From women marrying trees to the bride’s father spitting on his daughter, we count ten bizarre marriage rituals that actually exist!
10 – Marrying a Tree,
- In certain parts of India, it’s believed women born under the astrological sign ‘Manglik’ are burdened with an ancient curse that will lead their husbands to an early grave.
- To ward off this curse and prevent their betrothed from a horrible fate, Manglik women must first marry a tree. The tree must then be cut down or destroyed, which is thought to break the curse and leave the bride free to safely remarry.
9 – Bedding Rituals,
- In some African villages, it’s completely normal for newlyweds to share their marital bed with a village elder. This older woman – usually a prominent matriarch figure or even the bride’s own mother – lends her sexual expertise in assisting the couple with consummating their union.
- That’s right: this selfless woman helps out, ensuring these fumbling virgins get off – pun intended – on the right baby-making foot. And you thought your mother-in-law was overbearing!
- Bedding rituals also occur in other cultures’ wedding ceremonies. For instance, in Eighteenth Century Europe, inner-circle wedding guests and religious leaders often hung around after the ceremony to watch the newlyweds get down and dirty for the first time. This was to confirm the marriage was officially consummated, so it could be deemed legal.
- It was also acceptable for these guests to get in on the action too. Their participation in bedroom practices was considered a community blessing.
8 – Newlyweds Denied Bathroom for Three Days,
- If you’re a newly married member of Northern Borneo’s Tidong community, it is prohibited for you to the bathroom for three days and three nights.
- Disobeying this restriction will bring about years of bad luck and could cause the breakdown of your union, the death of your children, or even infertility. I guess they consider bladder infections good luck.
- To help with this difficult task, soon-to-be-married couples are starved and given very little water. I’m sure this unusual tradition leads to a lot of pre-marital bed-wetting.
7 – Blackening the Bride,
- In this strange Scottish tradition, friends and relatives of the bride show affection by covering her with gross items like dead fish, curdled milk, rotten food, tar and mud. These items are mixed together in a bucket and thrown over the poor bride.
- Next she is tied to a tree and taken out for a long night of hard drinking. The belief is that getting through the night means she can handle anything, including marriage.
- This tradition, known as ‘blackening the bride’, still occurs in some parts of Scotland today.
6 – Shooting Bride With Arrows,
- In China’s Yugur culture, a groom is required to shoot his bride three times with an actual bow and arrow.
- The arrows are headless, so there’s little chance of the wedding turning into a funeral, but they’re still very painful.
- After shooting her, the groom collects each allow and breaks them one by one. This ensures that their love will last forever.