Global Wedding Traditions 2
As mentioned earlier in Part 1 of the article wedding traditions vary enormously around the world across different countries, religions and cultures with only a few common themes including platinum wedding rings. The biggest comparisons between wedding ceremonies can be drawn from traditions in the UK and those outside of Europe.
In Colombian Christian weddings following the ring ceremony, which like here in the UK often includes platinum wedding rings the bride and groom each light a candle. The candles represent the life of each individual. After that, the happy couple then light another candle together and put out the first candles, leaving only the one that they lit as a couple this is symbolic of the two becoming one. In Mexican Catholic wedding ceremonies, the bride leaves her bouquet to the Virgin Mary at the foot of her statue in hope that she will be blessed with a long and happy marriage.
One of the important events in a Nepalese traditional wedding requires the groom to put a pinch of red-coloured powder on the bride’s forehead. This symbolises that they are now husband and wife, similar to the exchange of platinum wedding rings here in the UK. The colour red on a woman’s forehead differentiates whether she is married or not in Nepal. In most countries and religions a marriage is between two individuals however in the Sikh faith some weddings are arranged and others are love marriages, when a couple are to be wed it is considered a marriage of two families not just two people, this is also very important in many African cultures that value the family unit immensely.
Caribbean wedding ceremonies do vary slightly from island to island however a few traditions are common practice, one tradition is for the bride and groom to walk to the church from either of their homes and the people of the village will stand out and watch them wishing them luck as the church bells chime. Weddings in the Caribbean often include lots of music such as steel drums and dancing and they do not follow the tradition of having a best man.
In Thailand a marriage ritual for the bride and groom involves the couple sitting together on the floor, each with their hands pressed together with their fingers pointing up under their chins. The couple’s hands are also linked by a chain of flowers. The oldest relative of the families leads the wedding ceremony and to wish the couple luck, he dips their hands in a conch shell containing water. Their parents and other guests will then all do the same.
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