BELIEFS AND ETIQUETTE
Hazelnuts in lieu of dice
Put two hazelnuts near to one another over an open fire.
If one of them gets roasted well, your love shall be frank.
If one of the hazelnuts jumps out of the fire, infidelity is to be expected.
If both hazelnuts are roasted at one time, the couple shall marry with no problems.
What should the bride have on
The tradition for “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” to wear comes from the Victorian times.
“something old” means that the newly weds would stay friends after the wedding. Some happily married woman may gift something old to the bride to pass her happiness on.
“Something new” is related to the future: health, happiness and victories.
“Something borrowed” is given to the bride by her family and she has it on during the nuptials, and then she takes it back to bring her luck.
“Something blue” is a symbol of luck because blue color means faithfulness and constancy (in Israel brides have been entwining a blue ribbon ad a sign of fidelity).
The wedding ring: why on the fourth finger?
In times gone it has been thought that in the left-hand fourth finger (ring-finger) there is a vein which reaches the very heart. This vein has been called “Vena Amori”, i.e. “the vein of love”. In mediaeval manuscripts one might see notices that the ring should be put just over this vein.
Why does the bride stay on the right side
This is no accident and it has its historical explanation. In the past it has been imperative that a man should wear his weapon on his right shoulder in case he might defend himself against a bride’s relatives attack. Sometimes members of her family would have liked to take their ‘stolen maiden’ back using force. She has been standing on the right to ‘cover’ her beloved.
First of the three kisses …
In ancient Rome the kiss was a symbol of the legal union, through which agreements were signed. Christians entered this ritual in the wedding ceremony and it was believed that when the young couple was kissing part of their souls united through the exchange of breaths.
In the remote past across the Bulgarian lands man was to kiss his wife thrice in his life: when contracting the marriage, when a boy had been born and when his wife died.
Piece of the cake should be kept a year after
Traditionally, the young couple is to keep either a piece or the lower “storey” of the wedding cake to celebrate the first year after their marriage with it on the table. It is good if the piece of cake is put in the fridge just the very night of the nuptials. It is also part of he ritual that the figures of the newly weds on the top of the cake better be given to this couple of guests who are expected to get married sooner.
And do not forget: the one who treads first on the shoe of the other, he is to be the lord of the house.
The wedding dress color
The ritual to use the white color in all cases of significant festivities has been entered by the Romans.
Till 6th century brides wore silverfish dresses and then Queen Victoria forced he white color upon all of them – as a symbol of purity and virtuousness.
In 19th century brides chose brighter colors such as blue, rose, green and yellow. The yellow color, still in often use at nuptials, especially in USA and UK, refers to the days of love and fruitfulness.
In the Islam religion bride’s color is black while in Japan and China – it is red (it is believed that red brings luck).
Now there is a plenty of forms and colors in the wedding dresses fashion. Many designers have blue, light lilac, rose, red and even black dresses in their collections. They are symbolic for the independent and dynamic woman of the new century and for those who do not always obey traditions. A few years ago dresses were sewed with trains but now it is either missing or a separate part to the dress which could be taken off during the occasion in the restaurant for comfort. The veil which has always been bride’s symbol and lifted by the bridegroom after the wedding rings exchange is now not obligatory.
So, be yourself. Have a choice. Manifest not just your taste but your essence – to give the lie to Nicolas Chamfort who has ironically said that dresses are the forward to a woman, and sometimes – even her whole content…
Do you know that…?
… between engagement and wedding at least a month should pass: thus the families of the newly-weds could clean and tidy, complete their deals and be prepared.
… Friday is good for the beginning of a wedding. It is a day during which they clean, butcher, arrange gifts, prepare. In Sunday the young couple bakes bread for the sponsors.
… a sponsor’s bread with ten wood pins fixed in it and a manikin, a female one, is made in the maiden’s home, and in the boy’s home the manikin is a male one. They decorate these breads with strings of pop-corn; the breads are given to the sponsors on Sunday.
… on the eve bachelors bring the shirt sewed by the maiden to the bridegroom and the ‘hostage’ brings the dresses to the bride.
… when in Sunday the two groups go to the best man, they bring some chicken soup in a copper and he has arranged a table. There they sit first and then all go to the bride’s home.
… the car(t) is decorated, horses are adorned with towels and a pine-tree – decorated staff - is being given to the best man. Here comes his wife too. They both arrange a copper of water and basil as well as a plate of wheat. The bride trice throws corn out of this plate over her shoulder. The best man’s wife veils her and braids her hair in two plaits. Bridegroom’s brother takes her outdoors with a small ring-shaped bun and a kerchief gifted by him.
.. in the car(t) the newly-weds look at one another through/across a ring but she is veiled. After the church, when they go to the bridegroom’s mother for the wedding she takes the bride off the car(t) and they both make three crosses above the door: who does it faster she shall predominate in the house.
… the newly-weds visit the sponsors at Shrovetide – with cooked chicken and a wooden wine vessel. And at Easter – with an Easter cake and red-colored eggs.