- 5 really unusual wedding rituals
Throwing the bride’s bouquet or cutting the wedding cake together are wedding rituals that are practised in more or less the same form in most Western countries. Similarly, the mutual exchange of gold wedding rings is usually an integral element of the wedding ceremony. But there are also traditions in other countries that you are guaranteed not to have heard of.
Shooting the bride
Yes, you read that correctly; in the case of the Yugurs, a small ethnic minority in China, the groom shoots his future bride three times with a bow and arrow, without an arrowhead, of course, before the wedding ceremony. In the end, the groom breaks the arrows, which should ensure the preservation of eternal love. At second glance, this is not so unusual; in Roman mythology there is Cupid, the god of love, who shoots with a bow and arrow, making people fall in love. A theme that was also very popular in European art of past centuries, especially the depiction of his love affair with the mortal princess Psyche.
Blackening the bride and groom
In Scotland, especially in the northern part and the Highlands, there is a “blackening” tradition, which is strongly resembles Medieval tars and feathers. A few days before the wedding, the bride and or groom are kidnapped by friends and showered with all kinds of sticky and disgusting things like old food, animal blood, expired milk and then feathers. The exact origin of the ritual is unknown; it is supposed to strengthen and toughen up the couple, whose love will endure through bad times.
Beating the groom’s feet
There is a really unusual custom in Korea. In some regions, the groom’s feet are beaten on the first night after the wedding, usually with fish. As incredible as it sounds, this tradition really does exist and is to strengthen the groom and test his character.
In French Polynesia, a group of islands in the South Pacific, one of the traditions in some regions is that the entire family of bride and groom lie down on the floor after the actual wedding ceremony and the bridal couple walk carefully over them, as if over a human carpet.
Marrying a tree
Indian Hindu women and men born under a certain constellation, called Mangal Dosha, are called Manglik. Because of the combative nature of Mars, the god of war in Roman mythology, this constellation is considered unfavourable for later marriage. Remedial action is taken in an unusual way: before the actual wedding, Manglik marry a tree, usually a banana tree, in a ceremony called “Kumbh Vivah”, which is then cut down. This then dispels any negative effects on the actual marriage.