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Wedding Traditions

Jumping the Broom

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.

Today, the resurgence of Jumping the Broom is a matter of personal choice for couples that want to pay tribute to tradition by reclaiming their heritage. The process usually occurs just at the end of the ceremony or upon entrance to the reception.

Many couples that choose to include this tradition in their wedding ceremony will invite the members of their bridal party and/or family to decorate the broom. Here are some considerations for preparation.

  By: Debbie Wallace

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