A GLOBAL CELEBRATION: WEDDING TRADITIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Love, a universal emotion, is celebrated through weddings worldwide, each culture adding its unique flavor through a blend of customs and traditions. These traditions are symbolic, often steeped in history and beliefs that have been passed down through generations. They vary widely from one region to another, each with its unique, charming, and sometimes surprising customs. In this post, we will embark on a global tour, unveiling some fascinating wedding traditions from various cultures around the world.
Indian Wedding Traditions: The Saptapadi
In India, weddings are week-long celebrations filled with rituals and ceremonies. One of the most iconic is the ‘Saptapadi’ or ‘Seven Steps.’ The bride and groom walk around the sacred fire seven times, each round signifying a marital vow, including duty, prosperity, and lifelong companionship.
Japanese Wedding Traditions: San-San-Kudo
In traditional Japanese Shinto weddings, the ‘San-San-Kudo’ or ‘Three-Three-Nine-Times’ is an essential ritual. The couple and their parents share three sips each from three different sake cups, symbolizing the joining of two families. This ritual reflects three core values in Japanese culture – the heavens, the earth, and mankind.
Kenyan Wedding Traditions: Maasai Spitting on the Bride
Among the Maasai tribes of Kenya, a peculiar and vibrant tradition is the ‘Spitting Blessing.’ As the bride leaves her home for the last time, her father spits on her head and breasts as a symbol of fortune and prosperity in her new marital life.
Mexican Wedding Traditions: Lazo Ceremony
The ‘Lazo’ ceremony is a distinct Mexican tradition. A large rosary or a floral rope is draped in a figure-eight around the necks of the bride and groom to symbolize their eternal unity. This occurs after the exchange of vows, drawing parallels with the western tradition of exchanging rings.
Russian Wedding Traditions: Ransom for the Bride
In Russia, couples face a fun, challenging tradition known as ‘The Wedding Ransom.’ The groom must ‘pay a ransom’ for his bride, usually through performing tasks or games set up by the bride’s family. This lighthearted tradition is a testament to a groom’s dedication to his bride.
Scottish Wedding Traditions: The Blackening of the Bride
The ‘Blackening of the Bride’ is a pre-wedding Scottish tradition where the bride, groom, or both are covered in a mixture of unpleasant substances like molasses, feathers, and flour by friends and family. While messy, it’s believed to ward off evil spirits and prepare the couple for any future trials in married life.
Italian Wedding Traditions: The Wedding Banquet
Italian wedding feasts are legendary for their opulence. The wedding banquet, or “la cena,” can feature up to 14 courses and last for many hours. Traditional dishes might include pasta, risotto, and a roast, followed by a dessert, often a cake called “millefoglie” filled with layers of cream and strawberries.
At Factory51, we have curated the perfect rustic Italian-inspired menu, sourcing only high quality, fresh produce to ensure the best culinary experience. Our signature shared feasts enable you to connect with your loved ones and friends over handcrafted pasta, low and slow cooked meats, delicious canapes, and antipasti boards.
Greek Wedding Traditions: The Crowning
In Greek Orthodox weddings, ‘The Crowning’ is a central ritual. The priest places a crown or ‘stefana’ linked by a ribbon on the couple’s heads, symbolizing that they are the king and queen of their kingdom—the family.
Chinese Wedding Traditions: Tea Ceremony
During a traditional Chinese wedding, the ‘Tea Ceremony’ plays a pivotal role. The couple serves tea to their elders, symbolizing respect and gratitude. In return, they receive gifts and well-wishes for a prosperous married life.
Norwegian Wedding Traditions: Brudekrone (Bridal Crown)
At Norwegian weddings, the bride traditionally wears a silver or gold crown with small spoon-like bangles attached to it. When the bride moves, the bangles produce a melodic sound to ward off evil spirits.
Germany Wedding Traditions: Baumstamm Sägen (Log Cutting)
German weddings often feature Baumstamm Sägen, a tradition where the couple works together to saw a log in half in front of their guests. This act is symbolic of their first challenge as a married couple, demonstrating their ability to collaborate and overcome obstacles together.
Peruvian Wedding Traditions: Cake Pull
In Peruvian weddings, single female guests get a chance to pull ribbons attached to charms hidden within the wedding cake. One of the ribbons is attached to a fake wedding ring. The woman who pulls that ribbon is said to be the next in line to marry.
Jewish Wedding Traditions: Breaking of the Glass
In Jewish weddings, the ‘Breaking of the Glass’ is a symbolic tradition. The groom steps on a glass wrapped in cloth to shatter it, guests shouting “Mazel Tov!” in celebration. This act is a reminder of the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, symbolizing that love carries responsibilities and creates lasting impressions.
Swedish Wedding Traditions: Kissing Party
In Swedish weddings, if the bride leaves the room, all the ladies line up to kiss the groom, and vice versa. This playful tradition is all in good fun, sparking laughter and merriment throughout the reception.
French Wedding Traditions: La Noce
In this French tradition, the bridal party and guests parade through the town, making as much noise as possible. Traditionally, the procession followed the bride’s journey from her home to the church, but now it often takes place after the ceremony, en route to the reception.
Polish Wedding Traditions: Bread and Salt
Polish wedding traditions begin with the parents of the bride and groom greeting the newlyweds with bread and salt. Bread is a symbol of abundant life, while salt reminds the couple of life’s difficulty, reminding them to help each other in times of need.
Global Wedding Traditions
As we traverse through these varied cultural traditions, it’s evident that while the rituals differ, the underlying values of love, unity, and celebration are universal. These traditions deepen the wedding experience, connecting the couple to their roots and enriching the tapestry of their shared life. Embracing these rituals is a beautiful way to honor one’s culture, add depth to the wedding festivities, and create unforgettable memories. After all, weddings are not just about two people uniting; they are a celebration of heritage, culture, and the timeless power of love. If you’d like a Brisbane wedding venue to host your traditions, reach out to our team today! We’d love to show you around our industrial chic venue.