9 Wedding Traditions Around the World (Slideshow)
May 2, 2016
When it comes to weddings, the world has some interesting traditions
In Japan, the bride and groom believe in drinking a little sake during their ceremony. They drink from three shared bowls, each larger than the last, to signify sharing the sorrows and joys in life.
In some parts of rural Scotland, the bride and groom are both “blackened” by their loved ones before marriage. The idea is to humiliate the bride and groom before the wedding takes place by dousing them in substances like feathers and flour. If they can survive this embarrassment, they can survive anything life throws at them.
Donning hats made of straw, Irish “straw boys” are an enduring tradition. Though there are many different versions of what they do, the main idea is that they will visit the bride-to-be the evening before the wedding and dance with her, or they will dance with the happy couple on their wedding day. Why? To ward off evil spirits of course!
Don’t leave your new spouse at the table alone if you’re wed in Sweden, as they may be forced commit adultery on the first night. After all, it is tradition for guests to kiss the bride or groom if their newly wedded partner leaves them alone in the room.
For Czech brides, the wedding is only the preamble to the big show: the baby. Fertility is a huge theme for Czech newlyweds, and as a result the bride is always presented with three “motherhood inducing dishes” at her wedding. The first is wheat for fertility, the second contains millet mixed with ashes to symbolize a mother’s patience, and the third is a live sparrow that flies away when uncovered.
Forget that plastic cake topper. The people of Bermuda often top their wedding cakes with a live sapling. After the wedding, the couple plants the little tree as a symbol of their love being ever-growing.
During the reception, a low table of chestnuts, wine, and jujubes sits next to the bride and groom. This tradition represents all the children the couple will have, especially when the bride’s mother-in-law throws dates and nuts at the bride to signify many potential babies.
We all shed a few tears at a wedding, but the Chinese — particularly those from Tujia — take it to the extreme. Brides and their families cry for as long as a month before the wedding to help brides rid themselves of the pains of their past, so that they can look forward to a brighter future.
French couples are stuck with the worst tradition yet. Brides and grooms are forced to drink and eat leftovers jammed into a toilet, as a symbol of marital endurance. While these days the toilet is full of champagne and chocolate, there's no getting around the fact that they still have to drink out of a toilet.