A wedding truly is a beautiful concept, as two people decide to spend the rest of their lives together and wish to share their joy with their friends and family.
What’s not to love? And while we all have this classic image of a wedding in our heads – a bride in white slowly walking down the church aisle to the tune of “here comes the bride” – this is not how it’s done in most of the world. In fact, the classic American wedding is a little boring compared to some wedding ceremonies and traditions worldwide.
One region in the world with a very different culture and mindset is the far east, so naturally the wedding traditions are very unique compared to your rice throwing, cans tied to a car American way of matrimony. In China, the bride travels to the groom’s house before the wedding and then they go together to the ceremony. Sounds pretty routine? Well, the bride is carried to the groom’s house in a beautiful red sedan chair, or carriage, along with a “good luck woman” to tend to her needs during the journey. As in America, rice is thrown at the bride as a symbol of good luck, but in China, the rice is thrown during the ride to the groom’s house. Another Chinese tradition is for the bridesmaids to put the groom through a series of impossible tests in order to prove his worthiness for the bride, although traditionally the groom ends up bribing the bridesmaids for their approval with a symbolic sum. In the Philippines, the bride and groom release two doves into the air, to represent peace and harmony in their new life together. In japan, women are obliged to wear white from head to toe. Standard bridal outfit. However, a Japanese bride must wear a large white hood, in order to hide her horns of jealousy from her mother-in-law. However, the wildest wedding tradition in the region belongs to Mongolia, as before a coupe can get married, they must first cut open and dissect chickens together, until they find a healthy liver!
The unique traditions aren’t confined to only one region, as the excitement of weddings is felt everywhere. African traditions include a ban on smiling in Congo, so the bride and groom can show that they are serious is marriage; while in Kenya, the bride’s father spits on her at the end of the ceremony. Small islands from all over the globe also contribute to the list of eye-opening traditions. In Jamaica, the bride is paraded around town while everyone either compliments or criticizes her. If the criticism outweighs the compliments, she must go home and try again. In Cuba, it is customary for any man who shares a dance with the bride to pin some cash on her dress. It pays to get married in Cuba!
The wedding traditions are plenty, and they range from an eating contest in Russia to dancing camels in Niger. However, each and every unique tradition has at least one thing in common – they are meant to symbolize a new and holy union between two partners beginning a new journey together and the luck and prosperity we wish upon them. The amazing different traditions that surround these weddings make them, undoubtedly, one of the most special days in a person’s life. Weddings are nice. Traditions make them beautiful.