Welcome back to the Engage Diamond Studio’s blog page. This is the second of a two-part series on unique wedding traditions from around the world. In our first post, we discussed things such as China’s ritual crying tradition and the breaking of porcelain in Germany. This post will feature several more fascinating traditions from other places.
We have put together these posts as a way to celebrate the wonderful tradition of marriage. It does not matter where you live or what your ceremony looks like; it only matters that couples love one another and want to spend the rest of their lives together. With that said, below are a few more unique wedding traditions.
Painting the Hands and Feet – India
Indian brides to be get together with their closest friends to hold a mehndi party. What is a mehndi party? It is a social gathering in which friends help the bride prepare for her upcoming nuptials by painting intricate designs on her hands and feet. These designs are known as ‘henna’ or ‘mehndi’; they are meant to portray the inner and outer layers of the sun according to Hindu Vedic traditions. The paint is made of a kind of paste that stains the skin once dry. Stains wear off in about 30 days or so.
Breaking of the Glass – Traditional Judaism
Traditional Jewish weddings all over the world practice the ritual breaking of the glass. This tradition takes place after wedding vows are exchanged, with the groom breaking glass under his feet while guests shout “mazel tov!” (good luck!). There is considerable debate about the origins of this tradition. Some maintain that it has always been about reminding the couple to remember the seriousness of their vows even in the midst of so much joy. Others say the tradition is a reminder of the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in AD 70.
The Restroom Is Off Limits – Indonesia/Malaysia
Perhaps the most bizarre wedding tradition we have ever heard of is one practiced among the people of Indonesia and Malaysia. According to this tradition, the bride and groom are not allowed to use the restroom for the first three days of their marriage – that means absolutely no bowel or bladder movements. They also cannot leave their home. In order to accomplish this feat, they eat and drink very little, if anything at all. The good news is that they are watched over by family members to make sure they stay safe. The tradition says using the restroom during the first three days can bring bad luck that could doom the marriage failure.
Blackening of the Bride and Groom – Scotland
In many parts of rural Scotland, there is a custom known as blackening. Every engaged couple must be prepared to endure this ceremonial ritual whether they want to or not. The good news is that sometimes the ‘victims’ are primed with alcohol. In either case, one or both are captured by friends, stripped to their underwear, and covered by all sorts of disgusting, sticky substances. They are then paraded through town accompanied by plenty of noise to draw attention. Those conducting the ritual make it is embarrassing as possible.
Some of the unique wedding traditions we have explored make complete sense while others do not. But one thing is for sure: there is more than one way to conduct an exciting wedding ceremony and reception. If you are planning to get married shortly, we hope you will visit us at Engage Diamond Studio in Toronto to pick out your wedding bands and engagement rings.