Source: "Tour Info" journal
When it came to hospitality, to the ancient Greeks it was the first commandment of life. Anyone under your roof, beggar or fool, became as a member of your family to be treated with generosity and respect.
Perhaps the greatest example of how highly hospitality was regarded in ancient times, can be seen by the actions of Hercules – that man of inordinate strength whose labours are legendary.
One day, several friends dropped in unexpectedly on Hercules. Greeting them immediately with a smile, Hercules plied them with wine, and exhorted them to check out the larder for anything that might take their fancy. Several hours later, the guests mellow with drink, noticed the absence of Hercules’ wife. When asked to explain the reason why she hadn’t come to greet them, Hercules continued to smile, offer them more food, and did his best to divert them from the subject of his wife.
For people of Eastern descent, the customs and traditions of a Western wedding may seem odd. In fact, it may appear that there are no distinct characteristics. In truth, part of the Western wedding customs includes freedom and independence to celebrate in whatever manner the bride and groom wish. However, there are a few standard customs that, although they may not be practiced at every wedding, are acknowledged as being traditional.
The traditional clothing worn by the bride is a white gown, usually floor length. The white symbolizes purity, but can be adorned with beading or sequence. This is a custom that is still very popular in Western weddings. However, many brides choose variations of the traditional style, such as short dresses or an off-white version. The groom and his party will most often wear black tuxedoes. Traditionally, these are worn with ties; however, many popular styles also have no collar with a button clasp at the neck.
Do you remember what is was like to be a little girl and dream of your wedding day? How many of you pictured yourself in your mother’s dress or wearing your grandmother’s necklace from her wedding day?
Heirlooms can be anything from a bracelet to a handkercheif, but there is something to be said about that warm and fuzzy feeling that you get when you are able to participate in a tradition that has so much meaning to your family. And “heirloom” doesn’t have to mean old, memories are always in the making, so why not start with you?
Quality is the first thing that you need to look for in an item that could potentially be an heirloom. Without quality construction, no item will last long enough to be in the family for generations to come.
The union of two lovers has understandably been steeped in tradition for centuries. Over time, some wonderful and interesting customs have sprung up around this important rite of passage.
One of the nicest may be the tradition of the bride's gathering "something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue." These four items each represent a special symbol, and the very act of carrying on this tradition provides a real connection with past and future brides and the people close to them at the time of the wedding.
The meaning of the item for "something old" has to do with the bride's heritage. Usually, a treasured family heirloom will be chosen, often a piece of jewelry.
The West African tradition of Jumping the Broom dates back to 18th Century Ghana. It is said that couples practiced this ritual as a way to ward off evil spirits, pardon their pasts and jump into a new life. This tradition eventually stopped over time.
Incidently, Jumping the Broom was also an Ancient Celtic tradition that represented fertility. It is possible that the Celtic masters of African slaves may have suggested this ritural to be practiced as a sincere representation of marriage to the public since couples were not allowed to marry. The tradition fell out of practice once blacks were allowed to have European style weddings with rings.
Some fun wedding traditions from the past are still very much a part of today’s wedding ceremony. Some traditions are well known and done often, such as, the bride tossing her bouquet. The woman who catches the bouquet is supposedly the next one to be married.
Origins for today’s wedding traditions are very interesting. For instance, one belief is that the origin of the wedding ring was from an African custom wherein grass was used to tie the couple’s wrists together during the ceremony. Another theory is that the first engagement rings consisted of string or grass.
As a bride, your wedding day is one of your most important days, so a beautiful and flattering hairstyle is a must. Below are some tips for a successful wedding day hairdo.
The type of hairstyle, veil, and gown you choose will determine the type of headpiece you should wear. A good way to measure your headpiece is to have your hairstylist style your hair ahead of time how it will be worn for your wedding. Your headpiece can then be measured for a perfect fit. Although not necessary, a headpiece can create the perfect “finished look.”
In the evening, after the guests are gone, the priest unties the red and green ribbons from the hands of the wedding couple. During that ceremony the best man keeps above their heads a sword and a shield. The bridesmaid makes the bed for the couples. The red wine, honey, candy and fruits are placed next to the bed. During that night no one was staying at the house. The family members were spending the night by their relatives. Early in the morning the bridegroom was shy to come to his parents house, and was going to one of his relatives place. In the evening the relatives were bringing the bridegroom back to home, where he was kissing the hands of his parents.
The bride’s parents had to give a dowry. It included minim 3 items of bedding, collection of girl’s lingerie, some kitchen items, furniture, land, etc. It is interesting to mention that the presentation of the dowry is also a very important ceremony. All the relatives were gathering and starting to count the number of glasses, plates, and clothes and comparing them with other brides’ dowry. The dowry stories were with the village till the next wedding was taking place. All these things are totally incomparable with nowadays reality. Now the girl’s father may take out a key of the car or even a house from his pocket, sometimes even both, and gives to the couple.
The Best Man and his wife are the second important persons on the wedding after the bride and bridegroom. That’s why their choice was always hard and quite responsible. They should serve as an example for the new couple, and get them out of troubles during their married life.
After choosing the bride, the next stage is “Promise Taking”. A woman that was well known by both families was chosen. Her role for making the wedding happen was very important. She was supposed to convince the bride’s mother, that the bridegroom is a great boy. Afterwards, the mother was supposed to do the same for her strict husband. For ensuring the success the bridegroom’s parents were hanging a big spoon in their house before the visit of the liaison, which was most likely symbolizing a common kitchen. The idea of the “liaison” is still kept in nowadays, because she is able to inform about their intentions to the both families, but now the difference is that fortunately they are not hanging spoons from the walls.
The agreement between the families was tightened with expensive presents such as golden ring, colorful shawl and other jewelries. This ceremony was known as giving a “Loan”. Nowadays, this expression is used by real estate agency agents while trading with houses :)