Ukrainian Wedding – folk traditions and rituals
According to a registry office employees, summer – the most active wedding season. But in fact, early in the summer no one gets married: there was no time to celebrate, because it was a lot of work in the field, and in the garden. Season weddings began in autumn, when the fieldwork was completed.
In the pre-Christian period were married in early spring when all alive is waking up from winter sleep and strive to build a new life. Therefore, it is this period of the year was considered the most favorable time for the formation of a new family. With the coming Christianity, this tradition has changed, because the Christian fasting, a drop-down at this time, forbade spending holidays.
In Ukraine, in wedding ceremonies for a long time was dominated by national traditions. Some of them are so old as now it is not easy to find an explanation of this traditions. For example, the tradition of pouring the wine and break the glass “for good luck” dates back to the faith in the God of the Sun, that is, from pagan times. Pouring a drink, we subconsciously bring a sacrifice to the God of the Sun, and the glass is broken, because no mortal dare not use the cup from which drink the God of the Sun.
Church marriage has long been a legal necessity for the Ukrainians, and after the wedding the young were a couple of years to live separately until a wedding. Church demanded to punish such alleged adultery. Only in the 19th century, when the church allowed to get married in the wedding day, the church and people were united by marriage.
Wedding action begins from the matchmaking. Headman chose respected elderly people with the ability to be the master of ceremonies, because of their eloquence often depended, will take the bride with “Garbuz” (groom refused by ukrainian bride) or towels (groom accepted by ukrainian bride). Married ukrainian couple, typically was from native village. When the bridegroom denied by all girls in the Ukrainian village (Sometimes it happens!), Headman went “hunting” on bride in the nearby village. Therefore the hut, where they lived a bride girl of marriageable age, were painted bright – for the visiting elders, it was a wonderful guide.
While woo to the guy can girl too. It happened, when the man had deceived lady and had sexual intimacy. For this women, this tradition has been saving, because to give “Garbuz” to the Ukrainian girl was considered unacceptable. According to folk tradition, the marriage could also save the man condemned to death. Although there are cases when the guy saw his savior, he longed for a speedy death, did not want to marry with this women.
There was also the custom of bride kidnapping: in this way it was possible to get hold and quite rich girl. The main thing for the villain – not less than a day to hide the stolen this ukrainian lady. Then he would have to marry with this lady (of course, if she wants it). Otherwise – he could be sentenced to death by a court!
Young man and Ukrainian woman soon became engaged: exchanging rings. From this moment guy could spend the night in the house of the bride. There is speculation that the so-called current law marriage existed before in the Ukraine and was called a trial marriage. On the so-called night parties the girls spent the night with the guys. Church resisted such a horrible promiscuity. In fact, in the whole territory of Ukraine girl’s virginity was required in the subsequent wedding ceremony.
Of course, no wedding is complete without the symbolic attributes. The first – a loaf. Its baked by bakers woman whose family life was happy and exemplary. Decorated wedding bread by a bouquet – a symbol of eternal love, and Kalina, symbolizing a woman’s ability to bear children. Widows and widowers, who entered into a second marriage, not baked loaves.
Honorable place on a table beside the loaf took Giltse. For its production took a gorgeous tree branch and decorated it with flowers and ribbons. Giltse symbolized beauty and virginity of ukraine girl.
The wedding started in the house of each of the newlyweds. When the man went to the bride on the way he can stop (and more than once!), Demanding a ransom for the bride: had to pay off a symbolic sum of money or goodies. Trading continued in the courtyard of the bride – the ransom demanded bride family too.
After a celebratory dinner, bride unleashed hair braid. This was doing by members of her family, although in some regions this made by friends of the bride. On Hutsulia hair does not unravel, and cut off by the ax, Volyn – cut with a knife. From this moment young women had to hide his head under a scarf.
After that people went to celebrate to the groom’s house. To a young family was rich, honeymooners sprinkled before leaving by the grain (now added candy – that life was sweet and small coins). Some of the relatives of the bride, as usually sisters, secretly transported the bride gown, shawl, plates, spoons – anything that might suddenly need a young wife. Before the court of the groom wedding train passing through a ritual fire and poured the water – for cleansing.
Wedding night takes place on the territory of the groom. In the morning the bed newlyweds subjected to scrutiny, and too bad if here does not find traces of girlish virginity – all bride’s family would be disgraced. And on the highest village tree village boys also will post white cloth – to mark a girl’s disgrace. Brother of the bride had to take it, but the guys watched the tree and in every way interfere with this, and even mocked. On this note, joyless marriage, in fact, ended.
If the wedding night was completed properly, holiday celebrations lasted several days. On Monday, the guests who came to “recover” after yesterday’s drinking, young washed at the well – again, a ritual cleansing with water. These days, with games, songs and changing clothes walk only adults: children and young people have after the wedding amusements not take part.