10 Wedding traditions from around the world

10 Wedding traditions from around the world

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Celebrations of love look different all over the world, so in honor of Valentine’s Day we looked at the incredible traditions of 10 different countries.

japan_-_wikipedia_commons

Japan

Japanese brides are decorated in white from head to toe, with white paint masking their faces to convey their utmost virtue and innocence. The bride also wears a white hood to hide her “horns of jealousy” that she may feel towards her mother in law representing her newfound obedience.

Photo credit: Andrea Calodolce

Photo credit: Andrea Calodolce

Germany

Part of the German wedding ceremony involves guests smashing old plates in order to ward off evil spirits. The couple are then expected to clean the mess up together signifying that marriage is not easy, but together they can work through anything.

Photo credit: PBS

Photo credit: PBS

Kenya

Marriage in the Maasai tribe involves a lengthy process of courtship. The suitor firsts gifts his potential bride with a chain, marking his interest in her. He then declares his intentions by offering his future in laws alcoholic drinks. If the bride’s parents agree to the union, then the groom must gift the bride with three black cows and two sheep. The male sheep is slaughtered and its fat is used to decorate the bride’s wedding dress and applied to her head.

Photo credit: National Geographic

Photo credit: National Geographic

Namibia

The Himba people kidnap the bride before her ceremony and dress her in a leather headdress. After the ceremony, the groom’s family coats the bride in butterfat from cows, marking her acceptance into the family.

Photo credit: Afri-Culture

Photo credit: Afri-Culture

South Africa

A Zulu bride will change her outfit at least three different times to convey to her in laws her beauty in different styles and colors.

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Senegal

While some couples announce their impending nuptials by sending “Save the Dates”, traditional Wolof couples in Senegal distribute kola nuts to their friends and family.

Photo credit: Kelly Rosenow/Flickr

Photo credit: Kelly Rosenow/Flickr

Ireland

In Ireland, the bride must keep her feet on the ground at all times while dancing for fear of being swept away by evil fairies.

malaysia_-_wikimedia_commons

Malaysia

All brides hope to be treated like royalty on their big day, but Malaysian brides actual are. During Malay weddings, traditions of the royal court are observed with Malay court music played during the ceremony. Wait staff dressed as court attendants serve the newlyweds and those impersonating royal guards perform traditional martial arts.

Photo credit: Martha Stewart

Photo credit: Martha Stewart

Norway

Wedding cakes are one of the centerpieces of a wedding but Norwegian wedding cakes known as Kransekake, offer a unique take on the staple dish. Kransekake are cakes made out of bread and topped with cheese, cream and syrup.

Photo credit: Igbo Guide

Photo credit: Igbo Guide

Nigeria

In Nigeria, the Igbo bless the newlywed couple by throwing bank notes on them or rubbing their foreheads with banknotes, expressing the prosperous future they hope the couple shares.

 

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