Are you the kind of person who has long dreamt of that fairy-tale wedding that would make all of your dreams come true? The whole idea of a fairy-tale wedding is fascinating in and of itself. But throw in different cultures from around the world, and the question of what makes for a fairy-tale wedding becomes very intriguing. In truth, there are lots of different ways to tie the knot.
In celebration of the uniqueness of wedding traditions from around the world, we have put together a two-part series looking at some of the most interesting and least known (to North America) traditions. Enjoy!
Ritual Crying – China
The Tujia people of China’s Sichuan province have an interesting tradition that involves ritual crying. About one month out, the bride-to-be begins the ritual by spending one hour per day crying. On the tenth day, she is joined by her mother; her grandmother joins the two on day 20. The three will continue spending an hour a day in tears up to the wedding day. However, don’t be confused. The ladies are shedding tears of joy rather than sorrow. The practice dates back to the Qing Dynasty of 1644-1911; it used to be practiced throughout China but is now mainly observed by the Tujia.
The Kissing Tradition – Sweden
Wedding receptions in Sweden are very informal affairs that include plenty of silly party games fuelled by traditional vodka drinks. One of them is known affectionately as the ‘kissing game’. Here’s how it works: if the groom finds it necessary to leave the reception for any reason, all of the other men in attendance will make a beeline for the bride in order to give her a kiss. The same works in the other direction. The groom can expect to be mobbed for kisses by the ladies if his bride steps out for a moment. The kissing tradition is all in good fun; no one means anything by it other than a laugh or two.
Straight Faces Only – Congo
In the central African nation of Congo, marriage is considered a very sacred relationship to be entered into by way of a ceremony that is thoughtful, introspective, and somber. As such, brides and grooms in Congo very rarely crack a smile at any point during the wedding ceremony or reception. Pictures of the couple feature straight faces only. Couples reserve their smiles and giggles for their private time once all the guests have gone home.
Breaking the Porcelain – Germany
An interesting tradition in Germany known as ‘Polterabend’ involves certain guests of the wedding gathering at the bride’s house the night before in order to break porcelain. In practice they are supposed to break whatever porcelain they can find but, in reality, the couple now usually provides the porcelain so as not to damage any family heirlooms. The guests must be careful not to break glass – doing so can jeopardize the couples’ happiness. Breaking the porcelain serves two purposes: it brings good luck to the couple and teaches them that their marriage will not always be easy. Cleaning up together makes it clear that they will have to work as a team to overcome any challenges they face in the future.
We hope you have enjoyed part one of this two-part series dealing with unique wedding traditions from around the world. Be sure to check out our blog again for the conclusion. In the meantime, Engage Diamond Studio is the place to shop in Toronto for custom engagement rings, wedding bands, and other beautiful jewellery pieces.