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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Rodriguez

Part 2: Traditions at Wedding Receptions

In our past blog Traditions at weddings receptions we talk about some of the most common traditions in western weddings, as well as some wedding traditions around the world. On this occasion we want to go deeper into the subject and talk about some other traditions related to the wedding in different cultures.

We know that a wedding celebration is a unique and special event all over the world. The coming together of two people to start a journey and a family is definitely a moment to celebrate. It is a celebration of love.

You will think that as a wedding DJ and having attended countless celebrations, we have seen it all but we’re constantly spoiled by brides and grooms from different backgrounds around the world introducing us to new and interesting wedding traditions. Here are some of them.

Chinese Door Wedding Games

Door games are an important part of Chinese weddings. Door games are used to determine many aspects of the couple’s future: luck, children, and more. The ancient Chinese door games, called chuangmen, originated from the idea that a bride is a prized daughter and her family would never let someone take their most important possession easily. It is rooted from the ancient fear of families and friends that were hesitant in seeing their loved ones marry and go away.

This games require an outside party, usually friends or other family members. These participants create tests for the groom-to-be. Some common ones would be trying bitter foods (representing endurance during bitter times), physical and dance challenges (representing your declaration of love), and questions about how well you know the bride.

Hiundu Ponkhavu

Cultural weddings are filled to the brim with tradition, and Hindu weddings are no exception.

For example how the groom has a series of celebrations and traditions before the bride ever enters the scene, one of these being the Baraat and Ponkhavu. This is where the groom and his family arrive at the wedding and the groom is treated to a ritual welcome called the Ponkhavu by the bride's mother. The bride's mother marks the groom's forehead with kumkum, a sacred red powder signifying good luck, and gives him a coconut to signify fertility. The groom then holds this coconut while she places a set of clay bowls on the floor for the groom to step on, crushing it into many pieces, symbolically demonstrating that he has power to overcome all the obstacles that the couple may face in their married life.

Vietnamese Tea Ceremony

The purpose of a Vietnamese wedding tea ceremony is for the groom to ask the bride’s family for her hand in marriage and celebrate the union of the two families while honoring their parents, family, and ancestors. Back in the day, you have cows, horses, and gold as dowry to give to the bride's family. During these days, the red trays (Mam Qua Do in Vietnamese) represent the dowry. The red trays consisting of roasted pig, wine, tea, sticky rice, and desserts, symbolize prosperity and wealth that the groom can bring to the bride’s family.

Guests are dressed in traditional Vietnamese attire called Ao Dai. The bride is usually wearing red or white. Before letting the groom and groom's family in the house, he has to offer money, play games that test his strength to prove to the family that he can take care of the bride and perform various tasks to show that he's the right man for the bride.

Polish Sharing of the Salt & Wine

The sharing of the bread, salt and wine is an old Polish tradition. At the wedding reception, the parents of the bride and groom, greet the newly married couple with bread, which is lightly sprinkled with salt and a goblet of wine.

With the bread, the parents are hoping that their children will never hunger or be in need. With the salt, they are reminding the couple that their life may be difficult at times, and they must learn to cope with life's struggles. With the wine, they are hoping that the couple will never thirst and wish that they have a life of good health, and good cheer and share the company of many good friends.

The parents then kiss the newly married couple as a sign of welcome, unity and love.

Jewish Ketubah

The ketubah is a Jewish marriage contract that is validated before a wedding. The couple, a rabbi or cantor, and witnesses all participate in the signing of the ketubah.

The ketubah or marital contract has been an essential part of Jewish weddings for thousands of years. The exact rules about what should be written in a ketubah and who should sign it vary depending on if the wedding is Orthodox or modern. In all instances, witnesses are required to read and sign the document. Once it is signed the ketubah is read out loud at the ceremony, and then it is usually displayed in the bride and groom’s new home.

They also do the 7 circles where the bride circles the groom 7 times once she gets to the end of the aisle, breaking of the glass and the blessing of the challah.

Iraqi Zaffa

In traditional Iraqi or Middle Eastern weddings the groom and his entourage make their way to the bride’s home to collect her. His male family members and friends will be hanging out of their cars tooting horns and singing and basically making as much noise as possible! Everyone must know a wedding is happening. Once they reach the bride’s house the groom meets his beautiful bride adorned in her white dress and veil and escorts her and the bridal party to the venue.

Before they enter, traditional musicians (Zaffa) will precede the couple into the reception. If the couple were living in a town or village the Zaffa would meet them at the bride’s house and they would play for the couple and their guests as they traveled to the venue, these days the musicians meet the couple at the venue for the procession. Added to this cacophony of noise the women will be ululating (Zaghareet). The bride, accompanied by her father, arrives with only the mezmar playing and the attending women will also do a lot of ululating (zaghareet). The bride and groom make their way to the stage where they sit on the sofa (kosha).

The night is filled with entertainment, music, dancing and feasting and continues well into the early hours of the morning.

Each culture and each country has rituals to wish a promising future to the new couple. It is always interesting to learn more about these traditions.

One of the most important elements in a wedding celebration is MUSIC. In previous blogs we have talked about the importance of hiring a DJ with the necessary experience in weddings and who has participated in all these traditional rituals.

GCStar Punta Cana is a wedding DJ company with more than 8 years of experience. We have had the opportunity to work in weddings from different cultures and we know the needs of each of them.

Contact us to learn more about our services.

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By Veronica Rodriguez


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