direction).

Lin elders refused to let them pass under the arch, arguing that it would be a bad omen because a family cannot have more than one bride cross its threshold on the wedding day. The Qi were none-too-impressed, especially as the gateway had been erected on a public road. Soon the families were shooting fireworks at each other in a bid to dislodge their rivals from the street. Police were called in when the wedding guests started to fight with knives and sticks. A memorable day for all…

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