STRANGE BUT TRUE WEDDING FACTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
by Kevin Cain
Your wedding day has arrived and it is meant to be the happiest day of your life. Months perhaps years of planning have gone into making this one special day a triumph for the bride to be.We are all familiar with scenes of the big white formal wedding held in cavernous churches with hundreds of attending guests but have you ever thought about other people around the world and how they celebrate the sacred bond of marriage ?
TUJIA – CHINA
Pity the poor ladies of the Tujia Nation living in the Chinese provinces of Hunan, Hubel and Guizhou. Tears normally accompany wedding ceremonies at one stage or another but these ladies take it to a whole new level.
A month in advance of her big day the bride sits and cries for a whole hour every day. Not to be outdone, ten days into the bride's ordeal her mum joins in and shows her solidarity with her daughter. Then in a further ten days granny joins the weeping party. By the end of the month every female in the family is bawling alongside the bride probably even the cat.I am not certain where all the men are during all this, or what they have to do but I suspect it gives them the perfect excuse to pop down to the pub every night to escape the incessant noise.
The reason behind all this babbling is that it is supposed to be an expression of joy, as the women weep in different tones. Now I have never heard of harmonised bawling before and I am sure it is not a pleasant experience. I can't help thinking that the bride won’t look too good on her big day -looking like Po with large Panda eyes.
KENYA - AFRICA
Throwing confetti or rice at a wedding celebration is a common enough occurrence and a pre wedding word or two of advice from Daddy on the big day is also tradition.But spare a thought for the poor Massai brides as they leave their family home with their new husbands. Not only does Daddy impart words of wisdom to his baby girl, he also spits on her head and breasts.
I just hope he does not have the habit of chewing tobacco, or that new evening outfit will be ruined for the reception !
Rather surprisingly, conservative France has a rather bizarre tradition after the wedding ceremony is complete The wedding guests gather all the leftovers, rubbish, confetti (the more gross the better) and tip it all into a toilet.Then the bride and groom are invited / forced to drink the brown disgusting mixture from the bowl. Today the rubbish is sometimes substituted with liquid chocolate, it might taste a little better but it cannot look too good.
I just hope the unlucky couple choose the correct toilet to drink from!
YUGAR – CHINA
The ethnic people of Yugar from the Gansu province of China have a more dangerous and startling tradition before a marriage takes place. The groom will actually shoot his bride with a bow and arrow three times. This target practice takes place without arrowheads but still the blunt wooden shaft can cause serious damage.
It is rather like shooting your loved one with rubber bullets which may well happen after a couple of months of wedded bliss but before you get married?
Tradition dictates that the groom plucks the embedded arrows from the distraught bride and then breaks the shafts in two. This generous token of love is supposed to indicate everlasting love. Although I suspect that many grooms miss their intended and hit their future mother-in-laws instead but that is pure supposition.
Up to now we have been focusing mainly on gross things happening to the bride either on or leading up to their wedding day but in Korea the groom is the main focus directly following the wedding ceremony. He is held down, his shoes and socks are removed, then his ankles are tied firmly together.The hapless groom then has his bare feet beaten with fish, I am not certain where the fish are obtained, possibly the buffet ? But anyway the piscatorial torture is supposed to prepare him for his nuptials.
Now I know that Sushi is very popular in that part of the world but my advice is to not partake of the fish course at a Korean wedding banquet.
In the fifteen hundreds it was common for people to get married in June. Not that June was particularly thought of as a lucky month or the middle of summer but because most people took their annual bath in May.They were therefore considered to be still smelling pretty good in June so many weddings took place then.
However if the bride was starting to smell a bit fruity by then, she would carry a bag of herbs or flowers called a bouquet.
In Egypt in times gone past, consider the plight of the poor bride on her wedding night. Most Egyptian grooms thought it was bad taste to deflower their new brides themselves so just paid one of their servants to perform the gruesome task.
I wonder if their brides also did the same thing and paid one of their maids to nag the husbands for the rest of their married bliss.
In parts of India, women who are born Mangliks (when Mars and Saturn are both in the 7th house) are apparently cursed, and are meant to cause an early death to their husbands.The wise sages and gurus then put their thinking caps on and consider an antidote to this dilemma.
One of the most enlightened minds came up with the idea that the Mangliks should first get married to a tree and then the tree be chopped down to break the curse.It is not exactly dictated what tree should be chosen for this immediate divorce but it brings another meaning to the phrase a branch of the family possibly being the derivation for the origin of family trees.
These unusual and bizarre traditions from all around the world are absolutely true and did or do occur.- It gives food for thought for those whinging brides and grooms who cannot even agree what hymns to play during the wedding ceremony !