No matter where you come from, how religious, or how old you are, marriage is probably one of the most important things to you. For the great majority of people, the wedding day represents a turning point in their lives. It is both the end of youthful innocence and the beginning of the most significant alliance they will ever participate in. From that point on, nothing will be the same, and hopefully, everything will change for the better. And, even though the concept of marriage is pretty much the same in every corner of our beautiful planet, the ways we prepare for and enter this holy union tend to differ greatly.
In this article, we bring you a detailed analysis of some of the most interesting wedding traditions, together with stories of their origin and their modern interpretations. If you want to spice up an upcoming wedding of someone you love, or you simply feel curious about the way others do it, you came to the right place. So read on!
Carrying the Bride Across the Threshold
You’ve seen it in the movies, drama series, or maybe even in real life. The groom proudly carries his bride across the threshold in an act that makes him look like a strong, protective patriarch who is proudly founding a family. Happy to be in such a safe environment, the bride accepts his guidance and protection with a smile. Such lovely scenes, that radiate optimism and emphasize the potential of new beginnings are more than common for motion pictures of the 80s and the 90s. However, this widely accepted ritual has nothing to do with the resourcefulness and imagination of Hollywood producers. Its origins go back to the early days of the Roman republic, and the story behind it is rather horrifying.
According to some historians, this custom is the imitation of abductions of women from neighboring tribes performed by Roman soldiers. Over the centuries, it became the common Roman wedding practice and was later adopted by almost all nations in Europe. The modern interpretation of the ritual, according to contemporary sociologists, says that it represents the bride’s hesitance to leave her parents and the home she grew up in. Nonetheless, the act of carrying the bride across the threshold is a perfect example of a wedding tradition that lasts for millennia.
South Korea is home to one of the strangest and perhaps the funniest wedding traditions in the world. After the wedding ceremony is over, and before they are allowed to leave with their chosen one, South Korean grooms have to go through a somewhat painful and frustrating ritual. Namely, the group of wedding attendees will take the groom’s shoes off, bind his legs, and beat him on his feet while asking him all sorts of questions. In most cases, they will do so using a wooden stick or dried fish. And, even though the whole thing might be quite unpleasant for the groom, it doesn’t last too long, and most Koreans like it because they see it as a test of strength and resilience. If the groom proves himself worthy and withstands the punishment, he is good to go.
Marrying a Tree to Chase the Demons Away
With a population of slightly more than a billion, India stands for one of the largest counties in the world. It is home to a large variety of tribes, ethnicities, and religions. Consequently, it is a place where you can find some of the most unusual wedding traditions that are often several thousands of years old. One such tradition is the so-called Kumbh Vivah ceremony, a proceeding during which the cursed bride will marry a banana tree or an idol of the local god Vishnu.
However, not all brides have to undergo the Kumbh Vivah, but only those who were born under Mangal Dosha, an unfortunate astrological combination that, according to Hindu believers, causes bad luck and misery. To prevent divorce, illnesses, and even death of her future husband, the bride born in this sign should first marry a fake groom and, therefore, deceive the evil spirits.
Lucky Colors and Fertility
Nigeria is one of the most populated countries both in the Sub-Saharan region and in the entire world. It is also the home of more than 200 ethnic groups and more than 500 languages. However, it seems that they all have one wedding tradition in common, and it is the outfit their brides wear on their wedding day. According to some Nigerians, the wedding dress should be as colorful as possible. The brighter they are, the more luck they will bring, and the more fertile the bride will be. If I have in mind the astonishing natural beauty of the local women, it isn’t such a huge surprise that brides in Nigeria often look like supermodels dressed by Mgmartists.com, or some other prominent fashion agency.
Tipping the Bride
In Cuba, they have a rather unique custom that makes their weddings stand out from the great majority of others. Namely, as soon as the newlywed couple finishes its first dance, other attendees of the event may dance with the bride as well. The catch is, that they have to pay. Of course, the amount is not predetermined, and it can range from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. The bride, on the other hand, has to accept every single request she gets. So, if we are talking about a really big wedding, this can be very tiring. But, at the same time, the couple will usually gather quite a significant amount of money which will cover the cost of the wedding, and hopefully, the cost of their honeymoon trip. During the dance itself, people will pin the money to the wedding dress, and, by the end of the event, the bride is usually covered with all sorts of bills. Without any doubt, this is a wedding tradition that can be easily implemented in any part of the world.