Category Archives: Traditions Myths and Superstitions

Traditions and superstitions, part of our student life

It’s late June and a large number of high school students or university students are taking graduation exams. Most of those students will be aware of some sort of tradition or superstition to follow and respect if they want to graduate.

It was only after my graduation when I have found out about a no no thing 🙂 I took my masters degree in Italy, at Bologna University, and one of the superstitions says that students should not go to the top of one of the leaning towers, otherwise they will never graduate. Another superstition said that you cannot cross on diagonal the Piazza Maggiore or Maggiore Square if you want to graduate and have good marks.

I did know about the second one and I found it funny, but some people were really following the “rule” and not forcing their luck.

One tradition that I find really cute is to have your family and close friends buy a laurel wreath on your graduation day (for university graduates) which the newly graduate will carry it for the whole day. While back in the ancient times the wreath was more of a horseshoe shape, nowadays, it is a complete circle. In Italy each faculty will have a representing colour, therefore, if you have friends or family members studying in Italy, make sure that you also have small accessories such as a handkerchief, the paper around the bouquet of flowers or the crucial ribbon woven into the wreath are of a right colour.

A laurel wreath is a circular wreath made of interlocking branches and leaves of the bay laurel. The tradition is believed to have started at University of Padua or Padova, but the roots of crowning a person with a similar wreath go well back to the ancient Greece when wreaths were awarded to victors in athletic competitions and in poetic meets; and ancient Rome where they were symbols of martial victory.

Remember the often used expression: “resting on one’s laurels” ? 🙂

Going a little back to the Italian tradition and to the main colours representing university faculties, I am listing some of them below:

  • Agriculture – Dark green
  • Architecture – Black
  • Economy – Yellow
  • Education Sciences – Pink
  • Engineering – Black
  • Law – Blue
  • Mathematical, physical, and natural sciences – Green
  • Medicine and Surgery – Red
  • Philosophy and Letters – White
  • Pharmacy – Red grenade
  • Political Science – Lilac
  • Psychology – Grey
  • Sociology – Orange
  • Veterinary – Violet

It is also common that family and friends will prepare in advance a surprise attire which the newly graduate will have to wear. Something similar to stag nights when the groom to be is wearing funny clothes. If you got to Bologna or other major cities with large universities, you will probably have the chance to encounter such parties. They are fun!

Oh, and the last one. It is mandatory to walk behind the newly graduate a song, confirming the status of the subject. Just to understand what I am talking about, I am sharing 2 short films found on Youtube here and here 🙂

When I was student in Romania, there was a whole list of superstitions related to exams and graduation which was circulated among students. These “must do” or “must avoid” activities are shared among students in Russian and Moldovan as well.

One of the most popular superstitious refers to personal hygiene. The student should not take shower or wash their hair on the eve of an exam. The reason for that was that by washing your hair, you could remove the accumulated knowledge. Another one says that you should not have a haircut before the exams, because you risk of loosing everything you learned before.

It was believed and even feared to accidentally drop a book or a course. It was thought to be a sign of bad luck.

On the positive side, if you wanted to have good results on your exam or test, make sure to step out of your house and enter the school/university with the right foot. If possible, sit down on the same place or the same table as the last time you successfully have taken a test. An Use the same pen. And the last one which will probably make you smile is to place the materials, courses and the book (opened) under the pillow before going to  sleep. By magic and during sleep, the knowledge will move slowly in the mind of the sleeping student, giving the opportunity to get a high mark on the subject which is not really liked.

If a student went to an oral exam or viva voce, will have to extract an examination ticket only with the right hand or only the left hand, depending on the preference and past experience.

When coming back from an examination, the student should not place his/her backpack or bag facing the wall or on the floor, otherwise there is a risk of failing the test.

The tradition in Romania, is to wear graduation robes and hats, the same as in the USA and many other countries. You must wear them from the moment you attend the graduation ceremony and keep it on for the most of the day, even when going out to celebrate. It is common that people will stop you on the street to congratulate you 🙂

I must recognize that the “right foot” is something I kind of follow not only for meetings, but whenever I leave my house or enter a new place.

What are the superstitions discussed by students in your country? Do you believe in such things?

Travel safe and wise!

Mysterious Christmas and New Year’s Eve

Happy snowmen. White snowmen. Fluffy snowmen.

Christmas and New Year, two of my favorite holidays of the year! I guess the cold, Christmas markets and the decorations make December a month full of mystery, hopes and joy.

