There are so many cultures here in Toronto and just as many wedding traditions from around the world. In any age where mixed marriages dominate, at least here in Canada, couples take variations of traditions and personalize them for their weddings in order to embrace the two cultures and unite the families. We looked for some of the most unique and symbolic traditions and this is what we came up with. If you have more to add, please do so by commenting in the comment section.
Jewish: Breaking of the Glass
The breaking of the glass at the end of the Jewish Ceremony under the Chuppah represents the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem. The Groom crushes the glass with his right foot as the guests shout out “Mazel Tov” meaning Good luck as the couple sets out to rebuild the ‘house of God’ within their now married lives within their happy Jewish home.
Republic of Macedonian: Pig Dance
In the Republic of Macedonia they take part in what is known as the Pig Dance. Usually the Groomsmen come out clanging knives and carrying a huge platter with a whole roasted pig. This symbolizes the couple’s first meal together as husband and wife. The pig is circulated from table to table and guests toss money onto the tray to wish the couple prosperity in their married life together.
Indian: Painted Hands or Henna
Usually held a day prior to the ceremony and often combined with Sangeet, the Mehendi Ceremony (Painted Hands) symbolizes the bond that marriage brings between the couple and the family. They also say the darkness of the Mehendi on the Bride’s hand indicates how deep the couple’s love is.
The literal translation here is 3-3-9 times. The ceremony itself involves the Bride and Groom sipping Sake from 3 different cups 3 times in turn. Since 9 is a very lucky number and symbolizes happiness, sipping nine times by each one in the couple means unity and a happy start to their marriage.
Russian: Ransom for the Bride
On the day of the wedding the Groom has to go to her Parents house and ask for his Bride. He then undergoes a series of tasks, banters and must offer payment and jest to win the parents over so that he can have her. Once he fulfills all the family’s wishes and they feel he is worthy, he is allowed to see his Bride-to-be.