Russian wedding- When groom pays a ransom for his wife
A traditional Russian wedding lasts for at least two days and some weddings last as long as a week. Throughout the celebration there is dancing, singing, long toasts, and a lots of food and drinks. The ceremony and the ring exchange takes place on the first day of the wedding and on this special day many events take place.
Rituals of a traditional wedding
Paying the ransom : When the groom arrives at bride’s home he has to pay ransom for the bride, a term in Russian known as “vykupnevesty”. The entire event is played out in a comical fashion and everyone is entertained. At first the groom comes and gives something (often vodka) for the bride, and so the parents of the bride bring out a woman or man (the latter for amusement) that is not the actual bride, but is dressed up like one, covered in veil, so the groom can’t see the face. When groom realised that it is not his bride, he will ask for his bride, and the family of bride will demand for a bigger ransom. After being satisfied with the ransom they give away bride to the groom. This is a very popular ritual of russian wedding.
This is called “rospis v zagse”. This ceremony takes place at the department of public services, formally known as ZAGS. At ZAGS the couple is greeted by family members with bread and salt. The ceremony ranges from 15 to 30 minutes and during this time the rings are exchanged and the couple is pronounced husband and wife. This is how the russian wedding is performed.
Tour of city
After the civil ceremony, the newlyweds and their witnesses, travel around the city on a limousine and view many historical sights.
After touring the city for several hours, the couple meets the guests for the reception. The first toast is for the newly wed couple, second toast is for the parents. Then the new couple dances the first dance of the night. As the night continues the guests dance, sing, play games, and make toasts. For the next several days, the family continues to eat, drink, and celebrate.
Thus, we see that the russian wedding involves the whole family and it is very much similar to other cultures.
Japanese wedding can be either a traditional or a western one. It can be either arranged or love. But first of all the couple should be legally married by filing for the marriage at local government office. Actually the documents are required for further ceremonies to be held.
In a traditional shinto ceremony an elaborate ceremony is held at shinto shrine.
Traditional Sinto Japanese wedding at the shrine, with bride
wearing Japanese wedding Kimono (Uchikake)
Whereas in a western one the ceremonies are held in a chapel, it can either be a simple or an elaborate one. Before the ceremony there is a rehearsal in which bride’s mother lowers her daughter veil, signifying the last act which she can do before giving her. Then bride’s father walks the bride down the aisle to her groom. This is followed by a procession in which the wedding celebrant wear a wedding cross, or a cana which symbolises a couple’s commitment to share life together. They give brief welcome and speech before announcing bride’s entrance. This ends with bowing of groom to bride’s father who does the same in return. Now starts the service, after the reading of Bible there is prayer and short message, explaining the sanctity of wedding vows. Bride and groom share their vows, exchange rings and at last sign register and then are declared a new couple.
Nowadays, both traditional and western style ceremonies are merged and marriage is conducted in a way, which is called contemporary style wedding. In this on the wedding day all the participants get ready in their formal Japanese attire. Bride attire consist of an extravagant kimono, heavy makeup, a wig and head covering. Photographs of bride groom and their relatives are taken which is considered as an essential part of wedding day. After this lengthy photo shoot they go to shinto shrine, where priest conduct ceremonies. Firstly the bride and groom are purified, then they exchange nuptial cups of sake. Due to western influence instead of shinto shrine they may go to a hotel where all activities takes place. The couple often exchange wedding rings and take vows. After all the wedding ceremonies are over there is a reception. This include dramatic entrance by bride and groom, speeches and other performances. Bride has to change her dress for 2-3 times. After speech session, cake is cut and then it’s time to eat and drink. During this both bride and groom again change their outfit and at the end they wear a western style of attire. After the last costume they perform a candle service, in which they light candles on the table where their parents are sitting then all the candles placed on guest tables. Then reception ends with a flower presentation ceremony, where newly wed couple present flower to their parents.
Italian wedding tradition is among the oldest in the world, dating back to Roman traditions. Many of the traditions are still in practice. In ancient time, man request a women hand from his father, this is still in practice in some parts of southern Italy but now a man directly proses a women. In southern Italy engagement is in form of a party among friend and relatives but, this is not practiced in northern Italy.
Italian wedding dress:
On the wedding day bride has to wear some thing blue, some thing old, something borrowed and something new. It is believed that this will bring her good luck. Groom wears dark grey thin socks,cuff links, boutonniere, a tail cot including a silk top hat and gloves.
