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Wedding Traditions

Weddings are a universal rite of passage and the process which moves an individual from their old lifestyle to a new phase in the cycle. The rituals and traditions for the exchange vary from country to country. In some countries wedding ceremonies may even be carried over for several days.

Clothing style may represent change in social status or may represent the significance of one’s culture. In many Asian countries, for example, wedding ceremonies share a common Confucian tradition. Color is significant in its role. The customary Korean bridal dress once was based on the costume of the royal princesses; however Korea is now more modernized and now models a western style.

These ideals compliment the association of tradition in relation to culture and religion; however there are other circumstances which accompany these concepts. Superstition and mythology also are key features.

It’s believed that wearing pearls on one’s wedding day eliminates future tears. It’s also considered to be good luck if a bride cries. Rain on a wedding day can represent good or bad luck depending on one’s beliefs. Dropping the wedding ring during the ceremony could ward off evil spirits. Bad luck is expected for the couple if the groom sees the bride in her gown before the wedding.

The “something old, something new, something borrowed something blue” is a popular rhyme that has been used since Victorian times. The “something old” represents the bond between the brides family and her old life, ”something new” represents the couple’s new life together and their future hope for happiness, “something borrowed” from a happily married woman is meant to impart similar happiness, “something blue” represents fidelity and constancy.

Rice is considered to be a “life giving” seed, thus, showering the couple with rice is a welcomed tradition. The ceremonial kiss that concludes the wedding is a symbol of the joining of souls. Placing the wedding ring on the third finger of the left hand has two origins. Egyptians believed the “vein of love” ran directly from the ring finger to the heart. It also may be thought of in union with the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost as the ring finger is the first free finger on ones hand.

In Holland and Switzerland a pine tree, a symbol of fertility and luck, was once planted outside a new couple’s home. In South Africa, the parents of the bride and groom carried a fire from the hearth of their own homes to the couple’s new home to fortify the couple’s new beginning. In America, two white doves were set free to symbolize love and happiness.

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