devoted partners, but there are a few wacky wedding customs from around
the world that can throw a spanner in the works. From throwing soot over the
bride to banging pots and pans on the couple?s wedding night, some traditions
are just plain weird.
Blackening of the Bride and Groom
Up in the Highlands of Scotland, there lies an age-old wedding custom that quite literally puts the bride and groom in a sticky situation. The ?Blackening of the Bride? ritual involves throwing treacle, soot and flour, at the happy couple to ward off evil
spirits that might undermine their marriage. Nowadays, it?s a good excuse for the in-laws to hurl things at the bride and it?s believed that if you can endure the blackening, then you can handle marriage.
The wedding night is one of the most sacred events of a marriage, but for some communities in France, it?s a chance to bang pots and pans outside the bridal suite throughout the night. Charivari, also known as ?rough music?, is an old French folk
custom where vociferous villagers would ?serenade? the couple in a very public and very loud ritual.
However, Charivari?s use wasn?t always one of cacophonous celebration. Sometimes, French townspeople would take to pots and pans in an effort to force unmarried couples to wed, demonstrate disapproval of a marriage or even announce the home
of an adulterous villager. Given the myriad meanings of the clamour outside their windows, this ritual must have been quite confusing for newly weds. The modern age is a little more forgiving, though, and today Charivari is largely ceremonial. Don?t expect to get full peace and quiet on your wedding night, however; couples must also provide snacks for the noisy revellers.
You?ve seen them in movies, read them in books, and listened to them in songs: all?s fair in love and war, love hurts, is blind, is a battlefield, etc. There?s a trove of cliches about love and pain, but for certain Chinese newly weds, it?s a bit more literal. A custom from the millennia-old Yugur culture involves the groom at the wedding ceremony shooting three arrows at the bride before breaking the bow and arrows. Luckily, the arrows have no heads but it can still be painful for the fair bride. If done correctly, though, story has it that they will love each other forever.
The Forbidden Bathroom
Possibly one of the most bizarre traditions in this list, a custom for tribes of Tidong in Northern Borneo forbids newly weds from using the bathroom for three days and nights following their wedding ceremony. And yes, that means everything. If the couple engages in, you know, human behaviour and uses the toilet or washes, terrible luck will be brought on them and their marriage will be doomed. So strict is the custom that others actually take it in turns to watch over the couple to ensure they are given only the minimal amount of food and drink to survive.
Weirdest Wedding Traditions: Stealing Shoes
Indian weddings are well-known for their vibrant, colorful nature and this next custom dates back centuries. In some parts of India, the groom must remove his shoes before reaching the altar. Ostensibly focused more on footwear than the marriage, the bride?s family?s objective is to steal the groom?s shoes and hide them in obscure places. On the other side, the groom?s family must protect the shoes and try to stop this from happening. If the bride?s family, normally the bridesmaids, successfully steals the shoes, they can demand a large ransom from the groom for the shoes? safe return.