Weddings are occasions of lasting traditions and rituals.
All over the world, people’s beliefs, culture and history has affected this memorable event. It is common knowledge that wedding ceremonies are different all over the world, but did you know that the diversity extends even on the wedding night? Read this to know the interesting activities that couples, families and friends do before letting the newlyweds reach a night of wedding bliss!
It is customary in an American wedding for the bride and groom to hop into a get-away car with tin cans attached to the rear of the car, off to their secret honeymoon, immediately after the wedding. Did you know that this rooted from escaping a Celtic wedding night tradition?
In Gaelic cultures, it was a tradition for friends and family of the couple to mess with the couple’s wedding night. In the olden days, when couples spend their wedding night in a barn, girl friends of the bride would dress her for bed and ask each of the male guests to kiss her good night. The friends would do other things to prevent the groom from seeing her new wife. Even if the couple finally comes together, they would disturb the union by making noise outside the barn and even peep into the couple, while drinking the night away. The couple waits for everyone to get too drunk to eventually leave them alone. This kind of prank is something that newly weds want to get away from, thus, they keep their honeymoon destination a secret and speed away after the wedding.
More Celtic wedding night ritual come from Scotland: sleeping in the barn on the first night, sprinkling water on the marriage bed for luck and staying for a week with the bride’s parents before moving into the newlywed’s home.
The Germans and the French do a similar tradition of “disturbing” the wedding night, called Chiverie, known in the US as Shivaree. They make noise outside the place where the couple spends their first night together. Some even play around with the room where they will stay, like put plenty of balloons, spread food all over the bed, and hide alarm clock everywhere, just for fun.
The Romans believed that it was bad fortune when the bride stumbles when entering the newlywed’s house for the first time. Thus, after the wedding, male friends of the couple would carry her over the doorstep. At present, the groom is expected to do the job himself.
In Benin, western Africa, they value virginity.
The bride’s mother rewards her with cash if she’s a virgin at their wedding night! In the morning, the sheets that the couples used are inspected for bloodstains. Some mothers even “fly the flag” out the window, showing off their daughter’s bloodstained nightgown. Seriously!
For the Chinese, at the night of the wedding, candles designed with a phoenix and a dragon is lit to drive the evil spirit away. The newlyweds will drink wine from goblets tied together with a red ribbon, while arms intertwined. Then the bride will be given half-raw dumplings, which symbolize prosperity.
Marquesasian (from Polynesia) brides have a notable wedding night ritual: they are expected to have sex with all the male guests and then saving the groom for last. Now that can make your wedding night … extremely unforgettable!