How was the wedding ceremony held in Russia
The wedding ceremony is the most intimate ritual in the life of every person. We all strive to find a soul mate, we dream of connecting fate with a man of the opposite sex, very similar to us and close in spirit.
The rite of matchmaking is rooted in our distant ancestors — in the time of Ancient Russia. Then the rituals were given more attention than they are now, but to this day the wedding ceremony has not lost its popularity. Despite the fashion for civil marriages, most of the newlyweds still tend to tie themselves to the legal bonds of marriage.
In this article we will tell you how wedding ceremonies were held by our ancestors.
Wedding ceremonies in Russia: features
For the conclusion of a marriage between our ancestors, it was important that the bride and groom were fully consistent in status (this also included the financial situation). For well-to-do women, the same suitors were selected and vice versa.
It is noteworthy that the future husband and wife could not even see each other before the wedding ceremony. As a rule, parents were engaged in choosing a bride for their son.
At the same time, marriages were concluded at a very early age — the girl should have been no more than 13 years old, but by that time she already knew how to run the house, which she had been taught from early childhood.
The wedding rites of the ancient Rusich were performed in three stages:
- first there was matchmaking;
- then the giving of a dowry;
- and then a hen and bachelor party were held.
In more detail all the stages we consider further.
When the decision was made to enter into a marriage, the bride and her relatives were actively preparing to meet the groom with his parents (that is, matchmakers). For this meeting, organized a celebration with a delicious lunch.
The bridegroom should have come with his kin (they took his father, grandfather, brothers) on a cart, which was carried by horses. The cart was decorated with ribbons and bells, so that when you first look at it, it became clear that matchmaking was ahead.
And the bride, hearing the approach of her contender, ran out into the street and met the matchmakers.
Then the relatives got acquainted. The groom presented gifts to the bride’s parents.
This ceremony symbolized respect and the presence of serious intentions about their daughter.
Donation of dowry
When parents blessed the marriage union, they set a wedding date. The bride then prepared her dowry with her mother, elder sister and grandmother.
The nature of the dowry was dependent on the financial situation of the family. But usually it was clothes and household items, paintings, bedding items, carpets, and so on.
Hen party and bachelor party
The bride should have organized a hen party. It was held 3 days before the wedding ceremony.
But, in contrast to the modern version of a fun party, then all the women living in the village, friends and relatives gathered at the bachelorette party. Also compulsorily invited vynitsa. She sang a sad song that brought the future bride to tears.
It symbolized farewell to young years of life, carelessness and parents.
Crying at the bachelorette party, the bride had to be done without fail — otherwise, an unsuccessful marriage union awaited her.
Then all the women were invited to the dwelling — they drank wine, ate and cried. The bride should bestow all those present with two corbel.
After this, the collective singing of songs began. If the parents allowed, then the girl with her friends went to the field (in the summer), and in the winter — went sledding and sang songs loudly.
At the end, the bride took her best friends and went to the bathhouse, where she was bathed before the wedding.
As for the groom, in his case the situation was not so cheerful — he had to go to the bathhouse alone and not to say a single word during the whole night.
Wedding in Russia
The wedding was a stage 2 solemn ceremony of marriage. The first part of the ceremony was held in the morning, before sunrise.
The future wife had to read various spells from the evil eye in the dwelling of her future spouse.
Then the groom came to the bride, but before he got his future wife, he had to cope with a lot of difficult tasks. Everything was in a fun way.
All the girl’s relatives took part in this.
First of all, the groom closed the entrance to the village, and then to the gate. If the groom did not manage to overcome obstacles — he had to pay with money.
The wedding ceremony itself was very fun and solemn. When the young people entered the venue, the bridegroom’s mother poured oats and millet on them, which symbolized wealth in the future union.
Everyone was traditionally invited to the wedding: relatives, neighbors and friends. Even strangers could quietly enter it.
What did the white color of the dress mean
It was not for nothing that the dress for the wedding was chosen white — the color personified the innocence and spiritual purity of the bride. If the bride at the time of marriage had time to lose innocence — she was forbidden to wear a white dress.
Composing a bouquet for the bride was engaged in her mother-in-law. For this purpose, used only wildflowers (even in winter).
Traditionally, the wedding in Russia was celebrated for three days. Thus, the newlyweds were tested for endurance.
They had to sit out for 3 days, if they wanted to live a happy family life.
On the second day, the newly-made husband and wife went to the bed prepared for them in advance (it was not necessarily in the house, it could be a barn, and a hayloft and a bath). There they made love, and subsequently anyone who wanted could go in there and check the girl’s attire, which confirmed her innocence.
When the young couple returned to the wedding party, the matchmaker should have removed the veil from the bride’s head and put on the kiku. Further we will give this moment increased attention in order to understand what it meant.
The ceremony of removing the veil from the bride
The tradition of covering the bride’s head with a veil came to Russia from Western states. Before that, instead of veils, used wreaths with flowers.
The removal of the veil had a very symbolic meaning — it indicated that now the status of the girl had changed and now she turns into a married lady, leaves the parental home, matures, raises her family and is ready for the birth of her own children.
After removing the veil, the bride becomes the wife and, accordingly, the keeper of the family hearth.
This ritual has not lost its relevance to the present — today the bride is also supposed to take off her veil, thereby sending her to adulthood.
So was the wedding ceremony of our ancestors — the Slavs. Some aspects of it have survived to this day (for example, the removal of the veil, holding a bachelor party and a bachelorette party), and some have irrevocably sunk into oblivion (for example, the matchmaking stage).
In any case, it is necessary to respect the traditions of the ancestors, because they have great wisdom and have accumulated a lot of life experience, which is passed from generation to generation through rituals and rituals.
We advise you to also watch a video that will tell more interesting information about the wedding in Ancient Russia
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