15 Bizarre Wedding Traditions
Wedding, a ceremony of marriage, is viewed as highly sacred and divine amongst all the religions and cultures around the world. Everyone is familiar with customs like tossing the bouquet and the first dance but it is not like that everywhere. Every community has its own beliefs and traditions within their culture, which have been faithfully practiced for over irrespective of the footprints on the civilization. These traditions somehow settle in the bottom of the minds and hearts of the people of the communities. These sacraments deeply impact the lifestyle of societies and its people by tying them in its impenetrable shackles. We are now gripped tightly under the influence of such customs, which sometimes turn out to be destructive and fatal. The very reason for the flourishing of such unmanly rituals is blind trust, unawareness and scarce knowledge of the reality.
Weddings have been a big part of such traditions for a very long time, and so even today, weddings at many places around the world follow them. Well, some traditions are still appreciated today but most of them are totally offensive. Here are some bizarre traditions from around the world, practiced even today in this modern era of science and technology, Read them and you’ll be shocked to an extent that you cannot even imagine. Don’t believe us? Read ahead to know more!
1. Delicieux Toilette La Soupe: France
The very first thing that comes to our mind when we talk about France, is the famous ‘French kiss’. Paris which is known as the ‘City of Love and Romance’ is in France, so France and romance go like ‘Romeo and Juliet’. The word ‘soup’ comes from the French word ‘soupe’. Mentioning France and soup together is not about a love story desire but about a tradition which is a blend of France and a unique soup so-called ‘Delicieux Toilette La Soupe’, which can be translated as a delicious toilet soup! Toilet and food don’t go parallel, but things here fit in all together and that’s why it is believed to be one of the most disgusting customs in the world.
After the wedding ceremony is complete, the bridal party would collect all of the leftovers, bits of trash within a toilet bowl and then barge into the couple’s room. They would not leave until the couple drank it all without a break. This is supposed to give the couple fuel to have a great night and fortune in their lives ahead.
2. Bathroom Moratorium: Indonesia/Malaysia
The word ‘Moratorium’ is defined as a temporary prohibition from an activity or a place. Collectively, the term ‘Bathroom Moratorium’ is described as a prohibition from using a bathroom. It is a tradition, in the “Tidong” community living at Indonesia-Malaysian borders, wherein the bride and groom are not allowed to use the bathroom for three days after the wedding. The restrictions put on the couple are so harsh, like they cannot leave the house, clear their bowels or urinate and they are watched over all 3 days for having food and drinking minimal amounts. It is believed that, if the custom is not practiced, it will bring bad luck to the couple with consequences like broken marriage, infidelity or death of their children. After three days, the couple is allowed to return to normal life. The Tidings are traditionally farmers practicing slash-and-burn agriculture. Their farming methods are often accused of being the main cause of forest fires in Kalimantan.
3. Spitting on The Bride: Kenya
In Kenya, a country in Africa lives an ethnic group ‘Massai’ believes in spitting on the bride’s shaved head and breasts by her father as a blessing. After this, the bride leaves her home and walks to her new home with her husband. In order to ward off bad luck, sometimes the women of the groom’s family even insult the bride in the public.
4. Cupid’s Arrow: China
China, a population consisting of mostly old aged, is known for its conservative and preserved customs. One such culture is Cupid’s arrow which portrays the ideology of love as “Love Hurts” or you can say, “Everything is fair in love and war”. This practice really hurts as it involves the groom shooting three arrows at his bride before breaking the bow and arrows. Luckily, the arrows have no heads but it can still be painful for the bride. If this custom is done correctly, it is believed that they will love each other forever.
5. Tabua Gift: Fiji
Tabua, a polished tooth of a sperm whale which holds an important and spiritual value in the Fijian tradition are used as gifts and for negotiations among rivalry leaders in the community. The sperm whale is the largest of the toothed whales and the largest toothed predators in the world. In Fiji, men have to find an unusual and very rare gift i.e. the tooth of sperm whale before they can ask for a woman’s hand in marriage. Before asking for the hand of his beloved, the groom must present his father-in-law with a tooth. The bigger the tooth, the better are the chances to get a yes from the bride’s family. What if you can’t get one?
6. Kumbhvivah: India
In India, astrology can make you marry a tree! If a bride is born “Manglik”, or Mars-Bearing, she is considered to be cursed and may cause an early death to her husband. According to an old Hindu custom ‘Kumbhvivah,’ the only way to break the curse for a bride is to marry a peepal or banana tree. Yes, a tree! The tree is then destroyed, and the curse is broken. A bride can also carry a silver or golden idol of the Hindu God Vishnu. That way the elders of family and astrologers believe this would get the bride rid of the ‘Mangal Dosh’. Bollywood actress and Miss World 1994 winner Aishwarya Rai Bachchan underwent a Kumbhvivah before her marrying Abhishek Bachchan in 2007.
