Did You Know That? Quirky Wedding Rituals from Around the World
We all know about tossing the bouquet, throwing puffed rice over the head, the couple’s first dance, the cutting of the cake, and the life-affirming moment of kanya-daan. But if you thought weddings rituals were always sane and safe, think again. There are some quirky practices that are confusing, repulsive and surprising…not to forget hilarious.
No matter how peculiar or bizarre these traditions are, they just give us an idea about the diversity in every culture. Right from beating the groom’s feet to blackening the bride, we’ve found some bizarre evidence from around the globe.
The pre-planned crying ritual in China
For women across the world, crying is a form of expressing angst, melancholy or sometimes joy. But for the Tujia women in China, crying has a whole new definition. These women start crying a month before the wedding day, with the bride crying for an hour every day. She is then joined by her mother, her grandmother and eventually other members of the family. This tradition is an expression of love and happiness and their collective noise sounds like a song. Crazy, isn’t it?
The blackening of the bride-to-be in Scotland
This tradition prevalent in Scotland involves smearing the bride and the groom with every nasty and gross thing you can think of – rotten food, sauces, mud, tar, etc. The belief behind this custom is that if the couple can withstand this, then they can handle their marriage as well. It is also believed that this ritual is a way of warding off evil spirits.
Beating the groom’s feet in South Korea
This is an age-old Korean tradition which orders the groom to have his feet beaten with a cane before his first night as a married man. It sounds horrific and painful but is also very amusing for the South Korean men. This custom is a way of making sure the groom does not disappoint the bride on his wedding night.
‘Kiss and Tell’ in Sweden
Surprisingly, this funny tradition is not about the bride and the groom. The unmarried men plant a kiss on the bride, and the unmarried women kiss the groom. However, this is only done when the groom has left the wedding ceremony for a couple of minutes and the same goes for the bride.
‘Joote lo, paise do’ tradition in India
Photo By: Going Bananas Photography
Speaking of weird traditions and customs, how can India lag behind? The traditional ‘joota chupai’ is a practice followed at every Indian wedding for the fun element. As soon as the groom has stepped into the ‘mandap’, the bride’s sister steals his shoes and hides it in a place that cannot be found by anyone. The groom only gets his shoes back when he agrees to give the money demanded by his sister-in-law.
Log cutting in Germany
Every couple in Germany needs to put their bond to test by sawing a log into half in front of their family and friends. The act demonstrates the couple’s ability to work together and face problems that may arise later on in their marriage.
‘Release the doves’ in the Philippines
At any Filipino wedding, it is mandatory for the bride and groom to release two doves into the air, which represent a peaceful and harmonious life for the couple.
Money dance in Poland
This custom originated in Poland in the 90’s. During this dance, male guests pay to dance with the bride and sometimes the female guests pay to dance with the groom. At the reception, the bride dances with her father while the relatives hold out an apron. Guests are supposed to place the money in the apron if they choose to dance with the bride.
Two bouquets in Mexico
This is a simple yet beautiful tradition followed in Mexico where the bride is supposed to carry two bouquets, one for herself and the second one as a tribute to Virgin Mary.
Polterabend in Germany
This ritual originates in Germany where family and friends of the couple smash dishware outside the home of the couple a night before the wedding. This is a tradition followed by the Germans since decades to bring luck to the couple.
Still worried about that awful best man speech or some relative getting totally drunk? Hope these eccentric customs and rituals have managed to make you more tolerant and aware. Let us know about any weird ritual you want us to add to this list. The more the wackier!