32 Of The Most Unusual Wedding Traditions From Around The World.
This article is based on "45 Fascinating Wedding Traditions Around The World". If you're interested in reading more, check out the link at the bottom of the article.
1/32 Democratic Republic of the Congo
Brides and grooms must not smile on their wedding day from the ceremony to reception. If they do smile it means that they're not serious about the marriage.
A Daur couple set their wedding date by killing a baby chicken and cutting it apart together to find a healthy liver. The date is set according to the appearance of the liver. If the liver doesn't look healthy, they must try again with a new chicken.
After the reception French brides and grooms eat chocolate and champagne out of a clean toilet bowl. It's supposed to give them strength before their wedding night.
In Yugur culture a prospective husband with shoot his fiancee with a bow and arrow without arrowheads several times. After he'll collect the arrows and break them during the ceremony to ensure that their love lasts forever.
If a man wants to ask his beloved's father for her hand in marriage he must also present the father with a whale's tooth.
During the reception guests throw porcelain dishes on the ground to ward off evil spirits. If the bride and groom can work together to clean up the piles of dishes they can face any challenge thrown their way.
On his wedding day the groom is treated to two special pleasures: his best man becomes his barber and shaves his face, and his new mother-in-love feeds him honey and almonds.
When the newlyweds arrive at their reception it is tradition for the groom's mother to break a white ceramic bell filled with grains like rice and flour to bring prosperity to the couple.
For a traditional Shinto ceremony the bride is dressed from head-to-toe in white, which represents her maiden status. She wears a white hood to hide "horns of jealousy" that she may have towards her new mother-in-law.
A bride walking the streets to attend her wedding ceremony is greeted by villagers who stand in the streets and cheer or jeer at her appearance. If she receives enough heckling about ugliness she must go home and try to look better.
When a Masai bride leaves with her new husband at the end of the ceremony her father spits on her to not tempt fate by being too supportive of the union.
12/32 Czech Republic
Before the ceremony an infant is placed on the couple's new bed to bless it and encourage fertility. Guests all shower the couple with rice, peas, and lentils to promote fertility.
The bride wears a silver-gold crown that has small charms hanging off it. When she moves the tinkling sound is meant to deflect evil spirits.
During the reception the bride and groom share a sweetbread called karavaya made of wheat for prosperity and decorated with interlocking rings for faithfulness. Whomever takes the largest bite without using their hands is considered the head of the family.
Before the wedding Chinese bridesmaids put the groom and possibly groomsmen through a set of gruelling tests and challenges to prove that he's worthy of their friend. At the end he must pay them with envelopes of money.
16/32 Papua New Guinea
In remote parts of the country the bride's parents pay the groom a negotiated number of pigs and shells to marry their daughter. The pigs are then slaughtered and served at the wedding.
The bride and groom release a pair of white doves, one male and one female, to represent a harmonious new life together.
Every man who dances with the bride must pin money to her dress to help the newlyweds pay for their honeymoon and any debts accumulated from the wedding.
Couples in Moscow will visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to take wedding photos, lay flowers, and pay their respects to the dead. This is done to thank those who have died in order to give the couple the chance to be married.
Friends of the groom will place a Turkish flag at his home on his wedding day. Later fruits and vegetables will be placed on top to signify the ceremony has begun.
It's good luck for a newlywed couple to sneak away before the reception is over without anyone noticing. It is also thought to be good luck for the first guest who realizes that the couple is gone.
The bridal bouquet typically includes myrtle, a herb for love, which the bride later divides amongst her bridesmaids. If a bridesmaid plants it and it blooms, she will be married next.
Single Armenian men and women will eat a piece of salty bread prepared by a happily married middle-aged woman or grandmother. That night they'll hopefully dream about their intended spouse-to-be.
The groom must go to the bride's parent's home on the morning of the wedding and prove his worth by either paying a ransom for the bride, showering the family with gifts, or humiliating himself by singing and dancing until they tell him to stop.
The bride and groom must dance with their feet on the floor at all times. If they don't, it is thought that evil fairies will come and sweep the bride away.
The Tujia people believe that crying can be an expression of joy. Starting one month before the ceremony the bride will cry for one hour every day. Ten days later her mother joins, and another ten later her grandmother joins. By the end of the month every woman in her family should be crying.
After the ceremony the couple is presented with a large log and saw. They saw it half together to prove their ability to work together to overcome obstacles.
In parts of India ceremonies including "hiding the shoes". Before walking to the altar a groom must remove his shoes. His family tries to protect the shoes while the bride's family tries to hide and steal them. It's thought to be a playful bonding experience between the two newly joined families.
During the reception guests try to abduct the bride and demand a ransom from the groom in the form of alcohol or love songs sung to guests.
In rural areas the "blackening of the bride" occurs wherein the couple is caputred by friends the day before the wedding and covered with dirt, molasses, flour, or anything else the friends can find. They're then paraded around the town to try to ward off evil spirits.
Whenever the bride or groom leave the head table, people of the opposite sex at the reception are free to steal kisses from whichever spouse is remaining.
If an Indian female is born during the astrological period when Mars and Saturn are both in the seventh house, she is cursed. If she marries her husband will die unless she first marries a tree and cuts it down.
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Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.