7. Falaka: North Korea
Every child is beaten up in his childhood but somewhere around the world people still got beaten up now, not for their nuisances but for being a groom in their wedding. Seems weird, right? That’s why we are talking about it! According to a tradition in North Korea, after the wedding, before groom can leave with his bride, he must survive the beating on his feet. It can be painful, but it is intended to be more funny than harsh. The groom has his shoes and socks removed and his ankles bound by his groomsmen or family members. They then take turns beating the soles of his feet with a stick, cane or dried fish. The reason for beating a groom on his wedding day is, to test his knowledge and ability since he is usually quizzed during the beating.
8. You May All Kiss The Bride: Sweden
According to the western culture, the newly married couple need to exchange a kiss at the conclusion of the wedding. This kiss is believed as a life-long bond for the couples and also an expression of love but in Sweden, things are a bit different. At the wedding reception of newly Swedish couples, the groom is asked to leave the room and all the male guests of the party are permitted to kiss the bride turning a wedding into a party game. The same goes for the groom, if the bride leaves the party, female guests can kiss the groom.
9. Chick Liver: Mongolia
Deciding a date for the wedding was never an easy job. Somehow, the people of Mongolia managed to find to an approach which is the oldest of the odd! Before setting the date of the wedding, couples from the ‘Daur’ people of China’s Inner Mongolia must observe a tradition that involves the killing of a chick. The couple takes a knife and together kill and gut the baby chicken before inspecting its liver. If the chick’s liver is in a healthy condition, the couple can set a date for their wedding but if they discover that the chick’s liver is of poor quality or diseased they must repeat the process until they find a healthy liver. The irony is that the diseased minds are hunting for healthy livers.
10. Blackening: Scotland
What we have next in our buckets of sick traditions is blackening of bride and groom. It is a traditional wedding custom performed in the days or weeks prior to marriages in rural areas of Scotland. The bride and/or groom are ‘captured'(surprisingly) by friends and family, covered in sugar syrup, or a variety of other preferably adhesive substances, soot and flour and then paraded publicly for the community to see by tying them on a truck. It is done for the couple to send off and weaken the bad spirits that could damage their marriage. How ironic it is to use adhesive substances to shoo away the evil spirits!
11. Bride-Napping: Romania
According to a Romanian tradition, brides are abducted harshly by her drunkest friends and she is kept in a secure location away from the groom, where she is held hostage, mostly chosen to be ‘Romania’s Arch of Triumph’. The group then demands ransom for her release which mostly includes a shopping cart full of booze and wine or public announcement of his love and after the negotiations, the couple is then reunited. It’s now a mix of the old and new flavor of New Zealand where kidnappers are dressed up as Taliban terrorists and grab toy guns pretending to be real abductors and partying at the heritage site.
12. Two Children: South Sudan
Sudan, a country experiencing conflicts and crisis just after its independence is also suffering from a mindset obstruction in the people. In Southern Sudan, people of the “Neuer” tribe believe that the marriage is not complete until the woman has had two children. If she fails to do so, the groom can seek a divorce. So, the longevity and strength in a marriage are defined by a woman’s capacity of bearing children. There’s a breach of freedom of women here in either way.
13. No Smiling: Congo
Marriages are always considered a blessed and delighted event everywhere, but, in this part of Africa, marriages need to be more serious and thoughtful. So basically, a Congolese wedding night is a no-smile day! The couple cannot smile throughout the event and if they smile it shows the couple is not serious about the marriage and the bride has to turn her face down towards the floor. Not in the photo for the invitation, not at the pre-gathering, civil ceremony, reception or let it be an affair, they can’t smile. It feels terrible from the inside watching a wedding party turning into a funeral like the situation with grim and seriousness on every face.
14. Plus Size Matters: Mauritius
It is a stereotype that every bride before her wedding go on a special diet to shed their weight and look good. But in Mauritius, the bride is supposed to be fat and chubby on her wedding day. As a matter of fact, Mauritius is a country troubled with food shortage and famine all over, but being obese is a symbol of wealth and power. They are sent to ‘fat camps’ long before the wedding and fed with huge quantities of goat’s milk and oil to get fatten up until they reach the desired size. Force-feeding has led to more serious health problems amongst the women in Mauritius. In a world with a population of more than 7 billion people, today there are 815 million people who do not have enough to eat and we have traditions like this totally abandoning the situation.
15. Smash The Plates: Germany
Germans respect and love their traditions and have preserved them through thick and thin of times. People from around the world prefer traveling Germany and marry there for its rich customs and traditions. One such event is smashing plates on the floor, and the custom is known as ‘Polterabend’. Isn’t it weird? We have seen people gifting ceramics to couples on their weddings, but, breaking plates in front of the house on this auspicious occasion is a new and creepy thing to know. According to the custom, the couple celebrates ‘Polterabend,’ together with their friends, breaking porcelain to good luck in their new companionship and drive off evil spirits.