Monday, November 26, 2007

What You Didn't Know At Weddings

By: Martha Brockenbrough

Evil spirits and bridesmaids' dresses
The typical North American wedding is just bursting with meaningful traditions--if you know where to look. Take bridesmaids' dresses. They're not just evil looking; they're evil-repellent.

If you've ever wondered why bridesmaids all dress the same, it's because Roman law required ten witnesses to make a wedding legal. Several of these witnesses dressed up exactly like the bride and groom, to confound any malevolent forces who might show up uninvited. Europeans followed a similar tradition, and later bridesmaids and groomsmen sometimes did have to defend the happy couple against real-life thugs and warriors.

Ring around the ...
If you've ever wondered why Americans put the wedding ring on the third finger of the left hand, it's because of an ancient Greek belief that a vein in this finger ran directly to the heart. And if you've ever groaned at having to buy both an engagement ring and a wedding ring, you can blame Pope Innocent III, who instituted a waiting period between engagement and marriage in the 13th century and also insisted that a ring be used in the wedding ceremony. Before that, rings were used to seal an engagement only (as well as other important agreements).

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XtianDoctrine said...

Here are some legends about the Honeymoon

Legend 1:
In ancient times, many of the first marriages were by capture, not choice. When early man felt it was time to take a bride, he would often carry off an unwilling woman to a secret place where her relatives wouldn't find them. While the moon went through all its phases, (about 30 days) they hid from the searchers and drank a brew made from honey. Hence, we get the word, honeymoon.

Legend 2:
In ancient times, the Teuton people began the practice of the honeymoon. Teuton weddings were only held under the full moon. After the wedding, the bride and groom would drink honey wine for thirty days. Therefore, the period immediately following the wedding became known as the honeymoon. While the name survived, the purpose of the honeymoon changed. After the wedding, newlyweds would leave their family and friends to go and do what newlyweds are supposed to do. Today that purpose survives, only now a vacation is incorporated, usually to a romantic get-away locale.

Legend 3:
Honeymoon - The word first appears in the 16th century. The honey is a reference to the sweetness of a new marriage. And the moon is not a reference to the lunar-based month, but rather a bitter acknowledgment that this sweetness, like a full moon, would quickly fade.

Legend 4.
The term 'honeymoon' comes from the tradition of the bride drinking mead (a brewed, fermented drink made of honey) for one month after the wedding to encourage fertility, and a male child in particular.

XtianDoctrine said...

And here are some more legends...

Tying the Knot
The expression "tying the knot" actually dates back to Roman Times when the bride wore a girdle secured by a knot. On the wedding night, the groom then had the honors of "untying the knot." The couple's lives were then tied together. Rituals of binding were also popular in ancient Carthage. The couple's thumbs were laced together with a strip of leather. In India, the Hindu groom knotted a ribbon around his bride's neck, and once tied, the marriage was legal and binding. For much of history the rope was the most powerful way to connect things and people. So, it made sense to talk about "tying the knot."

Jumping The Broom:
The most widely known African American wedding tradition is "jumping the broom". According to Thony Anyiams, a Nigerian wedding fashion designer, the tradition is an African one, used by enslaved Africans in America as a way to maintain their ties to their culture and their homeland. They jumped the broom because that is the way weddings were ritualized in their African homeland.

What is jumping the broom? Simply, it is a ceremony in which the bride and groom, either at the ceremony or reception, signify their entrance into a new life and their creation of a new family by symbolically “sweeping away” their former single lives, former problems and concerns, and stepping over the broom to enter upon a new adventure as husband and wife.

simplynues said...

I like legend 3. Seems more sensible.

Akin said...

Legends are what they are.....legends...they are not meant to make least not to modern day people...But in the context of that made a lot of sense....

Will Prez said...

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