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Strangest Wedding Traditions around the World
Posted on 17/10/2017

SocietyUnited Kingdom

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Marriage is a part of daily life regardless where you are in the world. However, the stereotypical white dresses and confetti aren't as omnipresent as you may thing... We have compiled a list of 20 of the stranger wedding traditions some of which are still practiced to this day!

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  • Congo

    The happy couple is not allowed to display their happiness! Smiling is interpreted as a sign of not taking the union seriously, and so is frowned upon.

  • France

    There is an old French custom where the bride and groom eat a meal out of a chamber pot! This meal is normally a concoction of leftover alcohol from the previous night's celebrations. Unsurprisingly this tradition has fallen out of practice in recent years.

  • China - Gansu province
    China - Gansu province

    Gansu's Yugur people have a wedding custom that is not for the fainthearted. The groom must shoot arrows, which are considered to bring good luck, at his bride! But don't worry, there are no arrowheads attached to the arrows.

  • Fiji

    When proposing to his prospective fiancée, it's traditional for the man to present her with the tooth of a sperm whale! This of course is rather controversial, given that this particular species of whale is considered endangered.

  • Guatamala

    On the day of the wedding, the parents are allowed to smash anything they want. The ?smashing of the bell? tradition sees the groom's mother break a ceramic bell that is filled with rice and flour.

  • Jamaica

    In Jamaica, weddings are very much a community affair. One rather controversial tradition sees the villagers line up to see the bride and check whether she's up to scratch. If they deem her not good enough they will publically criticize her until she goes back to get ready again. On the day of the wedding, the parents are allowed to smash anything they want. The ?smashing of the bell? tradition sees the groom's mother break a ceramic bell that is filled with rice and flour.

  • Kenya

    The Masai people in Kenya have a wedding tradition which sees the father bless his daughter by spitting on her breasts and head. After the couple are married they bride must not turn around to look at her father because it is believed she may turn to stone.

  • Czechoslovakia

    Before the couple takes their vows, a baby is placed in their bed. The custom dictates that this increases fertility.

  • Indonesia

    One wedding tradition in Indonesia is not permitting the newlyweds to leave their house during the first three days marriage. Some people go even further and prevent the couple from even going to the bathroom!

  • Russia

    As a sign of respect some couples in Moscow take wedding photos by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near Red Square.

  • China

    In parts of the country, bridesmaids put the groom through a series of tests to make sure that he is suitable. Even if the groom passes all of the tests with flying colors, he must also pay the bridesmaids with customary red envelopes filled with money!

  • Niger

    During a reception held in the desert guests watch a camel perform a dance to a drumbeat.

  • Russia/Ukraine

    Here, the betrothed eat sweet bread called known as a karavay, which is decorated with wheat for prosperity and interlocking rings for faithfulness. The newlyweds compete to take the biggest bite, and thus win status as head of the family! This custom is also practiced across the border from Russia in Ukraine.

  • Venezuela

    It's good luck for the bride and groom to sneak away without being noticed. The first guest to notice that the newlyweds have left will also have good luck.

  • Mongolia

    Traditionally, the betrothed must kill a young chicken and slice it open until they find a healthy liver. This is said to bring good luck, although we are not sure how exactly.

  • French Polynesia
    French Polynesia

    Towards the end of the wedding, the bride's relative must lie side-by-side, and the couple walk over them, stepping on them as they go.

  • China - Wuling
    China - Wuling

    The Tujia ethnic minority, of the Wuling Mountains, have a tradition in which the bride must start crying for an hour every day for a month before the wedding. She is gradually joined by her mother, then her grandmother, and by the end every woman in the family is meant to weep together. This is considered an expression of joy as they wail in harmony!

  • Sweden

    Whenever half of the couple leaves the table, it's permitted for friends to steal a kiss with the one that's left!

  • India

    In some parts of India it is considered bad luck when a man or are born when Mars is situated in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th, 8th or 12th house of a person's Rashi, which is the Indian astrological calendar. If you are born during this time it is believed that your married life will be an unhappy one. To counteract this a special ceremony has to take place before the marriage which sees the person with the unfortunate birth date be symbolically married to either to a banana tree or a statue of Vishnu.

  • Scotland

    Known as ?The Blackening of the Bride,? this tradition involves friends and family throw alcohol, treacle, ash, feathers, and flour at the bride. Originally it was believed that this banishes evil spirits and encourages good fortune.