10 Bizarre Wedding Rituals in Various Cultures

Wedding rituals and traditions vary greatly between cultures, religions, countries, and social classes. Most wedding ceremonies involve an exchange of marriage vows by the couple, presentation of a gift (ring, flowers etc.), and a public proclamation of marriage by an authority figure. Many cultures have adopted the traditional Western custom of the white wedding (associated with the wedding of Queen Victoria),in which a bride wears a white wedding dress and veil.

Marriage is a universal occasion, in any culture it come with a laundry list of traditions and rituals, including the old rhyme, “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.” It is one of the few similarities countries across the globe have in common. In many cultures, preparing for a wedding involves booking a venue, getting the wedding dress and inviting the guests. But with the following unusual and amazing wedding rituals it is clear just how diverse weddings can be. Here are top 10 bizarre wedding rituals from around the world that go beyond the white dress and veil.

10. Crying Ritual of the Tujia People | China

Crying Marriage Custom
The Tujia people of China prepare for a wedding 30 days before the wedding day by crying. The bride spends an hour a day crying. 10 days later, she is joined by her mother, and then ten days after that, her grandmother, and this continues until all the females in the family are crying daily for an hour. Thankfully it is not an act of sadness but this is actually meant as an expression of joy and deep love. Because the women all weep in different tones the collected noise sounds almost like a song.

9. The Kissing Tradition | Sweden

Bizarre Wedding Rituals
No, not just between the bride and groom, in fact as a guest you might just be lucky enough to plant a kiss on the bride or groom yourself. At the wedding ceremony, it is traditional for the groom to disappear during part of the ceremony for any reason, then the all unmarried young men allowed to kiss the bride. The same goes for the groom and female guests if the bride should leave the room. A unique Swedish tradition without a doubt.

8. Spitting on the Bride | Massai Nation, Kenya

Bride Head and Breast
One of the most bizarre wedding rituals of Massai (Masai) nation of Kenya. At a wedding ceremony held by the Massai people, the bride’s head is shaved and lamb fat and oil is applied on her head. The father of the bride blesses his daughter by spitting on her head and breasts. Spitting is a symbol of disgrace usually but in Massai nation it is thought to bring good luck and fortune. She then leaves with her husband and does not look back for fear of turning into stone. The husband doesn’t stay in the house in which she stays for the next two days and then her mother in law shaves her head. This commences the wedding ceremony declaring them man and wife for life.

7. Kumbh Vivah | An Indian Ritual For Manglik Dosh

Kumbh Vivah
Kumbh Vivah is one of the most amazing ritual performed in Indian spirituality. It is a process which is used when a Indian men and women has a Manglik Dosh. This is a wedding between a Mangalik and either a statue of Vishnu or a Peepal tree or banana tree. In some areas, Kumbh vivah is an imaginary marriage of girl with a pitcher of water. According to some Indian astrologers, Mangalik Dosha negatively impacts married life, causing tension and sometimes the untimely death of one of the partners. To cancel these effects, a Kumbh Vivah can be performed before the wedding.
Kumbh Vivah is just like a normal wedding. A Manglik Dosh girl has to perform this ritual like the real wedding. She has to wear the wedding dress and jewelery along with a thread. Parents do Kanya Daan and “Phere” are also taken with the Mud pot, everything like a real hindu wedding. Later on the girl has to change the clothes, remove the thread and that thread is tied over the Mud pot and the pot later on is drown in some river or pond without letting some one know. Once the Ritual is done the girl is out of Manglik Dosh. She can now merry to the actual person and will not be having any further issues after wedding. Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai had one such marriage with a tree before marrying her husband, Abhishek.

6. Beating the Groom’s Feet | South Korea

Bizarre Wedding Rituals
The ritual of “beating the groom’s feet” takes place after the wedding ceremony in South Korea. The Groom’s friends remove his shoes and tie his feet together with a rope or sash. They then lift his legs off the ground and start beating the soles of his feet with a stick or dried yellow corvina. Yellow corvina is a kind of fish! It is believed that this will make the groom stronger before the first wedding night. It can be painful but it’s more fun than cruel. Actually it’s a fun tradition, the intention behind this is to check the groom’s strength and knowledge. He is often asked questions and quizzed during the test. This amusing ritual holds an important place in Korean wedding culture.

5. Carrying the Bride Across the Threshold

carrying the bride
The tradition of carrying the bride over the threshold is not a new tradition; it dates back centuries and has a few different origins. One most common belief is that this ritual began in Medieval Europe, where many believed that a bride was extra vulnerable to evil spirits through the soles of her feet. To avoid bringing in any evil spirits, the groom carried the bride into their new home. Also, some ancient believed that the bride had to show that she was not at all crazy about leaving her father’s home, and so was dragged over the threshold to her groom’s house.

4. Exorcise Ghosts by Marrying Animals | India

Marrying Animals India
In some parts of India it is believed that ghosts can inhabit certain people of the living world. Most notably, girls who are born with a baby tooth already erupted through the gum and girls who are very ugly or have some facial dissimulation are believed to be possessed by ghosts. The only way to break this weird curse is for the girl to marry an animal, typically a goat or dog. They manage a lavish wedding ceremony complete with booze and dancing. This is nothing but a mock ceremony and the girl is not expected to copulate with the animal. It’s just to ward off the evil spirits, she is free to marry a man later on.

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3. The Ritual of Blackening the Bride | Scotland

Blackening the Bride
Blackening of the bride is a very old Scottish tradition. It’s part of a hazing ritual that actually happens before the wedding. The bride is taken by surprise, by hands down the crummiest friends you could have, and covered from head to toe with all kinds of crap. It can be anything: spoiled milk from the back of your fridge right down to tar and feathers. The ritual of covering brides and grooms in treacle, soot and flour used to be carried out to ward off evil spirits. It still happens in some parts of Scotland.

2. Kyz ala kachuu | The Practice of Kidnapping Brides

Kidnapping Brides
Kyz ala kachuu, means “to take a young woman and run away”, is a pretty crazy ritual. It has been practised throughout history around the world. The ritual also known as “Bride kidnapping”, marriage by abduction or marriage by capture. It is a practice in which a man abduct the woman he wishes to marry. The young man abducting a woman either by force or by guile, often accompanied by friends or male relatives. They take her to his family home, where she is kept in a room until the man’s female relatives convince her to put on the scarf of a married woman as a sign of acceptance. It’s said that bride kidnapping still practised in some cultures like the Romani (known as Gypsies) and Kyrgyzstan.

1. Money Dance | Guests Pay to Dance with the Bride

Dance with the Bride
The money dance is an event at some wedding receptions in various cultures. It was originated in Poland during 1990s. During a money dance, male guests pay to dance briefly with the bride, and sometimes female guests pay to dance with the groom. At the wedding reception, the bride will dance with her father, while a relative holds out an apron. Guests who place money in the apron win the opportunity to dance with the bride. At the same time the dance includes bridesmaids and other ladies who dance.

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