Wedding are one of the most widely celebrated life events worldwide, where the concept of love is universal, but the details vary greatly. Curious to see how couples around the world mark their special day? Here are 10 different wedding customs from around the globe.
Indian Garland Ceremony
The Var Mala ceremony is one of the most significant traditions of Indian weddings, where the bride and groom exchange colorful floral garlands to signify their unity and acceptance of one another. This ritual is practiced throughout India, but differs on shape and size depending on the region. For example the Var Mala found in Northern India is much longer and heaver compared to ones found in Southern India. Red roses are the most common flower used for the garlands, but orchids and carnations are some alternatives.
Japanese Sake Drinking
Traditionally weddings in Japan take place in Shinto shrines, where the groom and bride partake in a sake-drinking ritual called san-san-ku-do. This ancient tradition translates as ‘three-three-nine-times,” where couples drink from three different-sized cups three times each. Odd numbers in Japan are considered lucky, especially the number three. The smallest cup represents heaven, the middle earth and the largest humankind.
Turkish Henna Night
The Kina Gecesi or henna night is a ceremony that usually takes place the night before the wedding. Historically it is to symbolize the bride leaving their family’s home as a daughter and entering into a new family as a wife. A red veil is place over the bride-to-be and her hands are elaborately decorated in henna.
Norwegian Wedding Cake
Kransekake is a traditional Norwegian cake that is often served at weddings or holiday celebrations. It consists of almonds, icing sugar and egg whites. It is created by stacking the cake rings of different sizes from largest to smallest in a pyramid shape. The top is adorned with trinkets depending on the occasion, for example a bride figurine for a wedding.
Polish Money Dance
The Czepek that translates into “money dance,” is a popular custom that helps fiance the couple’s honeymoon. Guest pin money to the bride and groom’s clothing while dancing and also create a circle around the couple where they throw money onto the bride’s veil.
South African Lighting of the Hearth
One of the most common wedding traditions is having the parents of the bride and groom bring fire from their homes to light the hearth of the newlyweds together as a family.
Australian Unity Bowl
In Australia, the custom of having a unity bowl can be seen at weddings that would like to incorporate a time-honored tradition. The purpose of this bowl is to have all family members fill it with colorful stones to signify that each person has contributed to coloring the lives of the newlyweds. Each individual family member is represented by a particular color and when the couple mixes the bowl, a new family is formed with the beautiful mosaic of color that has been created from the multicolored stones.
Mexican Color-Themed Wedding
The bride is in charge of the color-theme in her wedding and her hue choice appears everywhere from the wedding cake to the car that is used to transport the newlyweds around on their special day. At the ceremony site, matching flowers and ribbon are place everywhere for a colorful touch.
Kenyan Ritual of Spitting on the Bride
It is tradition in Massai culture in Kenya, for the father of the bride to spit on her to bring good luck and fortune to her marriage. Usually, spitting in this culture is frowned upon, but during the wedding it is an exception.
Chinese Auspicious Dates
In Chinese culture, there are auspicious dates that are ideal for a wedding ceremony to take place on. The bride and groom will consult with an authority on the subject, which can include a Chinese monk, a temple official, a fortune teller or simply looking at a Chinese calendar for a lucky date. Usually dates that are even-numbered are preferred and the seventh month in the Lunar year is always avoided due to it being the month when the Hungry Ghost Festival takes place.
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