Strange Wedding Traditions from Around the World

Weddings are a time of celebration as they commemorate the union of two people who look forward to sharing the rest of their lives together. Most of the wedding traditions we’re familiar with in the Western world have origins in Ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt, with some influence from Britain and France. But there are some lesser known, extremely unusual wedding traditions from various countries all over the world. Below are five examples. 

1. The Blackening, Scotland

The Blackening is a Scottish wedding custom that is mostly practiced in the rural areas of the northeast region. Just a few days before the wedding, the bride, groom or both are covered in a very foul mixture of milk, eggs, rotten food, dead fish, flour, tar or mud by family and friends. Next, they are tied up to a tree or taken around town in the back of an open truck so they can be seen by as many people as possible. It is believed that if a couple makes it out of this, then they can endure any trial and tribulation in a marriage.

2. Marrying A Banana Tree, India

In India, astrology plays a huge role in the lives of the people who practice it. It is said that if a bride is born “Mars-bearing,” then she will be cursed and will cause an early death for her husband. To break this curse, the bride must marry a banana tree, then destroy it. Many women’s rights groups in India have spoken against this practice, which led to it being banned. However, many people still practice it despite its illegal status, like Aishwarya Rai, a Bollywood star.

3. Holding It In, Borneo

The Tidong people observe a post-marriage tradition where the newlyweds are prohibited from using the bathroom for three days, meaning they have to hold in everything the entire time. If either one of them caves in, then they will suffer terrible luck in the marriage such as infidelity and even the death. During this time, the couple is watched over by several others who give them just enough to eat and drink. Once the time’s up, the couple is bathed and allowed to return to normal life.

4. Charivari, France

The charivari or shivaree goes all the way back to the Middle Ages when neighbors would act disruptively towards a widow who they felt was getting married too soon. Today, it consists of the family and friends yelling and singing and banging pots and pans outside the home of a newlywed couple. The only way to make them leave is to offer drinks, snacks and sometimes money. If ignored, some visitors will kidnap the groom and drop him off at a distant location, but not too far from his home. He would then have to find his way back, in the dark and possibly half-dressed. 

5. Lots of Weeping, China

Among the Tujia people of China, it is customary for every bride to cry at her wedding ceremony, though this practice is not as common as it once was. The tears signify joy and hope, rather than sadness. If she doesn’t cry, then guests will look down on her as a poor and uncultured girl. Preparations for her wedding begin a month prior when she will spend an hour every night weeping loudly until the special day; ten days into her weeping, the bride’s grandmother and other female relatives will join in as well. 


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