In Honor of Valentine’s Day

Fabulous wedding rituals and customs of people of the world

During the development of civilization humankind, which consists of various cultures and religions has made a great contribution to the wedding rituals and customs. Many of them are amazing and incredible, but some are unnecessarily cruel and merciless.


For example, in Spain, newlyweds had to overcome all sorts of obstacles on their way to a wedding night. The villagers chased them, and if they managed to catch a newly married couple, they made them sit down back to back on a donkey, tied them with a rope and cut with sharp sticks. They sometimes harnessed a newly married to a plow and made them plow a land.


In Albania, during the wedding it was very important to fool evil spirits which, according to local beliefs, always seek to prevent newlyweds from good fortune. Within the first three nights after the marriage a young wife was obliged to resist having intimacy with her husband. That was done in order to prove the evil spirits that newly married were chaste and virtuous.


Sweden is a country of free morals. Extramarital affairs were widespread among young people. After the wedding, the invited girls and guys broke into pairs and went home. This was called “a night of wooing” or “a bed of partnership.” In the villages girls often did not marry as long as they got pregnant, which was considered as a proof of the ability to have children.

Australian aborigines

Australian aborigines had a very barbaric custom. A savage, who contrived to marry, armed with a heavy cudgel, went into the woods and stalked hunting women from a neighbouring tribe for some days. Finally, choosing a future spouse, he waited until she stayed alone, quietly sneaked up behind her, and lowered cudgel on the head of his chosen one with all his strength. The girl lost consciousness, and the lucky groom stole her into the bushes and, if it succeeded, brought her to her senses, then he took her under the strict personal supervision in his tribe. He took publicly advantage of her, as a proof of his strength and valour, and his tribesmen acclaimed him.


Curious wedding ceremonies and traditions exist in Kenya. During the honeymoon a young husband has to wear women’s clothes to feel how hard a feminine part is. Wife’s hands and nails are painted with a special ceremonial red and black pattern as a sign of her new status. This pattern keeps the whole year.


In Nigeria, if a girl does not gain a required weight before marriage, she will be returned to the parents’ home. The beginning of family life is symbolized by joint jumping of newlyweds over a broom. The guarantee of successful marriage in Nigeria is considered the weight of a bride. The bigger the bride is the greater is her chance of getting married. For this reason, marriageable girls are placed in a special “incubator” where during the year they live motionless eating loads of food rich in calories that deliver by their families.

American Indians

There were times when the American Indians brides were worth their weight in gold. A young man who wanted to start a family had to prove valour and courage accomplishing innumerable exploits. The hero, having collected gifts, came to the house of his darling, and within a few days waited for an invitation to her parents who were insulting and scolding him, and sometimes using as a free labour. If, however, the groom pleased her parents, they allowed him to enter a house and started bargaining for a bride.

African tribe “Igbo”

The passionate suitors from an African tribe “Igbo” have the heaviest share as compared to males from other countries of the world. A claimant to the husband status has to pass between two rows of his future wife relatives, who beat the unlucky male with sticks. If the groom has strength and endurance to stand the test without uttering a single moan and groaning, he is considered ready for a family life.


Wedding ceremonies and customs in India symbolize the unity with nature. In some parts of India there is a wedding ceremony … with trees. The fact is that according to the local customs, the younger brother can not create a family until the elder brother gets married. If the younger brother would like to marry, his elder brother should get married to a tree. They choose the most magnificent tree, usually it is a sycamore, dress it up as a bride, bring a groom to the tree and proclaim them a husband and a wife. Then they arrange a small wedding feast. At the end of the feast, the guests take out an axe and stump the tree with the words: “Your wife is dead!” When the “inconsolable” widower returns home, the younger brother can marry.


In Somalia newlyweds are hunted by cruel spirits of African bush. To fool the evil creatures, they palm off a fake bride and a groom, who take all misfortunes away from a young couple. Of course, not everyone is willing to sacrifice their own happiness and accomplish such a feat. Therefore, only true professionals get to work and ask a high price for that. At the same time, a young couple should hide in a secret, but a safe place where no evil can reach them.


In Nepal, all talks about future marriage are carried on between two future moms. “A groom” and “a bride”, who are embryos, are announced engaged. If children are of the same sex, the engagement is terminated.


In Macedonia, everything takes place fairly. Newlyweds are locked in a cellar for a wedding night. The floor is carpeted with fragrant pine needles, and they do what they like. But the main thing is a fight for a hat and boots. Anyone who takes a hat will be happy in a marriage. If the winner gets boots as well, the second spouse is considered be at his/her command during the whole life.


In Java a wedding is a means of fighting with the rats. It is not an easy thing to get married on this tropical island. Newlyweds pay a special wedding tax. In a local registry office a bride and a groom must show twenty-five rat tails to the authorities! Divorce is more complicated: in this case the tax is increased to forty rat tails!

*Originally posted on


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