10 facts about the origins of modern wedding traditions
Marriage in almost all cultures is considered a special event, which is associated with various rituals and traditions. Many of these traditions are so ingrained in modern society that people have never even thought about their origins. In this review, we will tell where wedding rituals, known to all, originate from.
1. "Honeymoon" or "Fading Love"
The idea of a honeymoon in its present form originated at the end of the XVIII century. However, the etymology of the word comes from the old English phrase "hony moone". In this case, “hony” refers to the word honey (honey) and symbolizes “an indefinite period of tenderness and pleasure experienced by a couple of newlyweds,” and “moone” means the transience of this sweetness and the extinction of love.
Others suggest that the “honeymoon” refers to a time when the lack of women led to the fact that brides were forcibly abducted by men.After a woman was abducted, she was usually searched for and tried to “rescue” her for a month. Thus, the man who kidnapped his bride was forced to hide for about a month, during which the couple drank a lot of honey, a drink associated with sweetness and sensuality.
2. The first Spartan bachelor parties
Spartan bachelor parties.
It is believed that the idea of a bachelor party dates back to the fifth century BC, and the ancient Spartans were the first to celebrate the last night of the groom as a lonely "free" person. The Spartan soldiers held a feast for their friend and made toasts in his honor. The idea of this bachelor dinner continued in our time. In the 1940s and 1950s, a "gentleman's dinner" was usually held by the groom's father on the night before the wedding. This dinner was a reason for communication in a purely male circle and a way to celebrate the “transition of the groom from the category of a single man to a married one”.
3. “The Best Man” - Bride Thief
The tradition of the “best man” dates back to the medieval communities of Germany, where bride abductions were common due to the lack of women.The groom often asked his closest friend to accompany him to the village or town where the woman he wanted to kidnap lived. Since the bride’s family often tried to save her daughter from being abducted, it was her friend’s duty to protect the couple and also to protect the bride from other suitors. However, his most important duty was to stand guard during the wedding ceremony at the right hand of the groom with his sword bare, to prevent any attempt to disrupt the ceremony.
4. Wedding rings - a symbol of the bride's purchase
It is believed that the ancient Egyptians were the first to use the rings in the wedding ceremony. These early rings were woven from hemp or cane, but since the cane rings were very fragile, they were eventually replaced by rings made of bone or leather. The husband put a ring on his wife's finger, which symbolized his confidence in his ability to take care of the house and family.
The Romans continued the tradition of wedding rings, but in their case, the bride's father received a wedding ring as a symbol of the bride's purchase.By the second century BC, the ring began to hand over the groom to his bride as a way to show her that he trusted her with his valuables. From 860 AD Christians began to use rings in wedding ceremonies, although this usually represented a symbolic exchange of values. Only in the 1940s, men's wedding rings became popular in the western world. Men first started wearing rings during the war to show that they always remember their wives, who were far away from them.
5. Bride on hand
The bride in her arms as protection from evil spirits.
Some attribute the origin of the custom to carry the bride across the threshold in the hands of the ancient belief that young, innocent girls were extremely susceptible to evil. It was believed that evil spirits lurked on the threshold of doorways, which could act as a portal between the worlds of the living and the dead. At the same time they could move into the girl through the soles of her feet. Therefore, the husband carried the bride over the threshold in his arms to avoid such a possibility. Others claim that the tradition comes from the time when the brides were kidnapped.
6. Wedding Garters as a talisman
Garters for good luck.
In the past, people believed that owning a piece of a bridal gown could bring good luck. This often led guests to literally attack the bride during the wedding, tearing her wedding dress to shreds. Tired of such attacks, the brides began to wear garters as garments that could be given to other people "for good luck." Another widely held belief is that the garter was proof that the marriage was successful.
7. Marriage Contracts in Ancient Egypt
Marriage treaties in ancient Egypt.
Many will be surprised to know that marriage contracts are much older than everyone thinks. In fact, they were quite common in ancient Egypt. For example, a 2500-year-old Egyptian document was preserved, which assured that if the union between husband and wife is not successful, the wife will receive compensation in the amount of 1.2 silver measures and 36 bags of grain each year for the rest of her life.
The marriage contract with the Jews, known as Ketuba, has existed for at least 2,000 years. He also establishes the financial obligations of the husband towards his wife in case of divorce or widowhood.In the ninth century AD, husbands in Europe were required to document the transfer of a third of their property to their wives after their death.
8. Wedding meat cakes
That's the cake!
The tradition of a wedding cake originated in ancient Rome, where the groom crumbled barley cake over the head of the bride. In medieval England, they lined up a hill of sweet buns at the height of a man, so that the newlyweds kissed them. If they managed to reach each other with their lips, it was thought that they were guaranteed a prosperous life. But not all early wedding cakes were a sweet treat. Most of them were rather mincemeat or lamb pies.
One of the earliest English wedding cake recipes suggests that it should be made from scallops of roosters, pine nuts, ram eggs, oysters, and spices. Each guest had to eat a piece of cake - not to do this was considered extreme rudeness. Often a ring was placed inside the wedding cake. It was believed that the one who finds him will marry or marry next. Only in the 17th century, such meat pies were replaced with sweet wedding cakes.
9. Veil as protection from evil spirits
The bride in the veil - the very charm.
It is believed that the veil is older than a wedding dress for many centuries, but its exact origin is unknown. Some believe that this tradition comes from ancient times, when brides wore bright veils to protect against evil spirits. Greek and Roman brides often wore red and yellow veils that represented fire to ward off evil spirits and demons. At some point in time, Roman brides completely wrap themselves in a huge red veil on their wedding day. In Europe, in ancient times, contractual marriages were the norm and the veil was allegedly worn on the bride so that her face would not see the groom until the very end of the wedding ceremony (in case he did not refuse the marriage if he did not like the look of his bride).
10. Bridesmaids were bait for evil spirits.
Bridesmaids as a marriage protection.
Since the ancient Romans believed that evil spirits love to bring misfortune to brides during wedding ceremonies, they came up with the idea of using girlfriends as a way to confuse these spirits. At the wedding, the bride was accompanied by up to ten bridesmaids, dressed in exactly the same way as she. A similar tradition continued until the 19th century.