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Belarusian wedding traditions

The girls are so pretty, they can’t help but laugh.

The evening is coming and their hearts’re full of love.

The mother’s so excited cause guests’re on the way

So happy they are on this wonderful day!

 

Singing songs, joking and dancing boys went through their village to invite smart girls for "celebrations" and "gatherings". Who knows, maybe the heart knows better, what house the right girl lives in.

If a girl did like a boy, first of all, he was to propose to the bride's parents. If a girl was beautiful and hard-working, up to16 boys could propose to her for a season.

However, if a girl won’t like a boy, she could even kick him out of the house with a broom in her hand!

After parents gave their permission, it was time for a girl to make a decision. As a rule she answered “If my parents are agree, I agree too.” Since that moment both families began to prepare for the celebration. Beforehand, the families gathered at the engagement dinner to discuss the wedding.

A fiancée had been preparing her dowry since childhood, so at 17 she had quite a big chest. She also got some money, livestock, glassware or even a piece of land from her parents.

A fiancée made wedding dress on her own or borrowed it from friends and sisters. Since ancient times, there was also a ceremony of young girl’s farewell with her unmarried girlfriends, which was called “subornaya subota” (gathering Saturday). And before the wedding, the girls gathered in the house, wove wreaths and sang songs.

Weddings were celebrated for two or three days, depending on the financial ability of the family. The whole village knew about the wedding.

According to the tradition, when newlyweds came into their new house, a husband was to carry a wife over the threshold covered with rushnyk, a ritual towel with ornaments. People believed this ritual would ward off everything bad from the couple.

According to another tradition fiancée’s and fiancé’s fathers got a lock with a key. Newlyweds believed that if they throw a lock into the water, nobody and nothing will be able to hamper their happiness.

As well as each ritual, each dish also had its sacred meaning.

Scrambled eggs symbolized the purity of the bride, honey symbolized sweet life, and chicken was the symbol of welfare and maternity.

There also was a round loaf on every table. It was to be baked by women who lived happily in their marriage. By giving this loaf the women gave their happy life as a gift to newlyweds.

A red sash, tied on the waist, was the talisman of eternal love.

Another feature of Belarusian wedding is a bride tree. A groom with his friends was to pay money for a brunch of Christmas tree or a bouquet of dried herbs and flowers. Across the country, there still remains a tradition according to which during the celebration a bride is to unbraid her hair and to tie a scarf on her head. The ritual symbolizes her becoming a wife, and later a mother.

Belarusian wedding traditions