Every marriage is strange in some way or the other, but its the strangest when bound with freaky traditions. All religions and countries have their own customs and traditions that make marriage rituals weird, outrageous or entertaining in their own ways. These strange customs or traditions, as you may see them, add peculiarity to the weddings and also simultaneously honors the ancestral past linked with them. Here, for your entertainment, we’ve listed below wedding customs around the globe.
1. Fattening the bride
In some African parts, Leblouh is a tradition that is quite prevalent. Men here consider fat women as better brides. Usually, parents send their little angels (may be as young as 5) to a fat farm. Here, they have to eat unlimited. Eating makes girls (the bride to be) fatter and more attractive for men later when they get married. This is a preparation for young girls to score better in the marriage market.
2. Nibbling biscuit
There is a tradition in Greece where a bride nibbles biscuit from a boy’s neck. A young (pre pubescent) male child is selected by the bride. He has a biscuit ring around his neck. The Greek bride has to bite the biscuit ring, only after which the young boy is released.
Thereafter, the groom whisks the bride and takes her to their house. The house entrance has many sticky things attached (like honey, etc.) where the bride has to throw pomegranate seeds. It is believed that if any of the seeds get stuck to the door, she would have multiple sons. Strange enough! Having pomegranate seeds to decide the gender of your child is really weird.
3. Blackening the bride
Being in Scotland, you would not want to miss this one. Usually, the bride is supposed to be the best elegantly dressed person on the wedding. But, in Scotland, the bride has to be ‘dirty’ before getting married. It seems Scottish men have a raw flavor for women. The bride has to seek embarrassment publicly. She has to bear everything, from molasses, animal waste, stinking eggs to flour. Anything which could dirty her is welcomed.
The bride is drenched from start to end with all sorts of filthy and waste materials. There are two possible explanations which come to mind. One could be the Scottish men’s obsession for wandering chicks that are always soiled and dirty (so they want their brides to be in similar flavor). The other reason could be to make the bride aware of the reality awaiting after marriage. Possibly nothing could be more humiliating than public blackening.
This is an old Scottish custom, which has a strong rural appeal. Even the grooms may face similar (or worse) humiliating sessions. The groom may be blackened (supposedly with little or no clothing) and taken before the in laws.
4. Wooden duck carving
Another custom practiced in Korea is that of carving ducks. The groom asks his successfully married peers to carve wooden ducks. This is treated as a gesture for marital happiness. The Korean wedding ducks have special significance. Apparently, a man expresses his marriage desire thorough a pair of ducks or geese long ago. The ducks have to be made as an honorary gesture involving no money payment.
5. Bathroom ban
This is a peculiar custom practiced in Malaysia since centuries. The couple has to almost starve 72 hours prior to their wedding. They can have some water. And the weird part is that they cannot use the bathroom. This ritual points out that when couples survive this custom, they prepare to face the practicality of married life. They would experience multiple children, without losing any. Although it seems too taxing, the ritual supposedly is aimed for the betterment of the couple.
6. Kidnapping the bride
This is practiced in the Roma communities and Kyrgyzstan. The idea is to kidnap the bride. If you manage to keep the bride for 2-3 days, she becomes your wife. This ritual has been in practice since long here. The brides officially become wives after they spend 2-3 days with the man. This is a wedding tradition that amount to more than half the marriages in these areas. Though strange it is but the women have adapted to this form of weddings at these places.
7. Bride not to take her feet away from the floor
In the Irish tradition, it is believed that it would bring bad luck for the bride if she removes her feet from the floor on her marriage day. It is believed that evil fairies are in the lookout for beautiful brides and can capture them if the feet are taken off the floor. Even while dancing, the bride has to be careful to drag (not lift) her feet. Green color is not preferred in Irish wedding.
8. Sawing the log
If you are attending a German wedding, you will find that the couple wears their wedding rings on the right hand. This is a deviation for the usual tradition on wearing a wedding ring on the left hand. After marriage, the couple has to undergo ‘sawing’. In this custom, the couple has to go out and find a log. The couple has to saw through the wood. Both the bride and groom have to work together as a team, realizing the importance complementing each other.
9. Stomping the glass
The glass stomping is practiced in Jewish weddings. The groom has to stomp on cloth (or napkin) wrapped glass. Usually, the groom breaks the glass using his right foot after changing rings. The idea probably is to rejoice the superiority of Jerusalem over everything else. A humor element in this customary practice indicates this to be the first and final event where the groom outs his foot down (the bride is supposed to run the household).
10. Not marrying a human
The Indian tradition has it. Many areas in India have witnessed women/girls marrying animals (or other things like a tree). The people believe that by marrying animals, they could possibly rescue the women from an evil spirits. Usually, a goat or dog is used for the purpose. The marriage is solemnized with full fervor. Thereafter, the woman (who was married to the animal) can marry a man.