Wedding Traditions And Myths
Wedding myths, traditions, and superstitions retained through centuries of practice provide present-day wedding ceremonies the human factor.
A wedding has many wonderful traditions and myths in its history. Like any other important human affair, it has undergone evolution within particular eras, cultural geographies, and belief systems. What it is today is the sum total of the changes it has undergone since the time it became an important human preoccupation.
Traditions and Myths as Important Components of How Human Behavior Evolves
Traditions, myths, and superstitions add a human element to every human endeavor – which nowadays is greatly influenced by enormous technological leaps that seem to negate the human factor in truth’s equation. People seem to have become almost too-practical consumers of the fact that they frown upon anything not based on evidence.
But the mere fact of being human inevitably draws us back to the historical vicissitudes of how human behavior evolved. A wedding is one human affair that cannot escape the trappings of myths, traditions, and superstitions. What follows is a list that makes a wedding still a very human undertaking.
Wedding Myths, Traditions, and Superstitions
June as the favored month for a wedding: This tradition finds its origins in Roman mythology. June is named after the Roman goddess Juno, who is the wife of Jupiter and guardian of womanhood. The Romans believed in Juno’s assurance of marital bliss for the couple married in her month, June. Today, more people continue to get married in a month that is associated with marriage.
The bridesmaid and groomsman: The custom of the bridesmaid and the groomsman is also traceable to Roman times. In ancient Rome, marriages required 10 witnesses, who later served as protectors of the betrothed, especially the bride. Until the middle ages, it wasn’t unusual for a rival suitor to snatch the bride from the ceremony.
The bride’s floral bouquet: Flowers have always symbolized love. But the tradition of carrying a bouquet has its origins in the ancient symbolization of sex and fertility with flowers – making them a part of the marriage ritual. Usually, it was a bouquet of roses that the bride carried.
The white wedding gown: White represented the bride’s purity, innocence, and candor. In Ancient Greece, white symbolized joy. Before wedding ceremonies, participants and observers painted their bodies white. In many cultures, white is associated with a good omen, and no one should be more aware of this than the bride herself.
Tying the knot: The phrase originates from an ancient Babylonian wedding custom that is perhaps 3000 years old. At the ceremony, friends of the couple would take threads from the bride’s and groom’s clothes and tie them together to symbolize eternal union. In medieval Britain, as the priest announces, “Whom God hath joined together let no man separate,” a seamstress ties three knots in a piece of lace to ensure the couple’s fidelity.
Confetti shower: The practice started, again, with the Romans, who tossed nuts, sweets, or wheat over the bride after the ceremony to ensure her fertility.
The wedding cake: Like many wedding superstitions, the wedding cake originates from Ancient Rome. Marriages are followed by a feast at which symbolic dishes are served. A special cake made from flour, salt, and water is broken over the bride’s head as a sign of fertility and good fortune. Guests are given pieces of the cake as tokens of luck.
The Honeymoon: The honeymoon tradition started with the Teutons, who lived in northern Europe before migrating south in the second century BC. After a wedding in a lunar (hence moon) month, newlyweds celebrated their union with mead – which is a wine made from honey. This celebration became known as a honeymoon, which later became a custom of taking a holiday immediately after marriage.
Today, we continue to celebrate marriage with these traditions, myths, and superstitions – which help retain the human factor in one of the most important human concerns. Undeniably, they also make weddings interesting and memorable, instead of just being a formality.