For those of us who are used to weddings based on western culture, some of these customs might seem strange. At Levi Family Jewelers, we love how there are so many different ways that people celebrate their love and the union between two people! (Okay, we’ll admit that some of these still gave us a chuckle or two.)
Rats! Did you know that on the island of Java, the wedding fee is rat tails? No credit cards to pay for this marriage license. It’s rat tails, twenty-five of them. We’re not sure how the tradition got started but we imagine it had to do with the island being overrun at some point by the pests. We like how a lot of work has to go into the pre-wedding planning, though! Speaking of planning…in Jamaica, it takes a whole year to create a traditional wedding cake! It’s soaked sort of like a fruit cake in order to get the flavors just right.
Some of what happens at the wedding is really interesting as well. In traditional wedding ceremonies in Peru, it’s not a bridal bouquet that “announces” the next woman who’ll be married. It’s a charm baked into the cake. In Australia, many brides wear horseshoes at the wedding, for luck. In Bali (and a few other places) the men do all the wedding work and the women get to enjoy the results…without the men present!
A few other interesting traditions… there are cultures where after the marriage, the man must dress in women’s clothing for a period of time in order to learn what it means to be a woman. There are traditions about which foot to use when stepping into a groom’s house for the first time as his bride. There are traditions that require the consummation of the marriage be completed only during a full moon. There are even traditions that give a period of time when the marriage should be celibate (in order to confuse evil spirits!)
As far as we’re concerned, every culture has some wonderful traditions and the most important thing about a marriage isn’t the location or the culture but the two lovers involved. We’re pleased to live in San Diego, though! If we lived in some areas of Scotland, we’d have to go into the engagement SPOON business!