I remember when I was very young, to have had really white Christmases and winters, We were spending hours splaying with the snow, fighting with snow, building castles, snowmen or sledding. The last activity was the funniest one, simply because I grew up in a monastery and the old nuns weren’t very happy to walk on a very slippery road, that is why they were throwing burnt coal on the ice or snow. This was a quiet war between kids from my neighborhood and the old nuns. At times they were winning, at times we were the ones to succeed…by throwing water on top of those coals.

My childhood winters were cold and white. For some of you, my readers, perhaps unimaginable cold – minus 15, minus 25C.

I still associate Christmas with the smell of oranges, boiled wine and a lot of yummy food – mostly made of meat. We say that Christmas is the satiated (full – in terms of food) and Easter is proud (on Easter we usually cook rabbit or mutton meat – which I don’t like 😀 and many many salads, cookies and all kind of desserts).

Now, that is almost that time of the year and people buy presents for their families and friends, I decided to look a bit at some traditions and myths related to this mesmerizing and holiday.

Christmas

It is believed (in Romania) that it’s bad luck to wear new shoes for Christmas.

A clear sky on Christmas announces a fruitful year, if the wind blows on Christmas, it is belived to bring bad luck. If it snows on Christmas Day, it is believed that on Easter will be fair weather.

It is good to have on Christmas table sprigs of mistletoe, for good luck. If you bathe on Christmas day, you’ll stay fresh all year, and if you eat apples on Christmas Eve, you’ll be healthy all the year around.

One should avoid, between Christmas and New Year, to knit, sew or machine wash.  And parents with children born on Christmas or New Year’s Eve will be very happy to know that those kids will be very lucky!

On Christmas Eve, some people sweep the house threshold, for good luck in the coming year.

Women shall put in the water they use to wash themselves a nut and coins. It is believed that this will keep that woman healthy as a nut, and money, to be rich.

Against evil’s eye and spells, one should put, in the four corners of the table, garlic and poppy seeds.

It is said that Santa Claus is not the only one who “travels” rushed across the sky in this special night of December 24, all witches and demons come out of hiding as well.

Cat by the Fireside (credits: http://www.webdesignmash.com/)
Cat by the Fireside (credits: http://www.webdesignmash.com/)

New Year

The second between the years, is believed to have the most magical power. That’s exactly why many people make a wish in that moment 🙂

Do not clean the house on December 31, otherwise a family member will die in the next year! The only items that you can wash without this adverse consequence are dishes.

The midnight kiss of the year marks not only the feelings that bind us to the people we care the most, but also how our relationship with those people will develop during the year that just started. In other words, it is desirable that at the turn of  the years, loved to be with you.

If you want to be lucky all the year around, wear something red, if you want your partner to find you very attractive, wear red underwear 😀 On January 1 dress with a new coat for the same reason.

At midnight, all the doors should be wide open to let the “old” year leave and welcome the “new” year.

It is said that evil spirits are afraid of noise and bright light. Hence the habit of organizing fireworks and to make, in principle, a lot of noise. For the same reason people rang the bells when there is a religious wedding ceremony.

It is good thing if the New Year finds you with some money in your pocket. The meaning is that you’ll know no shortage of money all year. The amount does not matter, it’s just the idea, so few coins are enough. Therefore, make sure to have some cash in your pockets 😉

Another superstition related to money is to pay back all your debts before New Year’s Eve. If you enter the new year in debts, you won’t get rid of them in the new year. Also, do not to give money on December 31 or January 1, otherwise you will have financial problems and debts all the year.

In fact, it is said that the object you hold in your hands at midnight, or the one that you touch or hold immediately after immediately after midnight, will be the most important plan in the coming year. So, be careful what you touch or hold!

If you have money in your hand, you’ll have good luck with them all the year, if you hold your lover’s hand, your love life will develop into a harmonious relationship, and if you keep a glass/cup in your hand, will have part of a joyful new year.

It is said that the first person who comes to your house after midnight will influence what happens to you in the new year.

Gingerbread cookies Credits: http://www.webdesignmash)
Gingerbread cookies Credits: http://www.webdesignmash)

For a woman, it would be ideal that the first person to step into your house should be a tall man with dark hair. If the guest brings a sprig of mistletoe, bread and salt, there are all chances that the new year will be the best of your life.

It’s bad luck if you hang the new year calendar before the new year begins.

On January 1 do not throw anything from home, even garbage. On the contrary, it is desirable to receive a gift on January 1, no matter how small and insignificant it may be.

