Marriage traditions in Ukraine
What does the Ukrainian traditional wedding look like? Why do two people exchange rings? Why are the dishes broken? Why are newly-weds showered with different food? The answer seems simple. In Ukraine a typical wedding ceremony consists of different ethnical elements. Definitely, they are worth describing, because there are plenty of interesting facts related to Ukrainian wedding traditions and customs.
Ukraine is widely known for complex marriage traditions, which run deep into history. Centuries ago weddings lasted for several days. At present, while it tends to be one of the most important events, especially for a girl, people prefer to celebrate their wedding for a day or sometimes two, as a rule on Saturday or Sunday. However, the core value of Ukrainian marriage customs remains the same. Marriage forges a bond of love between two people.
Frankly speaking, good old and new traditions are mixed together in Ukraine. Among them engagement, bride price, visiting the so called Civil Status Registration Office, church wedding, bridesmaids and a honeymoon should be mentioned.
What should be admitted is that Orthodox priests do not have the right to formalize relationships or officially register any marriage, because that is the prerogative of a registry office. Nevertheless, exchanging rings like in almost any country all around the world is a significant moment either in a registry office or in a church. Since ancient times, the circle has been a symbol of epic love and fidelity between a bride and a groom. Therefore, people believe that the wedding ring has no end or beginning and symbolizes the endless feelings. Ukrainians usually wear it on the right-hand ring finger.
One of the essential bridal attributes is a round bread loaf. After the ceremony, a husband and wife are met by their parents, offering the bread with a bit of salt. In such a manner, they wish a newly married couple continued prosperity and success, whereas salt symbolizes heartaches that invariably come our way in life. Actually, it means that two people are going to share their joys, weaknesses, desires and regrets. Both a man and a woman tear off a piece and feed each other, plunging bread into salt.
Besides, a husband enters the house, holding his wife in his arms. In ancient times, Slavs believed that evil spirits were waiting on the ground. Today Ukrainians often hold their beautiful ladies, entering the registration office, the church and sometimes the restaurant.
Guests shower newly-weds with candies, coins and rice, wishing them wealth and lots of children. After that, a fiancée throws sweets, sharing her excitement with friends and relatives.
After the wedding a bride throws her bouquet. Every unmarried girl wishes to catch flowers and hopes her dreams will come true. Their fighting for the bouquet might look really funny! Without any doubt, you will be fascinated with a traditional Ukrainian celebration.