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5 Unusual Wedding Rituals From Around The World

No matter what corner of the Earth you're from, be it the Amazon rainforest or a sprawling metropolitan city, you're bound to be at something that resembles a wedding at some point. The binding together of two people in holy matrimony is something all human beings have in common, however the way we go about doing it can be slightly different. While cutting the cake and wearing a white dress may seem like staple traditions in some countries, other cultures have very different ideas - from the wonderful to the just plain weird. 

The wood wedding

In India, it is a common believe that you can tell a lot about a person from their horoscope and many Indians pay close attention to the stars and planets. Women born as Mangliks (an astrological combination where both Mars and Saturn fall under the 7th House) are believed to be cursed and will cause their husband an early death. To prevent this curse, in an ancient Hindu ceremony women are first married to a tree. The tree is then destroyed and the curse in broken!  In another part of India, there is another practice where a bachelor who wanted to marry a widow first marries a tree. The tree was afterward felled so the man then has widower status. Weddings often take place around a tree or that is sanctified with some part of the tree, such as the bark or sap. This is because people believe that trees contain hidden or sacred power to cure or to enhance fertility or that they contain the souls of ancestors or of the unborn.

The Blackening 

There still exists in some remote parts of Scotland a ritual known simply as 'The Blackening". In this messy tradition, the bride and groom are stripped (in summer OR winter!) and covered in treacle, soot, flour and feathers to ward off evil spirits. They are then paraded through the town by the pals to ensure the highest level of embarrassment possible. The saying goes that if they can withstand this that can endure anything that comes their way in marriage!

 

Picking Up Chicks 

There a group of people known as the Daur that live in Chinese inner Mongolia. They believe that in order to finalize the wedding date the bride and groom are required to kill a baby chick while holding the knife together. Then, they proceed to gut the chick and inspect its liver. If the liver is deemed suitable they can set the date, if not they must repeat the process until they find some satisfactory innards! 

La Soupe 

In France, after the ceremony was complete, friends and family of the newlyweds would collect all the leftovers, trash and other disgusting remains and put them in a chamber pot. They would then force the unfortunate couple to drink it in the belief that it would help prepare them for the night ahead! Nowadays, chocolate and champagne are used as a substitutes, but it's still pretty gross. 

No Smiling

In the Congo, weddings are solemn gatherings. For everything to be taken seriously, the bride and groom are forbidden to smile throughout the whole ceremony. Not in the pre-gathering, wedding, or reception. If you smile, it shows you are not serious about the marriage and it will not last. Imagine those wedding photos! 

 

 

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