Strange Wedding Rituals in Various Cultures
Wedding rituals vary between countries, cultures, religions, and social classes. Most of the wedding ceremonies involve vows between the couple, gifts, or could involve an authority figure.
Most cultures nowadays prepare weddings that involves preparing the wedding dress, booking a venue and guest invitation.
But some cultures today still adopt unusual rituals that go beyond the white dress. Here are the most strange wedding rituals that are happening around the world.
1. Money Dance – Guests Pay to Dance with the Bride, Poland
The money dance is originated in Poland in 1990. At the wedding reception, her father first will dance with the bride then the relatives will hold an apron then anyone who puts money inside will have the opportunity to dance with the bride.
2. Kyz ala kachuu – The Practice of Kidnapping Brides, Kyrgystan
This kind of ritual sounds crazy and inhuman when marriage is done by kidnapping or by force. But yes, it still happens in some parts of the world today such as in Kyrgyzstan and Romany or Gypsies. Kyz ala kachuu means “to take a young woman and run away”.
The man abducts a woman by force or by deceit and he is accompanied by his relatives or friends. They bring the woman to his family home and lock it in a room then the man’s relatives force her to put on the scarf which is a sign that the man’s family accepts her.
However, a study by Issyk-Kul State University discovered that it is not a tradition but it is the men that want to dominate and control women, and bride kidnapping is the way to do it.
3. The Ritual of Blackening the Bride, Scotland
This is an old Scottish tradition that happens before the wedding. It’s part of a hazing ritual that happens before the wedding in Scotland.
The bride is taken by surprise with their friends then they pour anything such as spoiled milk, feathers, and paint. The rituals are carried out to take out evil spirits and still happens today in some parts of Scotland.
4. Exorcise Ghosts by Marrying Animals, India
There is a belief in some parts of India that ghosts can inhabit the human body. The girls who are ugly and have a baby tooth erupted through the gum are believed to be possessed by evil spirits.
The way to break the curse is to marry an animal such as a dog or goat. The ceremony is just like a real human wedding with food and dancing. The weird ceremony with an animal is just a mock ceremony to take out the evil spirit.
The girls are not expected to copulate with the animal and later is free to marry a human in the future.
5. Carrying the Bride Across the Threshold, Medieval Europe
This is an old tradition that happens in some countries. The rituals began in Medieval Europe which they believed that a bride has an evil spirit through the soled of her feet. In order to avoid the evil spirit, the groom needs to carry the bride to their new home.
6. Beating the Groom’s Feet, South Korea
In South Korea, the ritual after the wedding ceremony is “beating the groom’s feet”. It is a fun tradition that can be painful but it is considered more fun than cruel.
After the wedding, the groom’s friends take out his shoes and start beating the soles of his feet with a dried yellow corvina or a stick.
Yellow corvina is a type of fish. This ritual is believed to make the groom stronger before the first wedding night.
7. Kumbh Vivah – An Indian Ritual For Manglik Dosh , India
Kumbh Vivah is a process when Indian men and women have a Manglik Dosh. The wedding is between a statue of Vishnu, Mangalik, Peepal tree or banana tree and it is performed just like a real wedding with a beautiful dress, jewelry, food, music, and guests.
It is believed that people with Mangalik dosh gives negative impacts on married life so to avoid the effects, a Kumbh Vivah is performed before the wedding. After a Kumbh Vivah is performed or marrying a tree or statue, the girl can marry a real man without having any problems in the future.
8. Spitting on the Bride – Massai Nation, Kenya
Spitting is usually a symbol of disgrace but not in Kenya, Spitting on the bride is a ritual in most of the wedding. At the wedding ceremony, the bride’s head is shaved and her head is applied with oil or lamb fat. It is believed to bring good luck and fortune.
Her father blesses her daughter by spitting on her breast and head then the bride and her husband leave without looking back for fear transformed into stone.
The bride stays without her husband for two days and lives with her mother in law and during that time, her mother-in-law shaves her head.
9. The Kissing Tradition, Sweden
This is a unique Swedish tradition where the groom disappears during the wedding ceremony so that other unmarried man guests can kiss the bride. The same goes for the groom, the female guests are allowed to kiss the groom and the bride has to disappear for a while too.
10. Crying Ritual of the Tuija People, China
The Tuija people in China prepare 30 days for crying before the wedding day. The bride spends every day crying for an hour then 10 days later, her mother joined her crying and another 10 days, her grandmother starts to cry too until all the female relatives in the family are crying.
The crying tradition is not an act of sadness but is meant as an expression of happiness and love.