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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.