One thing common in every society among humans is marriage but the wedding traditions vary from culture to culture and state to state. All over the world some of strange traditions are practiced which is actually quite hard to explain. These rituals are strange in the eye of the beholder but most of these have significant meanings and historical validation. Continuing to practice them not only allows a couple to spice up their wedding ceremony while also pays tribute to their culture’s past. But above all these there are still few strange ceremonies one will see at a wedding. Hence, let us have a look at some of the strangest wedding ceremonies.
10. Romani: Kidnapping Brides
A common practice in Romania, Bride Kidnapping is a crazy ritual where a man abducts the woman he wants to marry. Also known as marriage by arrest or by seizure, bride kidnapping also include elopements, where couples run away without the consent of their parents. In some parts of the world, the ritual is considered as a sex crime. In some cultures like the Romani or Gypsies it is still practiced. It is believed that if you manage to convincingly or forcefully kidnap a girl and remain her by your side for at least 2-3 days, she will officially be called your wife.
9. China: Preplanned Crying
Weird but true that crying is one of the wedding function in China. Crying is a regular part of weddings. Crying is pre planned as a wedding custom. A month before the wedding, a bride is expected to cry for about an hour. After 10 days, her mother joins her in the ritual. After another ten days, her grandmothers, sisters and other females unite in the ritual. Tujia would be bride has to perform the Crying Marriage Song. The bride weeps in different tones which sounds like a song and with various words which is seen as an expression of happiness and joy.The belief behind this tradition is actually a celebration of happy married life for the couple.
8. Korea: Beating the groom’s feet
In South Korea after the wedding ceremony, the groom has to endure a beating from his friends before he can retire with his bride. Friends of the groom take off his socks, knot a rope around the ankles, and begin beating the soles of his feet with dried fish. A particular type of fish is used i.e. Yellow corvine. Sometimes a stick or cane is also used. It is believed that this will make the groom stronger before the first marriage night. It can be painful but it’s over quickly and more fun than cruel. The intention behind this tradition is to check the groom’s strength and knowledge. He is often asked questions and quizzed during the test. Beating the soles of a groom’s feet with a fish perhaps isn’t going to make him any smarter, but it’s an amusing tradition that holds a unique place in Korean wedding culture.
7. Scotland: Blackening of the bride
In Scotland, blackening of the bride is a part of a hazing ritual that happens before the wedding. Before the wedding, brides are taken by surprise by the friends. Friends throw and douse the bride into foul substances such as curdled milk, egg, dead fish, spoiled food, tar, feathers and then tying her to a tree. Finally she is taken out for a night of drinking. It is a typical pre-marital humiliation that Scottish brides undergo with the belief that if you can handle this you can handle anything, even marriage. In short blackening the bride is to prepare her for any humiliation or problems she’ll come across during her marriage. Even in some parts it is also believed that the ritual is carried out to ward off evil spirits.
6. India: Toe ring
All over the world where most jewelry exchanged at marriages involves placing rings on fingers. In Hindu tradition brides wear their wedding rings on their feet, known as Bichiya. Historically it is believed that toe rings played a similar role as wedding bands in the West. Males are exempted from wearing it. The ring is generally silver because Hindu believes that no gold object should be worn below the waist. That is why people say that Bichiya should not be made of gold. The groom slips the ring on the bride’s foot on the second toe while she holds her foot on the ritual grinding stone during the ceremony, and these rings are only worn by wedded women. Men may wear toe rings if they wish, but if they do it is never a symbol of marital status.
5. Germany: Smashing Dishes
In parts of Germany, a ritual called Polterabend is practiced. It is a party hosted by newlywed which typically starts with profligate feasts and finishes with the entire guest making as much noise as possible. Dishes are damaged, pots are clashed and cookeries are smashed. It is believed that the cacophonous sounds caused by all this represent the inevitable future trouble that the couple will face in their married lives. By breaking the dishes in advance, the community is preparing the pair for the obstacles ahead and at the same time wishing them luck. Whips are often brought out and broken to hasten the removal of any evil spirits. The origin of this tradition is unknown but yes, it’s as fun as it sounds.
4. India: Marrying an Animal
In India it is believed that if a girl has a tooth rooted to her upper gum, it’s the obvious sign that some misfortune will happen to her in the future, because bad spirits hate her. Therefore, she needs to marry an animal to ward off this bad omen. Usually the animal is either goat or dog. After warding off the evil spirits the girl can marry a real boy some time later. Even girls who are very ugly or have some facial disfiguration are believed to be possessed by ghosts and are forced to undergo the same ritual.
3. Malaysia: Hold it on
In Tidong community in Northern Borneo newly married couples are not allowed to empty their bowels or urinating for three days and nights. They are not allowed to use the bathroom which gets painful and ugly. It is believed that if they do so it will bring bad luck, apparently. Bad luck may be in the form of a broken union, the loss of children, or even infertility. Before the process the couple is starved and given little water. To ensure that they adhere to the rules, close family members guard their bathroom around the clock. This is said to be done as a protective measure so that the couple will live a long and happy life with lots of kids. This ritual is based on the belief that if you can get through 72 hours of pure torture together, you can get through anything in life.
2. France: Charivari
Charivari is possibly the most annoying wedding tradition one have ever come across. In the 19th century on a couple’s wedding night, friends, family and other wedding guests group together outside the newlyweds’ home and continue to make as much intolerable noise as possible. They’d bang on pots, kettles, sing out loud and do whatever they could to upset the couple. It is bad to spoil someone’s wedding night, they not only complicate the whole romantic mood, but the newlyweds are also expected to go out and please them with snacks and drinks. It is a French folk custom and practiced as a regular wedding activity to celebrate the nuptials.
1. Mauritania: Over Feeding
Hitting the gym for some pre-wedding workouts is tradition in most parts of the world. Though in Northwest Africa it is believed the bigger the bride, the better it is. In order for a man to flaunt his outstanding status, he needs a fat wife. If the girl has stomach rolls, stretch marks and overlapping thighs it all indicates that her husband is wealthy enough to keep her satisfied. In a custom called Leblouh, females from the ages of 5 to 15 are sent to “fat farms”. There they are forcefully fed thousands of calories. The calories are almost four times the actual amount of calories an adult bodybuilder takes in each day. This over feeding results into gaining weight rapidly and preparing them to be confirmed fit for marriage. The ritual is so serious that women are often beaten badly if they refuse food. Due to this ritual many develop health problems that shoot from obesity.