Wedding takes place in a church. Church is often decorated with ribbons to symbolise the marriage bond. Bride is the first person to enter the church so, all relatives and friends wait outside the church for bride and groom. Groom arrive in advance but wait and enters the church few minutes before the ceremony. Bride’s family sits on left side and groom’s family on the right side of the church.
Father of bride take bride and give her away to the bride, and then come back and sit. Then groom unveil bride and then rings are exchanged. When the couple exit church, rice is showered on them as a sign of good luck.
In southern Italy, reception is bigger,longer and showier, whereas in Northern Italy its more intimate and less showy. An Italian wedding reception include an elaborate meal lasting four hours or longer, and may involve up to fourteen individual courses. One of the final courses is the wedding cake, or zuppa inglese, which is a traditional Italian confection of tiers of pound cake filled with chocolate or vanilla custard, rum cream, and fruit, and trimmed with icing shaped like flowers.
Bride throw away her bouquet on unmarried ladies and is believed that one who catches it will get married next. Another incident is the “cutting” of the groom’s tie into small pieces, then a guest – usually a friend of the spouses – walks between the tables offering the guests a piece of it and gets some money back that, in the end, will be given to the wedding couple.
Dancing is an integral part of any wedding celebration, and no Italian wedding would be complete without the traditional tarantella dance.
At last they give bomboniera to all the guest attending the wedding, as a sign of love, thanking, souvenirs for taking part in the wedding.
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A charming wedding custom of small French town, which is still in practice where the groom comes to her bride’s home early on the wedding day. Groom escorts her to the wedding chapel in a procession, headed by musician, followed behind by bride with her father, guests and groom with his mother at the end. In Brittany, children block the roads with ribbon that must be cut by the bride. The groom has to remove brains that have been placed across the road by those who demand and receive payment for these obstacles. All these obstacles are created for the wedding couple to overcome together and thus to signify their common path in new life.
A French wedding procession
The church is filled with incense and flowers, bride and groom are seated on two red velvet chair, underneath a silk canopy. At the end of ceremony a square of silk fabric is held over the head of the couple as priest blessing. The same silk is used to wrap their chill when they are baptized. Outside the church rice or wheat is showered over them as a symbol of prosperity.
At the reception the newlyweds toast each other from a engraved two handle cup, called la coupe de marriage. The traditional french wedding cake is called croquembouche which is a pyramid of creme-filled pastry puffs, drizzled with a caramel glaze.
French wedding cake : Croquembouche
Dancing is the popular past time in french time, the traditional dance is ‘rond‘ in which people join hand and dance in circle. After the reception, those invited for the wedding gather outside the newlyweds window and bangs pots and pans. They are then invited in the house for some more drink in the couple’s honour. This practice is called chiverie or charivari.
Chinese wedding is a ceremonial ritual within the society. There are six rituals also known as three letters and six etiquette.
Wedding involves three letters. First is therequest letter, which is formal request for wedding which is sent from groom’s family to a bride family.Second is the gift letter, which accompanies the gifts of groom family to bride’s family shortly before wedding. And third is the, wedding letter which is given on the date of wedding which is formal acceptance of bride in groom’s family.
Six etiquette’s of Chinese wedding
Proposal: When an unmarried boy’s parents find a potential daughter-in-law. They then locate a matchmaker whose job was to assuage the conflict of interests and general embarrassments on the part of two families largely unknown to each other when discussing the possibility of marriage.
Birth dates: Then the match maker compares the birth dates of two and only if they are compatible according to Chinese astrology next step is followed.
Brides price(Bethrothal gift) now groom family arranges match maker to present bride price with bethrothal letter.
Wedding gift: now groom’s family will sent lots of gifts like cakes, foods and other religious things to bride’s family.
Arranging the wedding: both family will arrange a suitable day for marriage according to Chinese calendar mythology.
A wedding procession with a bride’s sedan
And finally, wedding ceremony which is the final and elaborate one. Firstly, a wedding procession is taken from brides house to groom’s house. This consist of traditional band, bride’s sedan,brides dowry in the forms other than money.Welcoming the bride: the procession stops at the door of groom, where it is welcomed. There are several ceremonies to be followed. Actual wedding ceremonies: Now the exchange vows in west, and pays respect to earth and heaven, to, grooms family and to each other. This is followed by a reception which is known as wedding banquet. All guest give gifts like cash or jewellery in red envelope.