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Wedding Traditions

Russian customs

A traditional Russian wedding lasts for at least two days and some weddings last as long as a week. Throughout the celebration there is dancing, singing, long toasts, and a lot of food and drinks. The best man and maid of honor are called witnesses, “svideteli” in Russian. The ceremony and the ring exchange takes place on the first day of the wedding and on this special day many events take place. Throughout the years, Russian weddings have adopted many western cultures, including bridesmaids and flower girls.

Traditional wedding rituals
Paying the ransom - Once the groom arrives at the bride’s home, he must pay a ransom for the bride, a term in Russian known as “vykup nevesty”. The entire event is played out in a comical fashion and everyone is entertained.
Traditional Ceremony - In the next step, the bride and groom have an optional traditional ceremony in a church or a synagogue, depending on the couple’s religion. In Russian this is called the “venchanie”. Churches or synagogues do not have official government status and a civil ceremony must be held.
Civil ceremony - Following the traditional ceremony, the couple must have a civil ceremony called “rospis v zagse”. This ceremony takes place at the department of public services, formally known as ZAGS. At ZAGS the couple is greeted by family members with bread and salt. The ceremony ranges from 15 to 30 minutes and during this time the rings are exchanged and the couple is pronounced husband and wife.
Tour of the city - Following the civil ceremony, the newlyweds and their witnesses, travel around the city on a limousine and view many historical sights. Sometimes very close friends join as well.
Reception - After touring the city for several hours, the couple meets the guests for the reception.
The first toast is made to the newlyweds and after the first shot, the guests begin to shout “Gorko, Gorko, Gorko,…”. “Gorko” means “bitter” and the guests are referring to the bitter wine. At this point the couple must kiss for a long time to take out the bitter taste of the wine.
The second toast is made to the parents.
The new couple dances the first dance of the night.
As the night continues the guests dance, sing, play games, and make toasts.
For the next several days, the family continues to eat, drink, and celebrate.



Comments

Student
09:24 12.05.2008

Wow I'm going to copy and paste all of this into my family studies report, THANKS


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