Weddings are a celebration of love and commitment between two people, but the customs and traditions that make up the ceremony and reception can vary significantly from culture to culture. Here are some of the fascinating wedding traditions from around the world:
- In India, weddings are multi-day affairs with elaborate ceremonies and rituals. One of the most well-known traditions is the Mehndi ceremony, where henna is applied to the bride’s hands and feet. The Baraat, a groom’s procession, is a colorful and joyful event where the groom arrives on a decorated horse or elephant.
- In China, red is the color of love and joy, and it features heavily in wedding traditions. Red envelopes filled with money are given as gifts, and brides often wear a red qipao dress. During the ceremony, the couple drinks from a cup of tea presented by the bride’s parents, symbolizing the couple’s union with their families.
- Swedish weddings are known for their “smorgasbord” of food, including pickled herring and meatballs. A fun tradition is the “kissing game,” where the bride and groom stand on chairs and kiss every time their guests stamp their feet.
- Nigerian weddings are colorful affairs with bright fabrics and bold patterns. The traditional Yoruba wedding involves the bride’s friends and family dressing in matching outfits and the groom’s family arriving with gifts and a dowry. During the ceremony, the couple jumps over a broom, which symbolizes sweeping away past wrongs and starting anew.
- Scottish weddings often feature a bagpiper, who leads the wedding party into the ceremony. The bride and groom exchange rings, which are placed on the fourth finger of the right hand, instead of the left. After the ceremony, the newlyweds are “piped out” of the church, with the bagpiper leading them to the reception.
- Mexican weddings involve a lot of music and dancing, with the bride and groom performing a traditional dance called the “El Baile del Pajaro.” The couple also exchanges 13 coins, or arras, which symbolize the groom’s commitment to provide for his new family.
- In Japan, weddings are often held in a Shinto shrine, where a priest purifies the couple before the ceremony. During the reception, the bride often changes into a red kimono, which symbolizes good luck. The couple also drinks sake from three cups representing heaven, earth, and humanity.
- Greek weddings involve lots of dancing, with guests joining hands and forming a circle called the “kalamatiano.” The bride and groom also perform a dance called the “zeimbekiko,” where the groom shows off his strength by lifting his bride. After the ceremony, the couple smashes plates on the ground to ward off evil spirits.
These are just a few of the many wedding traditions from around the world. It’s interesting to learn about other cultures and perhaps create some new traditions of your own. Whether it’s the colors, the music, or the food, each tradition adds a unique and meaningful element to the celebration of love and commitment.