“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. *Sigh*
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.
I thought I might compile a list of these wedding day myths and what they mean in the cultures and countries who believe and follow them.
1. Do not eat from the pan
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. Smash that glass
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 of rice over the head
The Romans believe in 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 of flower petals
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 are a good omen
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
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
The Egyptians make sure to pinch the bride on her big day as a sign of sending her good luck.
8. Put henna on hands
In the Middle East, putting henna tattoos on the bride’s hands is a sign of union and the dark color of the henna is considered to signify the strength of the new relationship that she is about to start.
9. Throwing peas
In Czech Republic, instead of rice or other grains, peas are thrown at the newlyweds.
10. The silver lining
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
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. Giving a 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
In Holland, the couple plants a pine tree outside their new house as a symbol of fertility.
14. Confusing the evil
In Denmark, the couple cross dress to confuse any evil spirits following them.
15. Carrying the fire hearth
South Africans believe to carry a fire hearth from the couple’s parents’ house to the couples house, to light a fire as a sign of their new life together.
16. Burring 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
The Chinese believe that a clock is a constant reminder of the running out of time. So, a newlywed should never be given a clock as a wedding gift in order to avoid bad luck.
To be honest, growing up in a Pakistani household, I have enjoyed many wedding traditions and all the fun that takes place when you are preparing for them. Only sometimes, it gets a bit too much (IYKWIM)
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