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Bizarre International Traditions

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Throwing the bouquet, dancing a first dance, cutting the cake together - these are all typical wedding traditions that we celebrate in Western culture. And though some of them have some pretty strange origins, the majority of our traditions don't seem too far fetched or extreme. But around the world, wedding traditions are quite different. And there are some down right strange and bizarre wedding traditions that might make you appreciate our traditions a little more.

Here are some of the most extreme wedding traditions that we were able to find from around the world:


1) Spitting on the Bride? 


In American culture, spitting on the bride would be a surefire sign of disrespect, but in Kenya, the Maasai people actually see it as a symbol of good luck and good fortune. For this reason, all fathers are required to spit on not only their daughter's head, but also their daughters breasts before she makes way with her new husband. It's also customary for them to spit on their hands before shaking hands with elders, and to spit on newborn babies to bring about good luck.


2) Beat them - with food


Brides around the world sure do have a rough go, and spit isn't the only thing they are being pelted with. In Scotland there exists a particularly gross wedding tradition where the bride and groom are pelted with trash and food. And they aren't being pelted with strawberries and whipped cream either. In most cases, it's the smelliest of food that makes it's way to the alter - rotten eggs and fish are the best! What's the deal with this crazy tradition? Many Scots believe that if the couple can withstand the disgusting lashing, than they will also be able to withstand anything their marriage should throw at them. 


3) Marry a Tree before you can Marry Me


In India, some women are born Mangliks (women who were born under very specific astrological conditions). According to their beliefs, women who are born under these conditions are thought of as cursed. Not only that, but it is believed that if they are married, their curse will lead their husband to die young. So in an attempt to lift the curse, the woman must marry a tree before she can marry her husband. Our question is, what happens to the tree after it marries a Manglik?


4) No whale, no marriage


To what extent would you go to for true love? Well in Fiji, a man will go to great lengths to marry a woman. Here, a man must give the father of the bride the gift of a tabua (a whale tooth) before he is granted permission to marry his daughter. How they get their hands on a tooth, we have no idea. 


5) Hold that thought...and that bladder


Ever had to pee so bad you thought your bladder was going to pop? Well, on the Indonesian Island of Borneo, newlywed couples feel your pain. Here, the ancient traditions of the Tidong Tribe confine newlywed couples to their homes for three days and three nights. Of course, that doesn't sound that bad. Besides the fact that neither party can use the bathroom during these three days, and what could have been a romantic rendezvous quickly turns into a painful and unpleasant nightmare.  If the couple succeeds, it is said that they will have a long, happy, fertile marriage. But if they fail, they are doomed to an eternity of heartbreak and misery. 


Of course, we are just tipping our toes in with these strange wedding traditions. In Northwest Africa, Mauritania, women are sent to "fat farms" to plumpen them up before the big day. In China, the bride must cry for an hour every day for the month leading up to her wedding. In Korea, men have their feet beaten with canes to prove their strength and character. And the list goes on and on. But without spending hours talking about wedding traditions, there is one thing thing that we should take away from the lessons learned today - be thankful for our unoutrageous wedding customs here in Western Society! 

What traditions exist in your culture?
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