MACEDONIAN WEDDING TRADITIONS & CUSTOMS
Wedding customs are part of the tradition of every nation. They make every wedding different and special. Special customs are practiced in the days before the wedding and on the very wedding day, which according to popular beliefs, have the goal to protect young people, to bring happiness and love and to unite in one family.
There are various ways of performing these customs and different beliefs and practices are inherited from different ends of the country.
In Macedonia, almost every town has at least one different custom done before or during the wedding. Often the Bride and the Groom do not know what must and where/how to do these customs. But what unites them all is the belief in luck and tradition.
We've listed bellow the most popular Macedonian traditions and their meanings... If there is something specific that you'd like to see added to our ever-growing product line, we'd love to hear from you! Feel free to contact us via email with your suggestions firstname.lastname@example.org.
The shaving of the Groom is a celebratory custom that takes place the morning of the Wedding. In ancient times it was believed that a Groom could be so nervous on his Wedding Day that he could cut himself, hence the need for a steady reliable hand. Unsurprisingly the tradition has become one of great theatricality and humour.
Nowadays this tradition has become a source of humour as the Best Man and friends pretend to shave the Groom using unusual objects, such as a knife, a sword, and an axe.
Buying of the Bride
One of the oldest customs which are still followed at Macedonian weddings in Australia is the "buying of the Bride'. In earlier times, the dowry system was highly prevalent in all the cultures. The groom used to buy the bride at a price mutually agreed upon by both the families. Nowadays, this tradition is practised just for fun.
Breaking of the bread
A young unmarried girl from the bride’s immediate or extended family bakes a round loaf of bread as round shape symbolises the lifecycle which has no beginning and no end. The dough for the bread is kneaded with a wooden spoon with an apple attached to the top as apples are a sign of love. This bread is broken over the heads of the couple to ensure happiness in their married life.
The father of the groom and the father of the bride participate in a competition wherein they break the bread in two pieces. It is believed that whoever wins the competition, their child will rule after the marriage.
Drinking of Red Wine
The Groom drinks wine in the house of the Bride. The wine is served in a glass which has a golden coin on the bottom. The Groom keeps this golden coin as a symbol of prosperity.
Filling shoes with money
The brother in law of the bride brings her bridal shoes, which are one size bigger. Then, he starts filling them with money to make them fit the feet of the bride.
Dumping a bowl or glass of water
Before leaving for the wedding ceremony, the bride kicks over a glass or bowl filled with water to symbolise a life which runs as smoothly as water.
A traditional Orthodox ceremony is expected at a Macedonian Wedding. These ceremonies are rich in symbolism and steeped in tradition.
The most famous elements of a Macedonian Orthodox ceremony is the crowning of the Bride and Groom in grand gold crowns.
They symbolise the beginning of a new kingdom and the glory and honour that God is bestowing upon them. The crowns are tethered together with a piece of ribbon to symbolise the eternal commitment the couple are making to one another.
Singing and Dancing
Traditional Macedonian weddings are incomplete without singing and dancing. The party starts as soon as the Groom and his side of the family enters the house of the Bride. The Macedonian band is arranged to play folk music dedicated to weddings.
The traditional Macedonian dance ‘Oro’ is performed by the couple and their families and friends. In this dance, everyone holds hands and stands in a circle as it represents the circle of life and family.
Macedonian "Pig Dance"
In the reception of some weddings, the male members perform a ‘Pig’ dance wherein they hold bottles of wine, knives, and a roasted pig to display masculinity.
This list can be way longer depending on the origins of the families but for now these are the most common ones practiced at Macedonian weddings here in Australia. The bottom line is despite the customs, rituals and traditions, two souls destined to be together wed. Everybody there is their witness and they are present to celebrate their love.
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