Some of the wedding traditions, superstitions, and rituals are rather bizarre. And people from different parts of the world, with different cultural peculiarities, often can’t understand how can someone even think about such practices! But still, they exist. Some of these rituals are more popular, others – less, because they’re actually illegal. But it is always interesting to learn something really weird about human behavior, isn’t it?
10. Blackening of the bride (Scotland)
In Scotland, there is a particularly nasty pre-wedding tradition that involves the bride and groom being pelted with food trash, including rotten eggs and fish. The Scots believe that if a couple can withstand this, their marriage can withstand anything.
9. Bridal kidnapping (Kyrgyzstan)
In Kyrgyzstan, an old adage claims that tears on a wedding day will make for a happy marriage. Until 1991 (when it was finally made illegal) many parents would consent to the marriage of a kidnapped young girl, especially if she was crying.
8. The cursed, tree-marrying wives (India)
In some parts of India, it is said that girls born during a certain astrological period are cursed, and will cause an early death for their husbands. The only way to break the curse is for the woman to first marry a tree, and then have the tree cut down.
7. Ghost wedding (China)
A family paid nearly 20,000 pounds to marry their son to a dead woman – because they didn’t want him to be a bachelor. The bizarre ritual is an old custom in rural China, and involves having a “ghost wedding” for the couple. They do this because of fears the family will be cursed if one of them dies unmarried. According to Chinese criminal law, those who steal or defile a corpse are subject to up to 3 years in prison.
6. Locked-down love bridge (all over the world)
This tradition has become popular all over the world, but many believe that it started in Rome, Italy. Couples come to the bridge, attach their decorated lock to the fence, and then throw away the key. A symbol that they will be bound together forever.
5. Money dance (Greece, the Philippines)
During Greek weddings, the bride and groom share a traditional dance, during which guests pin money to their clothing. Guests who place money in the apron win the opportunity to dance with the bride. At the same time, the dance includes bridesmaids and other ladies who dance.
4. Jumping the broom (America)
This tradition stems from the American deep south. Back in times of slavery, black newlyweds jumped over a broom to symbolize moving forward in their new lives together. Though obviously somewhat antiquated, some couples still participate in this tradition.
3. Feet-down beatdown (South Korea)
In South Korea, there is a traditional custom that says that a groom should have his feet beaten with fish and canes the night before his wedding. It’s supposed to prove strength of character, but might just actually be the groomsman attempting to interfere with him walking down the aisle – we see what you did there, bros.
2. Carrying the bride across the threshold (all over the world)
The tradition of carrying the bride over the threshold is not a new tradition; it dates back centuries and has a few different origins. One most common belief is that this ritual began in Medieval Europe, where many believed that a bride was extra vulnerable to evil spirits through the soles of her feet. Some ancient believed that the bride had to show that she was not at all crazy about leaving her father’s home, and so was dragged over the threshold to her groom’s house.
1. Exorcize ghosts by marrying animals (India)
In some parts of India, it is believed that ghosts can inhabit certain people of the living world. Girls who are born with a baby tooth already erupted through the gum and girls who are very ugly or have some facial dissimulation are believed to be possessed by ghosts. They manage a lavish wedding ceremony complete with booze and dancing. This is nothing but a mock ceremony and the girl is not expected to copulate with the animal. It’s just to ward off the evil spirits, she is free to marry a man later on.