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Superstitions in Scottish Wedding Traditions

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Scottish wedding traditions are considered a primary source of the most of the western world marriage superstitions. Here are a few of such superstitions that you may found in Scottish culture..

Young men and women who wanted to find out the name of their future wife or husband would spend hours peeling an apple skin as a continuous ring and throwing it over their shoulder as the clock strikes twelve. If the skin fall carving out an alphabet, it was believed that the future husband or wife would have a name beginning with that alphabet.

A Scottish girl eager to know the tenor of her future life, she could drop a few nuts into the fire and watch them, burn. If they burn quietly, her life will be peaceful. If they burst and explode, she can expect fireworks in the future relationships.

The custom of Valentine Dealing also originated in Scotland. You will find all the young men and women gathering together on Valentines day at a common place. The names of all the young men and women are entered into slips of paper and placed in separate hats. The names of one male and one female are withdrawn from the hat and they are expected to date for a year from that day onwards! The concept of exchanging Valentine cards on Valentines day is said to have originated from Scottish wedding traditions.

While traditionally, it is the man who must make the move and propose to his bride, there are exceptions to this rule in Scottish wedding traditions. If you are a maid who has been “left on the shelf” you can rectify the problem by proposing to the man of your choice on the 29th day of February.

Engagement in Scottish wedding traditions

If you are a Scot and you decide to get engaged, you will perhaps perform this very romantic ceremony. You and your fiancé will stand on either side of a burn and dip your hands in water before holding hands and promising to wed!

You may also enjoy the custom of going to bed with your betrothed to get to know her better. Unfortunately, you will be going to bed fully dressed and the girl will have a bolster tied to her legs! Perhaps that is why the custom is called “Bundling”.

If you are the male, you may like to gift your fiancé a Luckenbooth for luck. This is a traditional Scottish symbol of luck and protection against evil spirits. Couples often preserve the luckenbooth and pin it on the blanket of their first child for luck.

Dowries and the Bottom drawer in Scottish wedding traditions

Under Scottish wedding traditions no bride would like to go to her new home without your dowry. She must take with her a collection of bed linen, blankets, table linen and bedroom furnishings for her new home

Before the wedding….

A few days before the wedding the bride and the groom in Scotland bid farewell to their bachelordom in style. If you are the bride you will go through the ceremony of feet washing. You will be made to sit with your feet in a tub while your female friends wash your feet. A wedding ring of a happily married woman will be placed in the tub and all the friends scramble for the ring in the belief that they will be the next one to get married. Sometimes, the event can turn into fun and riot if the bridegroom is captured by the bride’s friends and made to sit in the tub.

As the Scottish bride’s mother, your parent will then hold an “open house” to display all the presents you have received from your friends. After this event you will be dressed in curtains or other household linen. You will be given a baby doll, a plastic potty with salt at its bottom and other small items to carry around with you. Friends and guests invited to the open house will drop money into the potty. Sometimes you may be made to go out in procession round the town with friends and relatives singing songs, banging pots and pans. You may have to exchange kisses for money with people whom you meet on the way!

If you are the groom, you will be dressed in a padded outfit to look like a pregnant woman and you will be taken out by your friends around the town, under Scottish wedding traditions. The “Stag” party would often end up in a pub drinking and merry making. In some parts of Scotland you may be stripped off your clothes and tied to a tree for a night.

Another Scottish pre-wedding custom demands that the groom should carry a huge basket filled with stones on his back round the town. This was known as creeling. However, if his bride agrees to kiss him, he is exempted from the task!

Ceremonial Scottish Wedding Traditions

On the day of the wedding, you as the bride will be given a silver sixpence to place in your shoe for luck. The bridal party will be showered with flowers on the way to the church. However, the party must reach the church without encountering a funeral or a pig lest they must return back home. The first person met on the way will be given a bottle of whiskey and a coin by the bride. He will then be forced to walk with the bridal procession for at least a mile before he can continue on his way.

As per Scottish wedding traditions, the bride and groom will meet outside the church to take your vows. The clergyman will kiss the bride and bless the food that is brought by the guests. A mass will then be held in the church. Ceremonies include handfasting, pinning of the tartan and the presentation of the family sword by the groom to the bride.

The entire wedding takes place to the sound of bagpipes and visuals of traditional Scottish dresses. After the ceremony, a page presents a horseshoe to the bride. As you leave the church, your groom will throw coins in the air and children will scramble for them.

In the evening you and your groom will hold a reception where a traditional Scottish wedding cake will be cut and distributed to the guests. This cake has two tiers and only one tier will be eaten during the reception. The other will be saved to celebrate the birth of the couple’s first child.

As the newly wedded couple you will lead the dance on the floor. The second dance is reserved for the bride and the guest of honor. The last dance is the special choice of the bride. She dances to the music with her bridegroom, maids and the best men at the wedding.

Your friends will then escort you home by walk. Oatcake or bannock will be broken over the head of the bride and passed around to everyone. The groom will carry the bride over the threshold and the Minister blesses the newlyweds, their home and their marriage bed.

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