Wedding superstitions from around the world
Find out how couples from different countries summon good luck on their big day.
Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 01:03 PM
Most American brides are sure to have something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue on hand when they tie the knot. But for women across the globe, it's more likely they'll have a good-luck chimney sweep at the church or fortune-bearing coins tucked in their shoes. Read on to learn about interesting ways that couples summon happy and long-lasting marriages.
Finnish brides don’t leave a passionate marriage to chance. To make sure their love keeps burning throughout their union, they’ve been known head to the altar carrying an appropriate symbol: A match.
When it comes to Chinese wedding traditions, timing is everything. In order to ensure they start their marriage off with good fortune, couples consult with a monk, fortune teller, calendar or almanac (and these days, the Internet) to find the luckiest wedding day. The selection has to do with a variety of factors, including the bride’s and groom's birthdates. And instead of saying their vows at the top of the hour, many Chinese couples start the ceremony at half past the hour, so as to begin their lives together when the clock is on an upswing.
Though they may wear a white gown, many Mexican brides are sure to include some bold color in their wedding attire. By sewing three ribbons to their undergarments—yellow to symbolize the blessing of food, blue to bring good financial luck and red to summon a passionate union —they can ensure a happy marriage.
Photo: Umm Papoose/Flickr
One to three days before the wedding, Indian women have henna—a natural and temporary dye—tattoos applied to their hands and feet in elaborate patterns. The ceremonious application can take hours and, oftentimes, the groom's initials are hidden in the detailing for him to find on their wedding night. If he finds them, the couple will have good luck, and if he can't he must give his bride a gift.
Traditionally, bells are chimed at Irish weddings to keep evil spirits away and ensure a harmonious family life. Nowadays, Irish brides often carry small bells in their bouquets as a reminder of their sacred wedding vows—bells are also found on tables at the reception and are common gifts to give newlyweds.
Italian couples have been known to smash a vase or glass at their wedding. And they put a lot of muscle into it, too — the tradition says that however many pieces the glassware breaks into will symbolize how many years they'll be happily married.
In addition to friends and family, many Brits are sure to invite another type of guest to their nuptials: A chimney sweep. When a London chimney sweep saved King George II's life 200 years ago, the King declared that all chimney sweeps bring good fortune and should be treated with respect. It's now considered good luck to see a chimney sweep on your wedding day, and many hire out their services to come to the ceremony and kiss the bride.
To ensure that their daughter will always be provided for, the parents of Swedish brides give her a special gift before the ceremony. Traditionally, her mother places a gold coin in her right shoe and her father places a silver coin in her left shoe before she weds so she'll never go without.
On the day before their weddings, many Czech brides will find a newly planted tree in their yards, festooned with colorful ribbons and painted eggshells. The tradition says that the bride will live as long as the tree.
To ensure that a newly betrothed couple grows old and prospers together, Bermudian couples top the bride's wedding cake (they often have his-and-hers desserts) with a tiny cedar sapling. They then plant the sapling at their home so it can grow and mature—much like their relationship.
This article originally appeared on WomansDay.com and it's republished here with permission.
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