A Quick Jaunt on Interesting Wedding Traditions around the World
There’s no secret to a happy marriage. A couple must constantly strive to make the relationship work and perhaps evade bad luck at all cost. Wedding traditions are mostly measures to ward off evil forces that can send the couple to the wrong direction, death, or divorce, who knows.
Every country in the world has this fascinating or intriguing custom on courtship, marriage, and fertility. Weddings are a ceremony rich with symbolism and superstition, and every place featured here has a unique contribution.
Prepare to go places as this article ventures into some wedding rites, beliefs, and practices that aim to accomplish good luck, happiness, and prosperity for the newly wedded couple.
Once the wedding ceremony is over and everyone has settled into reception, the couple will release a pair of doves, a male and a female, for a harmonious marriage. Many religions, such as Christianity, the dominant religion in the country, view doves as symbols of peace.
Philippines and Doves
South Korea and Wedding Ducks
According to this blog, old custom dictates that men should give live ducks or geese to their future in-laws to express their desire for marriage. These animals, particularly mandarin ducks, are believed to be symbols of fidelity.
Over time, couples have favored wooden ducks and commissioned the ducks themselves. The ducks are then set on the table during the wedding ceremony.
The ducks also figure in a related custom, whereby the mother of the groom throws the duck at the bride to determine the gender of the baby. It’s a boy if the bride catches the duck; otherwise, it’s a girl.
In Venezuela, the newlyweds are not supposed to stay for the party. They must be off somewhere, unnoticed at that, for good luck. The first person to notice their absence at the reception gets a piece of that good fortune as well.
Venezuela and Sneaking Out
Congo and No Smiles
The Congolese take marriage seriously, and the couple must send that message across by putting on a serious face. That means no smiling from the wedding ceremony to the reception, even in wedding photos. Breaking into a smile can thus be construed as taking the matter lightly.
The custom calls on guests to break porcelain on the eve of the wedding or, most typically, the Friday night before the church rites are held. This is believed to usher in good luck for the couple.
The shards of porcelain plates are supposed to dispel evil spirits. Polterabend, which derives its meaning from poltern, which translates to “making a lot of noise,” and abend, which means “evening,” is a wedding event in itself.
Germany and Breaking of Porcelain
Scotland and Blackening
Here’s another custom that has to do with guests helping out in casting off evil forces that can threaten the marriage. Northeast Scotland has a ritual called blackening, in which friends of the bride and the groom conspire to kidnap the couple before the wedding. They will then cover the two in soot, molasses, or tar (which is closest to tradition) and parade them in town.
While many variations exist on the materials used for the blackening, the goal remains to cover the couple.
When did engagement rings become a thing? Back in the 15th century, an archduke gave the first-ever diamond engagement ring to his betrothed. The practice has since caught on around the world. In the United States alone, the average spending on an engagement ring is $5,900, according to the Knot’s latest study.
A separate report notes that the average ring size is one carat. You may be able to stretch your spending capacity by checking online stores. These jewelers enjoy lower overhead costs so that they can price their engagement rings for less than what the big names offer. You can compare the prices yourself when you check online retailers of diamond engagement rings.
The abovementioned entries confirm that weddings have deep ties to tradition and lore. Even the most standard practices, like cutting the cake and throwing the bouquet, have some sort of history.
Why not add meaning and uniqueness to your celebration by incorporating one or two wedding traditions mentioned here?