Weddings are always full of traditions and rituals that bring a charming, rather old-fashioned feel to them. There’s nothing more romantic than reciting the ever-lasting vows that have been recited by countless other brides for centuries, or tossing the bouquet in the same age-old gesture. From the wedding kiss to showering the new couple with rice, there are quite a few rituals that find their places in the actual ceremonies. Indeed, if you’re one who abides by traditions, you’re certainly going to enjoy the following list of popular wedding traditions from around the world.
Painting the hands, legs and arms
In India and some Arabic countries, a lavish ceremony is usually held on the eve of the wedding to decorate and adorn the bride with red body paint and black henna. Using a plastic cone, a designated female relative decorates the bride’s hands and feet. In some cases, the guests’ hands are also adorned with henna. A common tradition in India is to trace the groom’s initials on the bride’s hands, amidst the various patterns and designs.
Breaking the glass
In some Jewish cultures, it is customary for the groom to stamp on a cloth-covered glass bottle right after the ceremony. In some cases, a light bulb can be used instead of the bottle. This ritual is to remind the guests and the new couple that too much joy should be tempered. Some Jewish families believe that the sound of breaking glass will chase away the demons that manage to pass through the timeframe between the married and unmarried status of the happy couple. Breaking the glass is usually followed by happy cheers of “Mazel Tov!”
Stepping over the broom
In some African and Romanian cultures, the groom and bride usually step over an ornately decorated broom before walking back down the aisle as a married couple. In our contemporary time, this gesture symbolizes love, good luck and harmony in their marriage. However, this tradition dates back to the time of slavery where slaves weren’t allowed to get married. Hence, young couples in love used to jump over a broom and declare themselves married.
In Romania, southwest England and Wales, couples usually jump over brooms that have been placed over the threshold before entering their new homes together. This tradition ultimately coined the popular phrase “jumping the broom” to refer to marriage.