Also on January 1, make sure you do something, some small task related to your work. In this way, you will have successes throughout the year. But beware – do not work full time or spend most of your time working on something, because the effect will be exactly the opposite!

Do not cry on January 1 and avoid to break an object.

It brings luck to eat pork or lentils on New Year. The New Year will be bright and good if you leave a lamp or a candle lit until sunrise. On the morning of January 1st place silver coins in water and wash your face with it.

Unmarried women must put in a pot of water a thread of basil, a branch of apple tree and money (coins), in the morning they should dream the one with whom they will marry. 🙂

New Year is greeted by a special custom in Italy, which is to throw out the window antiques, symbols of the past year. Thus, furniture and clothes end up in the street.

Christmas market in Aannaberg, Germany
Christmas market in Aannaberg, Germany

The Spanish are also quite superstitious. On New Year’s Eve they usually eat one grape for each of the 12 beats the clock announcing the turn of the year, these 12 grape berries symbolize desires for each month of the following year.

Portuguese are the same, they replace the grapes with figs.

Greeks dedicate New Year’s Day to St. Basil. Children leave their shoes by the fireplace in the New Year’s Eve, to receive gifts from the good saint. Adults eat something traditional, vassilopitta, a dessert in which a silver or a gold coin is placed. The one who finds the coin will have luck throughout the year. In some parts of Greece people take a pomegranate with them when they visit people on New Year’s Eve and smash it on the threshold, so that the household will have good luck

The Dutch “Oudejaarsdag” or “the last day of the year” (31 December) is celebrated by many with fireworks that start at dawn and hold until late at night. As in other European countries, in the Netherlands, it is believed that the first person to enter your house on New Year’s day will, if he be light haired, bring bad luck to you, if dark haired, good luck. The presence of a pair of storks or swallows is also seen as sign of good luck and friendship. Another old Dutch superstition say that whatever you do on New Year’s Day is what you will be doing rest of the year.

Xmas trees. (From: https://i0.wp.com/ywcabanff.ab.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/new-years.jpg)
Xmas trees. (From: http://ywcabanff.ab.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/new-years.jpg)

According to an old Flemish tradition, one should place a coin under once plate at New Years’ Eve to be lucky for the coming year.

In Denmark, people will save their old and broken dishes throughout the year to be thrown on their friends and families doors on New Year’s Eve. It is considered good luck to find thrown dishes on your doorstep on the next morning.

In Latvia, people believe that if you eat fish on New Year’s Eve and put the fish scales into your wallet, then money will keep flowing into it during the year.

In Scotland, New Year is called “Hogmanay”. In some villages are on rolls of tar are lit up and then let to roll on the streets. It is believed that the old year is burned and the new one is allowed to come. Like the Romans, Scots believe that the first person who will enter the house on the New Year will bring either good luck or bad luck. The year will be lucky if a man with dark hair enters the house.

Chinese New Year is celebrated sometime between January 17 and February 19, during the New Moon, “Yuan Tan”. Chinese people around the world take part in processions on the streets, where thousands of lanterns are lit up. They believe that evil spirits are everywhere at the time, and they use fireworks to chase them away.

An image as reminder of what we have to do on New Year's Eve :)  (From : http://beforeitsnews.com/travel/2013/12/new-years-traditions-and-superstitions-2-2459792.html)
An image as reminder of what we have to do on New Year’s Eve 🙂 (From : http://beforeitsnews.com/travel/2013/12/new-years-traditions-and-superstitions-2-2459792.html)

For Japanese the New Year, “Oshogatsu” is one of the most important holidays. In December, families organize “forget the year party” or “Bonenkai” . With this occasion, people leave behind problems and concerns of the year about to end. At the New Year’s Eve. at midnight, families go to the nearest temple to share sake and to assist to the 108 shots gong announcing the turn of the year.

Travel safe and wise!

Merry Christmas and Happy 2015 Year!!!!

Fishermen and sailors beliefs and rituals to avoid troubles in the sea and bring fortune on their side

My grandfather was a marine officer for many years. He loved that experience and was telling us his stories over and over again. It was like a movie or a book that you have seen or read but for some reasons you keep watching and reading it again.

