From extraordinarily meaningful to downright surprising, traditions is a big part of a wedding ceremony all around the world. The origin of most wedding customs dates back to centuries-old beginning, but all shares one important message : to honor our roots and keep family values. Yes, they can be odd and peculiar at times, but therein lies the unique beauty that should be preserved and celebrated from one generation to the next.
How unique can some wedding traditions around the world can be? Check out our findings below and get ready to be inspired:
## 1. China ##
A lot of us are familiar with teapai or tea ceremony where the bride and groom serve a cup of gratitude tea in exchange for gifts from family. You may also have heard of sangjit or the wedding proposal accompanied with a delivery of gift boxes. But maybe a Hair Combing Ceremony is something that is not quite as well-known yet.
Performed the night before the wedding, the mother usually will start combing the bride’s and groom’s in their respective homes after a bathing procession to cleanse off evil spirit. The hair is combed four times, while words of wisdom are recited. Often, this becomes a very touching ‘mother and child’ last moment that signifies the coming of age and entrance into adulthood.
Few weddings are as beautifully detailed and longstanding as an Indian wedding. Traditionally held over three days and is composed of three main ceremonies as well as several follow-up ones, each stage of which is as unique as it is amazing.
One particularly unique tradition is the “ Stop, thief!” or Joota Chupai, which is a morning wedding prank where the bride’s sister tries to hide the shoes removed by the Groom prior. Then it is a battle of both sides of siblings to find or hide the shoes. If the bride’s side manages to steal it then they’ll receive a handsome amount of money from the groom. This fun activity will get everyone in anticipation, from the priest, elders, and even the couple themselves!
As the largest archipelago in the world, you can bet that a few of Indonesia’s traditional weddings come with its own quirks and twists. We’ll keep things relevant for now by picking two of the richest and most complicated Indonesian celebrations : Javanese and Balinese weddings.
A Javanese wedding consists of several processions and is unique right from the start including Pingitan where the bride is forbidden to meet the groom for a period of time. There’s the Siraman aka bathing process, then Midodareni which is essentially the last dinner with her parents, to the very last part or Tarub. In between, there’s a few unique customs such as Injak Telur or stepping on eggs or Pangkuan where the couple sits on the lap of the groom’s father.
A Balinese wedding is equally unique in terms of its process as well as size! In Bangli region, there’s a tradition of mass wedding as the only official coming together of couples, whether young or old. So don’t be shocked to find some older couples in the ceremony because otherwise, they’d still be considered unwedded.
From pre-wedding to the ceremony rituals, a South Korean wedding is filled with unique traditions. Old concept of matchmaking is still very much in practice and Hanbok aka the traditional costume usually always makes an appearance in a wedding.
As for the main ceremony, Pyebaek involves presenting gifts, giving advice, and bowing. In modern times, pranks often follow after the rituals are done, including Groom Spanking Practice which requires the groom to be tied then spanked on bare feet with dried fish or bamboo. The reason behind it? To improve his bedroom performance!
The ‘ Money Dance” is a popular tradition in a Phillipine wedding. During the wedding reception, guests can line up to pin money onto the bride or groom in order to dance with them. By the end of the dance, you’d be surprised to see that the couples will be covered in bills! This is a way to bless the couple on their marriage and to start a new life together. Sounds weird? Not at all to the Filipinos!
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