Unusual wedding traditions

8th September, 2013

Unusual wedding traditions

Have you ever seen some really unusual traditions at a wedding? While they might be really surprising, they are hardly the wedding traditions that most people know about.

There are some things, however, that seem the most unusual but hold significant meaning and historical rationale. Some of them are still practiced by couples and strange as they may seem, they add spice to the big day and allow the couples to pay tribute to their heritage.

Check out some of them here:

Stomping the glass

Have you been to a Jewish wedding?  Tradition dictates that the groom should stomp on a glass wrapped in cloth or napkin after the rings are exchanged. The guests then shout “Mazel tov!”

Its origin varies, however, many people believe it is a reminder of the destruction of Jerusalem’s temple. A lighter interpretation states that it will be the groom’s first and last time to put his foot down, because his wife will be running the household from thereon!

Charivari/Shivaree

Oh, one of the most ear shattering that you’ll probably hear of! It is, as defined by the dictionary, “a discordant mock serenade to newlyweds, made with pans, kettles, etc.” Well, yes, it is as bad as it sounds but thankfully, this thing has fallen out of favor in the last century.

This is what happens: On the couple’s wedding night, friends, family and other wedding guests gather together outside the couple’s home and make the most obnoxious noise possible – they’ll sing out of tune, bang on pots and do everything that will disturb the newlyweds. Big wedding night damper, yes!

Toe Rings

Well, yeah to Western culture maybe! Hindu brides, by tradition, wear their silver wedding bands on their left foot, on the great toe. Hindu grooms may also wear the toe rings if they wish and is usually worn on their big toe. However, they are never a symbol of marital status.

The cash apron

You’ll see this in Polish weddings – lively affair, food, dancing… the last dance is most notable and is called the Bridal dance.

A female friend or family member of the bride will put on an apron while the bride dances with the guests. Each guest is expected to place money in the apron before dancing with the bride. The father usually goes first and the groom last. However, the groom is expected to drop his entire wallet in the apron. After the last dance, he carries the bride off and the party is officially over.

Polterabends

German nuptials have a unique feature – Polterabends…parties  where all the dishes and cookware are smashed! Sounds fun, right?

Polterabends kick off with a luxuriously extravagant feast and finishes off with making a lot of noise. In this case, the dishes are smashed, pots clashed and whips are also brought out to ward off the evil spirits lurking by.

The groom’s beating

In South Korea, a groom has to endure a beating before retiring with his bride – a beating of his feet that is. It’s called falaka or bastinado. It is quick but can sometimes be painful. However, the tradition is intended to be funny rather than cruel. It takes place after the wedding ceremony – the family members or the groomsmen take off the groom’s shoes and socks, tie his feet together, lift his legs and take turns in beating the soles with either a cane, stick or fish while asking him some questions.

Yep, you read that right. A fish – usually a dried corvina or cod. It is said that this tradition tests the groom’s strength and knowledge.

Leave a Comment