Sailboat and the moon
Sailboat and the moon

I miss my grandfather so much. I considered him a very close friend and a person that was intelligent, strong and inspiring. He, for some good years, replaced my father in my mind. And I’m sure many of you experience that as well. Parents tend to be more controlling and authoritarian with their children and grandparents are softer and more indulgent 🙂

In one of those evenings when we set up the fire, my grandmother was cooking dinner and we were busy eating some dry fruits or other delicious foods that “won’t kill our appetite”, my grandfather was telling us about some superstitions that most of the sailors or fishermen will know and pass from one generation to another.

One of the “rules” was no women on board. It was thought that a woman will bring bad luck and the ship might sink. Another reason, a more pragmatic and realistic, for the ban on women is that they would arouse passions and jealousy among the crew members. In today’s U.S. Navy, women serve on every type of ship except submarines.

R3 at sea. The R class was the first hunter-killer design, capable of destroying enemy submarines.
R3 at sea. The R class was the first hunter-killer design, capable of destroying enemy submarines.

From ancient times people love to create, if they don’t inherit, stories about mystical creatures. One of which is the world known mermaid -the little mermaid, the fairytale written by the Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen. Sailors and fishermen alike, will tell you that these sea creatures, sing and their songs supposedly lure sailors into treacherous waters where their ships would be dashed against the rocks. It is funny if you think that a figure of a topless women was perched on the bow of the ship, with her bare breasts, will “shame the stormy seas into calm” and her open eyes will guide the seamen to safety. Some older ships (older than 19th century, will have the figure of the owner of the ship, a war hero, or an imposing animal like a lion, especially for warships.

Another interesting fact about ships, is that are always referred to as “she.” The reason is that they are the sailor’s home and refuge, sheltering and protecting him from an angry ocean. Just like mom and mother earth.

Friday is considered a bad day to start a journey on sea. According to one of the legends, the Royal Navy once tried to put an end to this superstition. They commissioned a ship named the HMS Friday, laid her keel on a Friday, christened her on a Friday, and launched her on a Friday while captained by a man called James Friday. It was never heard from again.

Some other days that were “banned” for sailing activities are Thursdays, Fridays, the first Monday in April or the second Monday in August. If Fridays are considered unlucky days, likely because Jesus Christ was crucified on a Friday. Thursdays are bad sailing days because that is Thor’s day, the god of thunders and storms, the first Monday in April is the day Cain slew Abel and the second Monday in August is the day the kingdoms of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.

The best day to set a sail is Sunday.

The “left foot” superstition, as Friday, is known to bring bad luck, therefore, whenever you leave your house, step into an examination room, job interview, aircraft and ship, you must step in with your right foot! If you step in with your left foot, it’s believed that you won’t get the results you expect or you’ll have a terrible day…not mentioning about aircrafts and ships or boats.

Lady Washington. Credits go to the author of the
Lady Washington. Credits go to the author of the “There is a horse in by Bubble Bath”

The celebration of the launch of a new boat has ancient origins. For the Greeks, libations to the gods were an important rite to be performed before the start of navigation. And the keel of a new ship was made wet before the launch, with the blood of slaves bound in chains.

Likewise, the Vikings sacrificed prisoners to the gods, shedding their blood on the deck to protect their new ships.

For the ancient Romans, cutting their hair and nails when the weather was good was a bad omen. So was sneezing, swearing and dancing on board ship.

Nowadays the launching ceremony, a bottle of champagne will replace the blood. Regardless of this “replacement”, many sailors would feel bad if the bottle does not break against the bow on the first attempt. Another event that seems to confirm this superstition is the celebration of the launch of a new boat – Independence, which was registered under Romanian flag on May 27, 1979. The bottle did not break and the one that pushed the bottle on the bow was Nicolae Ceausescu wife, Elena. This oil tanker was on the sea until October 15, 1979 when was hit by a Greek boat and burnt for 29 days. 42 seamen died, 13 were declared missing and only 3 survived the collision.

A cat on board, especially a black one, brings luck. All ships are plagued with rats, but they will desert a doomed vessel, so it’s bad luck when the little vermin are gone.

Another myth about “black cats” and the sea, started in Yorkshire. People there believed that a household with a black cat will bring the seamen home. In fact, there was a high demand of such cats and guess who were the buyers? -The wives of seamen 🙂 In Michigan, a cursed ship/ boat to not have a complete crew, was called “black cat”.

