Wedding ceremonies are an important part of the life of many people in the world. From the magical union of two individual people to the promises and traditions, weddings are full of joyful and breathtaking moments. In this article, we are going to focus on the part of the wedding, which makes them even more magical, special and meaningful – traditions.
Wedding traditions vary depending on the culture and country. There are some traditions such as cutting the cake or throwing the bouquet, which is “standard” and world-known, but in this article, we are gonna leave these behind and take a look at more interesting and unique wedding traditions. Without further ado, let’s have a look at unique wedding traditions around the world.
SCOTLAND: BLACKENING THE BRIDE
There is a Scottish wedding tradition, in which the bride, groom or both are taken out the day before their wedding by their friends, and pelted with disgusting things like dead fish, curdled milk, spoiled food, mud, tar, ash and feathers. Part of this tradition is also tieing the bride to a tree and making noise to get the attention of every neighbour. Who wouldn’t want to be dirty, smelly and covered in tar the day before the wedding, right?
UGANDA: SPECIAL WEDDING NIGHT
This tradition in Uganda is one of the unique traditions in the world. Imagine this – you and your husband/wife are excited to spend the first night together. What could make this situation not so joyful? Maybe the fact that your grandpa has to watch you consummate your new marriage. This is exactly what has to happen in Uganda. The tradition says that the elder has to watch the newly married couple to make sure that the bride is still a virgin.
KOREA: BEAT THOSE FEET
Another strange tradition is a Korean wedding tradition in which the groom has his feet beaten the first night of the marriage. His family and friends hold the groom as they beat his feet with dead fish or a cane, while they ask him some questions. This whole procedure should help him strengthen his memory and feet.
MAURITANIA: THE BIGGER THE BRIDE, THE BETTER
Most of the brides want to look skinnier in their wedding dresses. Well, not in Mauritania. Brides with big hips, thighs and stretch marks are considered to be more beautiful and lucky in Mauritania. Locals rely on this tradition so much that there are also special places, which are specialized in making brides bigger before their big day.
POLAND: VODKA AND MONEY DANCE
There are many interesting polish wedding traditions. One of them is the money dance. Based on this tradition, quests have to buy a dance with the bride at the reception. Even the bride’s dad has to give them money to dance with his daughter! Bride’s maid of honour then collects the money, gives it to the newly married couple, and they spend it on their honeymoon.
Another tradition is connected to drinking vodka. I’m sure many people enjoy this tradition. The father of the bride gives her 2 glasses-one is filled with water, and the other is filled with vodka. The bride has to choose which of these glasses she will drink herself, and the groom has to drink the second one. It is said that whoever ends up with the glass filled with vodka will be the dominant one in the relationship. After that, the couple throws the glasses, and if they break, it is a sign of good luck.
VIKING WEDDING TRADITIONS: FOOD RACE
Viking weddings are full of fascinating rituals and traditions. One of which is the food race. Both families would gather before the feats and race to the feats hall. Whichever family ends up first will be served food by the second family for the rest of the feast. This is the right price for running.
CHINA: TEARS OF “JOY” AND SHOOTING THE BRIDE
There is quite a strange tradition in China in which one month before the wedding, the bride cries for one hour every day. After 10 days, her mother has to cry to also, and after another 10 days, her grandmother joins them. This is believed to be a symbol of joy and happiness.
Also, in China, grooms have to shoot their brides three times with bow and arrow. Luckily, he can remove the arrowheads. After the shooting, the groom breaks the arrows to ensure their love.
GREECE: BEARD OFF!
This Greek wedding tradition says that the groom’s best man, also known as “koumparos” has to become his barber and shave his face with a razor. If you are Greek, you might want to have a friend with steady hands. After you are shaved, your new mother-in-law will feed you honey and almonds.
A German tradition named Polterabend says that quests have to bring any porcelain objects to the wedding, smash it against the ground and the couple has to clean it up together. It symbolizes that marriage isn’t easy, but together they can overcome anything that will cross their ways.
JEWISH WEDDING TRADITIONS: BREAKING THE GLASS
Another tradition connected with breaking something is this Jewish tradition, in which the groom steps on glass in a cloth bag. This should represent the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem or the commitment of marriage to stay together even when life gets tough.
CONGO: SMILING NOT ALLOWED
In this part of Africa, wedding ceremonies are not allowed to be happy or joyful. Weddings must be taken seriously, so the couple cannot smile during the whole wedding and even on the wedding photos. So no “say cheese” for Congo.
IRELAND: STAY ON THE GROUND
This Irish wedding tradition can be quite difficult. When the bride and the groom are having their first dance, the bride has to keep her feet on the floor throughout the whole first dance. It is believed that if she would lift her feet, the evil fairies will come and sweep her away.
ITALY: “LA SERENATA”
Italian wedding tradition called “La serenata” looks like a scene from an American romantic movie. The night before the wedding, the groom stands outside his bride’s window with musicians behind him, and they are all serenading his bride. The signing then turns into a party with food, music and the couple’s friends and family.
SPAIN: BLACK WEDDING DRESS
This Spanish tradition can give a heart attack to non-Spanish grandma. Spanish brides wore black dresses on their weddings to express the saying “til death do us part”.
HINDUISM WEDDING TRADITION: DATE CHOSEN BY THE STARS
This tradition is probably one of the most romantic and magical traditions ever. The date of the wedding is based o the couple’s dates of birth. Astrologists then calculate the position of planets and stars and choose the date of the wedding.
INDIA: MARRY THE TREE
If you are an Indian woman born in the astronomical period in which Mars and Saturn are under the seventh house, you are cursed and will end up as a widow. This Indian wedding tradition says that you have to marry a tree and cut it down to break this curse.
JAPAN: SAKE SIPS
This Japanese wedding tradition is one of the oldest traditions ever. The bride, the groom and their parents sit down together and share sips of sake from three cups. These three cups symbolize the family of the bride and the groom being united. Cute, right?
CELTIC WEDDING TRADITION: HORSESHOE
This is also one of the oldest traditions. As many of you know, a horseshoe is a symbol of good luck. For hundreds of years, a Celtic woman tied a horseshoe to their leg and wore it underneath their wedding dress. Nowadays, many brides wear a miniature of a horseshoe in the form of a pendant.