The Russian wedding celebration consists of a number of different customs and traditions. In ancient times, people sacredly honored and observed each ritual. Just as now we have a toastmaster or a host, our ancestors also chose a human leader. He monitored the observance of all rituals, toasts, congratulations.
In past centuries, no marriage was concluded without matchmaking and matchmakers who decided various issues. Now, this is no longer there, only if in a comic form. The bride and groom decide for themselves how worthy they are and how the celebration will be held.
Strange Traditions Russian Brides Had to Follow in the Past
If you want to meet Russian bride, you should learn everything about wedding traditions to show that you respect the culture. It’s a bonus if you know both old and new traditions and can discuss them with your beloved. Before, the bride and the groom couldn’t make decisions about their wedding and their future life on their own. Their parents discussed how they would celebrate one of the most important days in their life. In most cases, parents paid for the wedding celebration and decided how exactly it’ll be held.
Brides had to cry before the wedding ceremony, lament and sing special songs, showing how sad they were because they had to leave their parents’ house. Did this mean that the Russian bride wasn’t happy to get married? Not at all. The woman had to cry, regardless of her feelings towards the groom.
Modern Wedding Traditions in Russia You Should Know
Not all wedding customs and traditions in Russia are strictly observed. Some have already outlived their usefulness; others were borrowed from other countries. The result is a whole complex of transformed rituals.
- Blessings from parents. The parents’ blessings stuck very well. Even if they decide to skip the morning blessing before the wedding, at the banquet itself, a toast from the parents will surely sound in the spirit of blessings. The parental word was always honored; it was important for the young to know that this marriage was approved.
- The ransom of the bride. The comic ransom of the bride came to replace the real ransom when the groom literally gave money to the girl’s parents in order to marry her. Now, this fun activity is designed to amuse guests, test the strength and ingenuity of the groom. All the money raised goes to the budget of the newborn family.
- A trip to the registry office. It can hardly be called a tradition; it is rather a necessity that must be passed in order to officially become a husband and wife. Of course, before in Russia there were no registry offices, there was a wedding. Now some young people who believe in God also prefer to go to church, besides registering their marriage in the registry office.
- The first dance of the newlyweds. Before, the first dance had a magical meaning. Round dances were performed around the young couple, and they themselves circled in a certain direction. Thus, they drove away troubles and evil spirits. Nowadays, the dance of the couple is part of the banquet, when the bride and groom show their choreographic capabilities to beautiful music, entertaining guests and showing love for each other. It can be a waltz, tango, or something else.
- Kissing when guests are shouting, “Bitter!” Guests shout “Bitter” with a glass in hand for a reason to make the newlyweds kiss. Earlier it was a sign that the glasses contain no water but strong alcoholic drinks.
Exciting Tradition at a Wedding: Family Hearth
This is a very exciting and beautiful ceremony that came to us from ancient times. Young people love it for its beauty and romance, but it also has a symbolic meaning. The essence of this ritual is that the parents of the groom and the bride light a candle and pass it on to the young, and at the same time, pronounce a parting word on how to keep comfort and warmth in the family. Modern newlyweds buy a special beautiful candle, usually a red one. The parents light it with the fire of their candles, saying kind and beautiful words. After this ceremony, the hearth remains with the newlyweds. They say that in difficult times you can light it up, and peace and love will return to the family, and all troubles will pass by.