Cultural Notes: Wedding Traditions Around The World
The Czech Republic :
Friends would sneak into the bride's yard to plant a tree, then decorate it with ribbons and painted eggshells. Legend said she would live as long as the tree.
Brides in the countryside carry on the very old custom of wearing a wreath of rosemary, which symbolizes remembrance. The wreath is woven for each bride on her wedding eve by her friends as a wish for wisdom, love, and loyalty.
The traditional wedding cake is the cornucopia cake or Danish marzipan ring cake, made of almond cake, pastilage, and marzipan and beautifully decorated with sugarwork. It is filled to the brim with the good things in life: candies, almond cakes, perhaps fresh fruit and sorbet. The cake may also be decorated with marzipan medallions bearing portraits of the bride and groom.
Families, rather than grooms, propose to the bride. In Egypt , many marriages are arranged. The zaffa, or wedding march, is a musical procession of drums, bagpipes, horns, belly dancers, and men carrying flaming swords; it announces that the marriage is about to begin.
Traditionally, the village bride and her wedding party always walk together to the church. Leading the procession: a small girl strewing blossoms along the road, so the bride's path through life will always be happy and laden with flowers.
Brides sew a good luck charm, such as the silver horseshoe worn by royal British brides, to the hem of their wedding gown.
The groom presents the bride's father with a tabua- a whale's tooth, which is a symbol of status and wealth.
More countries next week!
Information from "Bride's All New Book of Etiquette"
(January 1994 Berkley Publishing Co. NewYork, NY)