I was thinking the other day that most people love to read about one or another city, country when they are planning their yearly holidays or weekend breaks, but one must, perhaps out of curiosity or just for fun, read is something related to the culture, traditions and superstitions of that country or region.
I decided to start a series of posts exactly on this subject and I’m going to talk about more of this whenever I have time. You can suggest, comment and complete the post in the comments with all you would like to read about or I have missed to mention. 🙂
Just because one of my best friends got married last weekend, I decided to cover some superstitions linked to this unique and beautiful day.
Coming from Moldova, a country that is squished in between Romania and Ukraine, we have few traditions that are a must follow (if you want to have a happy married life). Some were borrowed from Russians, some from Ottomans and some are rooted so deep in our culture that nobody knows exactly or can track back the time when it all got started.
It’s hard to say which are true or which of the traditions and superstitions are right and which are just for fun, fact is that they survived many centuries and people do care, if not about all then about some of, these myths. So, to have a happy married life, one young couple must keep in mind the following things:
– The bride must wear or have with her: something blue, something stolen, something old, something new, something borrowed and pearls
– The bride must place a “silver coin” in her shoes. It is considered to be a talisman that will bring wealth and fortune in the new household. If a silver coin is nowhere to find it is replaced by paper money or small coins that won’t hurt bride’s feet. This tradition is observed in Sweden as well. A Swedish bride puts a silver coin from her father and a gold coin from her mother in each shoe to ensure that she’ll never do without. Learn more about Swedish wedding traditions.
– NEVER get married in May month! That’s a very strong superstition that most of the couple believe and will try to avoid it. Therefore, it’s not a wedding month in Moldova, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Belarus…perhaps in some other countries as well. The reason behind is that the new communion or family won’t last long, in fact it is believed that couple’s love will fade away as cherries flowers in wind
– The bride should not change her shoes during the wedding (morning and evening), otherwise she runs the risk to marry again or cheat on her husband
– Ancient Greeks and Romans thought the veil protected the bride from evil spirits, perhaps that’s why a veil is a must and a long one is preferred. The length of the veil represents how strong couple relationship will be.
– Also a girl should not try on a bridal dress with all the accessories on, because she will never get married
– No open shoes for the bride, it is considered that the good luck will sleep through your…well, toes 🙂
– Do not buy your future husband/ wife a watch as a wedding present. It means that you’re counting the hours to go away or the days for you to be together are counted
– Do not marry on Wednesday and Fridays, because are fasting days. To get married during fasting periods is also forbidden. In fact, no priest will give you a blessing
– In the night, before the wedding, the future wife and husband should not sleep together because it is believed that they won’t have a long life as a couple, in the sense that one of them will die young
– In the wedding day, dressed in your wedding dress, put some salt under your right sole and say 3 times ” to be loved as much as the salt in food” 🙂
– if you live in a place where you can see houses chimneys, then you should count as many as you want to be years until your first child to be born. You must count them, dressed as a bride and on the way to church. For example, if you want to have a first child after 3 years of married life, count 3 chimneys
– When the groom comes to take the bride from her house (that’s the tradition), she must sit on a large pillow made of gees feathers. It is said that as a wife you’ll have a comfortable life
– Candles from the wedding must be kept and when there’s a difficult moment in the family they have to be lit, in this way the couple will find solutions to their problems
– When the groom comes to take the bride from her house, the bride must look at the groom through the wedding ring (when he’s not looking at her) and the way she sees him in that moment, is how she will see him all her life
– In English tradition, Wednesday is considered the “best day” to marry, although Monday is for wealth and Tuesday is for health. In Romanian, the best day to marry is considered Monday and Tuesday, but most of the couples choose Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for their big party day
– The unluckiest wedding day, according to English folklore is Saturday! And it’s funny, because it’s the most popular day of the week to marry 🙂
Some wedding traditions around the globe
– Middle Eastern brides paint henna on their hands and feet to protect themselves from the evil eye. Find out about Muslim wedding rituals
– To purify themselves before their wedding ceremony, Moroccan women take a milk bath. Read more about Moroccan wedding customs.
– In Finland, a bride will go door-to-door collecting gifts in a pillowcase, accompanied by an older married man who represented long marriage
– In the Netherlands, a pine tree is planted outside the newlyweds’ home as a symbol of fertility and luck.
– In Japan, white was always the color of choice for bridal ensembles. In the Western world it was Queen Victoria who started this trend, in 1840. Before that day, brides wore their best dress
– In Korea, brides do bright hues of red and yellow to take their vows
– In Denmark, brides and grooms traditionally cross-dressed to confuse evil spirits!
I have seen Japanese and Chinese brides dressed in their traditional wedding gowns. I will try to make good shots next time I come across 😉
Travel safe and wise!