Dracon Bonding Ritual
Marriage isn't just between two Dracon, it's a merging of families and ideas.
For the Dracon, marriage isn't just about a union between two adults, it's ultimately about a merging of families and possibly resources. The mistake that many young Dracon make is that they often try to rush into a marriage, unaware of the seriousness of the union. Not only is eloping not recognized by Vinyata but actively discouraged. The traditional thought is that if the two lovers are truly compatible, the making the families accept it is part of the ritual. Courtship up to the marriage ceremony are considered vital parts of Dracon culture. [/justify
Knocking on the Door
The first step in the official courting process is also the most important. The Dracon call this "knocking the door", which means getting the permission of the family. In traditional days, it would be the male who "knocked" on the door of his soon to be father-in-laws door. In modern times, it's the groom who knocked on the family of the bride, with no expectation of which gender is in which role. Though some of the older generations still prefer the man to be the groom, it's not something that the Council interferes with. While the knocking is metaphoric, some grooms will actually knock on the door as a symbolic gesture. This shows to the family the official offer of marriage and an invite for the brides family to meet the grooms.
After a formal knocking, the brides family (or family head) will visit the groom's to "receive the knock". This means that the brides family gets to decide whether or not they like the potential family. This stage is often turbulent and if the family does not care for the groom, the knock is often not received. It's considered respectful for the grooms family to already be gathered once a knock is sent out. Because merging families is such a large task receiving the knock can often be an extravagant affair, with each side showing why it could be a good or ill fit. If the brides family likes the grooms and feels that it will be a good fit, then they Receive the Knock. This official starts the bonding process and makes the intent to bond official.
Once a knock has been received, people don't leave yet. A successful marriage proposal is usually set too much fanfare. Often with large banquets held at the groom's house immediately after the acceptance. While usually it's just the core family at knocking ceremonies, at a union celebratory all extended family is welcome. This is often a good bonding experience between the two families. If things go particularly well, it's not uncommon for members to begin talking business exchanges and mergers.
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