Marriage is an institution that has been with us for many centuries. All marriages bring with them moments of bliss and periods of stress, but one thing is always certain: the wedding itself is an important ceremony full of happiness, sentimentality, and maybe just a little drunkenness.
Some traditions are a little stranger than others, but since we’re creatures of habit, we love a good tradition. Even if the origins are lost, people from around the world are dedicated to preserving these customs.
1. Sneaky kisses
If you get married in Sweden, you better not go to the bathroom. If the bride or groom goes to the bathroom during the reception, all of the guests are encouraged to kiss the remaining party until they return.
2. Breaking plates
In Germany, it is a tradition to buy the happy couple some new plates. They then smash them to ward off evil spirits.
In China, brides who participate in Tujia traditions are supposed to cry for an hour a day for an entire month leading up to her wedding. After 10 days, the bride’s mother joins in on the fun. Ten days after mom shows up to the party, grandma starts crying with them. On the wedding day, everyone is supposed to start sobbing.
4. Evil fairies
Irish tradition dictates that the bride’s feet can’t leave the floor while dancing with the groom. If they do, evil fairies will sweep her away.
A French Polynesian tradition requires the bride’s family members to lie down in the dirt while the newlyweds walk across their backs.
6. Motherly love
In some African villages, it is tradition for the mother of the bride to accompany the newlyweds into their bedroom after the wedding. You know…so mom can show her daughter the ropes. Yikes.
Couples in the Tidong community of Borneo are forbidden from going to the bathroom for three days after the wedding.
8. Whale teeth
In Fiji, the groom has to ask the father for his daughter’s hand in marriage by bringing him a whale tooth.
9. Fish feet
After the wedding is over in Korea, it is tradition for the groom to have his feet beaten with fish to prepare him for his first night of marriage. If you don’t see the connection, you’re not alone.
10. Marrying a tree
Indian women that are born as Mangliks are supposed to marry a tree before marrying a real person. That’s because these women are supposedly cursed and will bring early death to their husbands if they don’t play by the rules. After they marry the tree, it is cut down and destroyed to break the curse. Then they can go marry a human.
11. Bow and arrow
A small ethnic group in China called the Yugur makes the groom shoot his bride with a bow and arrow three times before the wedding. Don’t worry, there are no heads on the arrows. It’s symbolic.
12. Two kids
In southern Sudan, a marriage isn’t official until the bride has had two babies. If she can’t, the husband can get a divorce without question.
13. Blackening the bride
A big tradition in Scottish weddings is to have friends and family tie the bride up to a tree and dump disgusting things on her until the wedding. If she can endure this, she can endure the hardships of marriage. That’s the idea, anyway.
14. Getting fat
In Mauritania, it is customary for the bride to get as fat as possible before the wedding.
15. Baby chicks
The Daur people in China require the bride and groom to kill a baby chick while holding the knife together. They then inspect the chick’s liver. If it’s a good liver, they can set a date for the wedding. If not, they need to repeat the process until they find a good one.
At a Massai wedding in Kenya, the father of the bride spits on his daughter’s face and breasts as a blessing.
17. No laughing allowed
In the Congo, the bride and groom are not allowed to smile or laugh throughout the entire ceremony.
If those traditions don’t make you want to get married, I don’t know what will. I’m glad I live in America and don’t have to worry about any of these weird traditions. I can deal with getting rice thrown at me.
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