“Make sure that the bride eats everything sweet and avoids spicy food,” said my grandmother to my aunt, who was handed over a long list of wedding day myths and traditions followed in my family.
These ‘traditions’ will apparently keep my cousin happier and help her be a glowing bride on her big day. Nothing like a sprinkle of superstition to save the day.
Most of these myths and traditions do not make any sense and the elders really don’t have much justification for any of them. Instead these myths have grown into rituals that families blindly follow, wedding after wedding, for generations.
With that, here are a few wedding day myths and what they mean in the cultures and countries who believe and follow them.
1. Do not eat from the pan. Ever. Unless you like the rain.
In South Asia, women are advised to not eat the leftovers directly from the cooking pan, in order to avoid a rainy wedding day.
2. If you don’t smash the vase, you won’t have much of a marriage.
According to an Italian tradition, couples smash a vase on their wedding day. The broken pieces of glass symbolizes the many happy years they are going to spend together.
3. Throwing rice over the heads of the new couple means more babies.
The Romans believed that throwing a handful of rice, wheat, or any form of grain over the newly married couple’s head as a symbol of fertility and having a healthy family in the future.
4. Tossing flower petals means there’ll be good vibes.
In Greece, little girls are asked to toss flower buds and petals ahead of the bride as a sign of welcoming her new beginning with good vibes.
5. Spiders on your wedding dress are definitely good omens.
The English believe that if a bride finds a spider or any eight-legged insect on her wedding dress, it will bring her good luck.
6. Marry on a specific day or risk bad luck.
In Hinduism, the bride and groom believe that you are supposed to marry on a specific date chosen by the Pandit, a clergy who gets them married, by making sure their stars are in alignment.
7. Pinch the bride (it’s okay if it’s a hard one!).
The Egyptians make sure to pinch the bride on her big day as a sign of sending her good luck.
8. The darker the henna on the bride’s hands end up, the better.
In the Middle East, putting henna on the bride’s hands is part of the pre-wedding celebrations. The darker the color of the henna, the stronger the new relationship.
Or she just kept the henna on for a while.
9. Rice doesn’t work — try peas, instead.
In the Czech Republic, instead of rice or other grains, peas are thrown at the newlyweds.
10. The silver lining is literally in her shoes.
In Sweden, a bride puts a silver coin in her wedding shoes. This signifies that she will always have her roots in her maternal home, no matter wherever she goes.
11. Collecting wedding gifts requires a pillowcase.
In Finland, tradition of the bride collecting her wedding gifts in a pillow case dates to a long time back. The bride is usually accompanied by older married women.
12. Get ready for the ultimate milk bath.
In Morocco, brides are given a milk bath to help them cleanse before their big day and leave behind any bad luck that might be looming over them.
13. Planting a pine tree will bring more than just pinecones.
In Holland, the couple plants a pine tree outside their new house as a symbol of fertility.
14. Confuse evil spirits…by wearing new clothes.
In Denmark, the couple change into each other’s outfits to confuse any evil spirits following them.
15. That fire at your parents’ home is critical for the marriage.
Many South Africans believe that carrying a fire hearth from the couple’s parents’ house to the couples’ house in order to light a fire was a sign of prosperity in their new life together.
16. Don’t forget the bourbon!
In Mexico, one of the wedding day myths is to bury a bottle of bourbon upside down, one month before the wedding to avoid a rainy day.
17. No clocks as wedding gifts. Ever.
The Chinese believe that a clock is a constant reminder of the running out of time. So, newlyweds should never be given a clock as a wedding gift in order to avoid bad luck.
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