Wednesday, February 7, 2018

5 Strange Marriage Customs Around the World

When you think about it, many wedding customs can seem unusual compared to regular everyday life. I mean when else do you think about wearing some old, new, borrowed or blue? But as strange as customs like that can seem, there are some really strange marriage customs around the world that top that by far. Here are five you won't believe.

1. India: Marrying a Tree
For instance, can you imagine a bride marrying a banana tree before she can marry the groom? You heard me right. Marrying a tree! For certain Indian brides, if you follow this marriage custom in India, you’ll realize eternal joy with your soul mate. 
Blackening the bride.

2. Scotland: Blackening of the Bride (and Groom)
This ones a Scottish wedding tradition that also involves a tree. Some just celebrate it by blackening the bride, but many these days have included the groom as friends and relatives “show affection” by dumping nasty, smelly things on them. This is done days or weeks before the actual wedding and can include things that would make me gag. We’re talking about spoiled food, curdled milk, even dead fish. Think of cleaning out all those fuzzy unrecognizable leftover experiments from your refrigerator pouring them into a bucket to turn into a slimy gruel, along with buckets of flour, dirt or whatever goo they feel like dumping over the bride (or couple) while paraded through the streets. It’s thought to ward off spirits and bring good luck. But that’s not all. Remember, the tree? Well the bride is taken out for a night of drinking and then tied to a tree. The idea behind this is that if the bride can handle this, she is ready to face any humiliation or problems marriage brings her way.

3. Germany: Piles of Broken Porcelain
How often do wives wish their husbands would help around the house more. In Germany, they have a tradition to help get the couple working together as they clean up piles of porcelain dishes their guests smash on the ground to ward off any evil spirits. The moral: if they work together, the couple can handle any challenge together.
Piles of broken porcelain dishes to clean up.

4. France: Chocolate, Champagne and the Toilet
This wedding-related custom takes place following the reception. The bride and groom get to eat chocolate and champagne! Doesn’t sound so bad, right? Except they have to drink and eat from a toilet bowl. Why? To give them strength for their wedding night.

5. Indonesia: Honeymoon - Three Days Housebound with No Toilet
This marriage custom relates to the honeymoon and makes a good strange marriage custom to end today’s blog. An Indonesian honeymoon custom keeps the newlyweds housebound for three days and nights. While that part isn’t so bad, the strange part is they cannot use the toilet all that time. They are allowed minimal food and drink and actually have someone watching over them! Why oh why would they do this? They believe it will provide a happy marriage full of healthy babies!

The thing that’s interesting with these strange marriage customs around the world are the superstitions attached to them. But really, the reasons many of our wedding traditions exist are superstitions. After all, wearing a wedding veil originated to hide the bride from evil spirits.

Photo credits: Mind Midst,

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