We’re back with more on our post from last week about marriage traditions around the world. Marriage has been a part of society for as long as there has been human society. In fact, early marriages were little more than alliances to expand social circles for prosperity or protection. While the definitions and vows have changed every generation with new ideas and feelings (i.e. the inclusion of love for the first time around 250 years ago) some traditions we still hold on to for their symbolism regardless of progress. That is, after all, why we call them traditions.
Shooting Your Bride
One Chinese tradition pretty clearly harkens back to the days of “wedding as alliance.” In the Yugur culture, the groom shoots his bride with a real bow and arrow. These days, the arrows are headless and can’t do any permanent damage, but probably still hurt, and definitely leave a bruise. After hitting her with three arrows the groom goes over and breaks each one symbolizing that he will always lover her. Like most traditions, it is hard to trace the true origins of it, but it can be seen to represent the cessation of war that would have come from the ancient union of two rival groups. Hopefully, this beautiful tradition of unending love now includes padding and/or ice packs.
A Whole New Meaning to “Setting Down Roots”
Some couples are diligent about astrology when it comes to love and especially marriage. Even the most skeptical believers would probably be wary of a relationship between an Aires and a Capricorn, but a tradition in India takes astrological compatibility to a new level. Tradition says that people born under the Manglik astrological sign, a sign in the house of Mars, will bring their spouse nothing but trouble, possibly even an early death. So, to prevent human calamity, the person born under the Manglik sign must first marry a tree so that the tree can take the fall for the spouse. Sadly, the tree does not make it out of this relationship alive, but hopefully a second (human) spouse does.
Making A Racket
You might have heard (literally) of the tradition of banging pots on New Year’s Eve. Purportedly, this is meant to drive away evil spirits who hope to sneak into our lives on this brand new day. Of course, it’s hard to trace the origin of that belief, but we still see it all over TV as we watch fireworks go off after that world famous countdown to midnight. In France, pots and noise makers are employed on a couples wedding night. Friends and family make a ruckus outside the newlywed’s honeymoon suite at random intervals throughout the night. One might think this is meant to cover up other sounds, but the fact that the couple has to greet the rabble-rousers with food and drink suggests otherwise. Perhaps this noisy tradition also has to do with keeping evil away from a new beginning, but like all tradition, the meaning is perhaps shrouded in time.
Tell Us Your Traditions!
What else is out there? We have barely scratched the surface of the unique and deeply-rooted traditions that follow our most precious ceremonies. Is there any tradition you follow that you haven’t seen anywhere else? We want to hear about it!