Monday, June 01, 2015

8 Fascinating Wedding Traditions Around the World

Katie Waldeck
May 31, 2015
What event typifies a culture better than a wedding? Read on for some of the most unique wedding traditions across the globe. Do you have a great wedding tradition in your family or culture? Let us know about it in the comments!

1. Kenya: Spitting on the Bride
The Maasai people of Kenya have what is perhaps one of the most unique matrimonial customs on the planet: the father of the bride actually spits on the bride’s head and breasts after the ceremony! And it’s not just in wedding ceremonies, either—in Maasai culture, spitting is a way to show respect to others.

2. Lebanon: Late Nights
In much of the world, it’s customary for the newlyweds leave the ceremony before many of the guests. That’s not the case in Lebanon, however; in this Middle Eastern nation, it’s customary for the happy couple to stay until every single guest has left.

3. South Korea: Wedding Ducks
Many Korean couples receive carved mandarin ducks as a wedding gift. It’s believed that mandarin ducks mate with their partners for life, and that ducks symbolize peace and fertility.

Though far less common in modern ceremonies than it once was, traditionally, the duck carvings actually have a place in the ceremony. Before it starts, the ducks, minus the necks, are wrapped in cloth and carried into the ceremony. The bride then puts the wrapped ducks on the table when she enters, and, after the ceremony, the mother of the groom throws the ducks at the bride. If she catches it, she’ll have a boy; if she doesn’t, a girl.

4. India: Stealing Shoes
Known as Joota Chupai, or, quite literally, “stealing shoes,” this Indian wedding tradition involves the eldest unmarried woman from the bride’s side of the family stealing the shoes of the groom. At the start of the ceremony, the groom removes his shoes when he enters the mandap (similar to a western wedding altar) and the young women of the bride’s family find a clever place to hide them. The groom then offers a “ransom” of some sort, often pocket money, to get them back. It’s a fun tradition that’s meant to symbolize the uniting of two families.

5. Germany: Log Cutting
In Germany, the bride and groom saw a log in half immediately after the ceremony. Known as baumstamm sägen, the log sawing is symbolic of the first major hurdle the two face as a couple.

6. Greece: Crowns
Crowns are a mainstay of a traditional Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony. These crowns, tied together by ribbon, represent the union of two families, two souls and the creation of a new kingdom. During the ceremony, the priest switches the crowns back and forth between the bride and groom and, wearing the crown, the bride and groom follow the priest around the altar 3 times. The removal of the crowns represents the end of the ceremony.


7. Romania: Kidnapping the Bride.
In Romania and many other Eastern European countries, the bride can expect to be kidnapped by the family of the groom. It’s all in good fun, though: a little bit of alcohol or a song, or even a little money is enough to meet the “ransom” demand.

8. African Americans: Jumping the Broom
A popular ritual for African American couples, jumping the broom almost certainly has its roots in traditional African tribal weddings, particularly in Ghana. It’s a way to honor your heritage and join two families. After African Americans were legally able to marry, the practice of jumping the broom went out of favor. It didn’t gain popularity until the landmark television miniseries “Roots” depicted it. You can read more about the fascinating and heartbreaking history of jumping thebroom here.

Source:  care2



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