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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The survey: Wedding traditions in your country

Hello everyone! Several days ago I asked a few of my twitter friends tell me about interesting wedding traditions in their countries. So…here are their answers:

Name: Flavio Renato
Country: Brazil

We're very westernized. There's not a national tradition any different from what you can see in Hollywood movies, of course there are adjustments related to one's income, but the party, the religious celebration, the honeymoon, the bachelor/bachelorette party, gifts to the engaged, everything's in the package.

Talking about the bride's dress or lingerie: the colors have different meanings according to their mystical properties, but there's no agreement about all the colors. Like, red and pink are believed to be colors that bring more love or passion to the relationship, but I've already heard exchanged significance between them.

Name: Ting Licca
Country: China

I think Chinese traditional wedding is quite complicated.

First of all, the bride and the groom's parents would compromise and come up with a "lucky hour" for the couple to carry out the traditional wedding ritual. For example, the bride's family would implement the "hair combing" (in Chinese=上頭) ritual while the groom's family performs the ''capping'' ritual. The groom then sets off to the bride’s home, with the bridesmaids inevitably blocking him at the door.

The bridesmaids will then challenge the groom by asking impeccably difficult questions so as to prevent the groom from seeing the bride. The groom, his best man and friends are required to answer all of the questions as well as presenting a “Door opening Lai See” in order to enter the house.

Finally, the bride and the groom will attend the “Tea Ceremony” with each other’s parents.

Name: Sarah
Country: Germany

In Germany a marriage is valid when you marry at a register office, where bride and groom need a best man and a maid of honor. Guests can take part in the ceremony. In addition you can have a ceremony according to your religion (on an other day).

I think a lot of people combine both ceremonies today. They have one big ceremony with guests, a white wedding dress etc. but a registrar instead of e.g. a pastor. Actually the registrar is the important one, you don’t have to marry at the register office, you can also marry at a castle or wherever you want.

After the ceremony there is often a welcome/reception of the guests with sparkling wine or so. After that the “party” with food, music (An annotation regarding music from me: not all Germans listen to folk music ;)) and dance starts. Sometimes the family and friends organized little games or other funny things for the married couple.

On the evening before the wedding there is often a “Polterabend” (wedding-eve party/eve-of-the-wedding party; “poltern” (v.) = to rumble, “Abend” (n.) = evening). That’s a little party where everyone can enter. The guests take old porcelain with them and smash it. The engaged couple has to sweep the broken pieces after that. This party is an old (German) tradition I think.
I think sometimes there is a stag party a few days before the wedding too.

Name: Toshiharu
Country: Japan

Now In Japan, wedding is rather westernized. Young people prefer western style wedding than traditional style one.

We had a traditional style wedding. Because my wife had wanted to wear Kimono at the wedding ceremony. Also I wore "Haori" & "Hakama" (they are formal dress of Japanese style for men).

Usually in Japan, we have a wedding ceremony with family and relatives at first, then wedding party with also coworkers and friends.
At traditional style wedding ceremony, bride wear "Shiromuku" (kimono for bride). And she wear a kind of hat called "Tsunokakushi" (that means "Hiding horns"). It covers almost bride's face, so people can't see her face well.

At wedding party, bride changes her dress twice or three times. My wife wore gorgeous kimono at first, then changed it to a pink wedding dress. I changed "Haori" & "Hakama" what I wore at wedding ceremony to a swallowtail.

During wedding party, we usually have several entertainments by our relatives, friends or coworkers. One sing songs, the others play a dance or take place a quiz show about bride and groom. At the final of the party, bride reads a message for her parents (it's a tearjerker), then groom gives a greeting to people.

This is a typical wedding in Japan, I think. But there are many customs in each region in Japan. I don't know much about them. I'll appreciate if other Japanese make additions.

And what interesting can you say about wedding traditions in your country?

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