Some of sailors tattoos explained
Sailors tattoos explained (some)

It is said that a sailor without no tattoos is a new sailor. When some people get a tattoo for fun or because it’s trendy, for sailors this is a serious business. In the days of sailing ships, falling overboard could mean death, even if your shipmates saw you. Sailors would have large tattoos of Jesus or the Virgin Mary inked across their backs. They hoped this would prevent the punisher from lashing too hard. Some other tattoos one will most likely see on sailors arms and backs are: nautical star, as the North Star, a pig, a hen or any other animal that cannot swim. It was believed that, when God looks at the boat and sees animals that cannot swim, will prevent that ship from sinking or show them the way to the closest land.

Some other superstitions related to sailing and sailors are:

Some fishermen would not sail if they passed a nun, rook, or a cat on the way to their vessel

Some fishermen would not sail if they saw a rat some ashore off their vessel – assuming that the rat knew something they didn’t!

Never stir tea with a knife or fork

Never cross knives on the galley table

The teapot must not be emptied after the fishing had started. To empty it might make the ship turn over and sink, or result in a poor trip

Never lay a broom on top of the nets

Fish bones were not burnt

Egg shells were broken into tiny pieces (to stop witches sailing in them).

Clergy (known to fishermen as “sky-pilots”) were generally not welcomed onto vessels, although there were some notable exceptions

Never cut bread and then turn the loaf upside down

The salt-pot must not be handed from one crewman to another – “pass salt, pass sorrow”

Upturning a hatch cover or sleeping on the stomach were actions said to anticipate the boat turning over and sinking

Losing a hat overboard signified a long trip

Taking a watch to sea signified bad luck

Eat fish from the head to the tail for good luck. If you start at the tail it will warn the shoals away from the shore and back into deep water

Flat-footed folk are unlucky

Set an odd number of nets, such as 101; the extra one is “for luck”

Don’t count the number of fish you’ve caught. If you do you won’t catch any more that day. Count the fish when you are safely back in port

Don’t use certain words at sea, such as: pigs, fox, cat, hare, salmon or rabbits, the church, or anything to do with the land

Scottish fishermen should throw one of the crew members overboard and then haul him back in. The fish will follow suit.

If fishermen ans sailors were busy following those rituals and making sure they do not make angry Gods, their wives had to follow some simple rules:

Washing clothes was considered to bring troubles to the house. It meant that her husband would run the risk to be ‘washed’ overboard.

Waving him good-bye was a bad omen, it meant that the ‘wave’ would sweep him away.

A wife should refrain from calling out after him once he sets foot outside the front door, to go down on the fish dock to see him off was also not accepted.

To whistle was believed to cause a storm at sea.

There are more superstitions linked with the sea, for example bananas, green colour or ginger haired people. To read more about them go here, herehere and here.

One last thing I want to mention about sailor, fishermen and navy – the Neptunus Rex ceremonies. It seems like a fun moment in the daily routine. During the ceremony, those sailors who have not yet crossed the equator are put through various tasks, teasing, and trials, before being presented to King Neptune and his court, including a Queen and other Royal attendants. After going through the ceremony, the pollywogs become “shellbacks,” and are presented with a large certificate and smaller identification card that notes their new status.

Photograph of a crossing the line ceremony, USS William P. Biddle, January 19, 1943. Charles Bradwell Collection, Veterans History Project,
Photograph of a crossing the line ceremony, USS William P. Biddle, January 19, 1943. Charles Bradwell Collection, Veterans History Project
A Neptune's certificate given on board U.S.S. Saratoga May 1936
A Neptune’s certificate given on board U.S.S. Saratoga
May 1936

Regardless of your believes,

Travel safe and wise!

Something blue, something stolen, something old, something new, something borrowed

Beautiful African Bride
Beautiful African Bride

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.

South Korean Traditional Bride and Groom Attire
South Korean Traditional Bride and Groom Attire

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

Japanese Traditional Wedding Dress
Japanese Traditional Wedding Dress

– 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

Elegant Wintage Lace Wedding Dress
Elegant Wintage Lace Wedding Dress

– 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

Traditional Indian Wedding Dress
Traditional Indian Wedding Dress

– 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

 German Wedding Gown
German Wedding Gown

– 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!

If you want to read more some other countries wedding traditions go here and here. Cosmopolitan has an article about superstitions. Curious? Then, click right here!

And what about some ABSOLUTELY AMAZING WEDDING DRESSES from around the world? This is my cherry on the cake…for those who read the article 🙂 Check the images here aaand here, you’ll be surprised.

Traditional Wedding Dress from Transilvania - it weighs 30kg!
Traditional Wedding Dress from Transilvania – it weighs 30kg!

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!