I just came back from a Polish wedding this weekend, and while the hangover has passed (partly thanks to a healthy helping of Żurek soup, made with sour rye), I got thinking about the strange traditions of weddings around the world.
In Poland, the wedding celebrations traditionally last all night, and a second party is held at around noon the following day! Just after the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom are met by their respective parents, who hold a loaf of bread and salt. The newlyweds eat some of the bread dipped in salt. The bread represents the parents’ wish that the children never go hungry, while the salt is a metaphor for the hurdles which ultimately await every married couple.
Let’s take a look at some of the quirkier things people do at weddings around the world:
Once a South-Korean wedding is over, the groom’s friends take off his shoes and socks, and beat his (already smelly) feet with fish. This is said to prepare him for the first night of marital bliss!
In France, family and friends of the newlyweds bang on pots and pans following the wedding rites. This “mock serenade” celebrates the couple’s new marital adventure. It is believed that the new tradition around Europe of blowing car hons might be a modern extension of this ancient ritual.
It is customary in Germany for guests to break porcelain on the night before the wedding. This is meant to bring good luck to the couple, as the loud bangs and crashes ward off the evil spirits.