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9 Ancient Wedding Traditions From Around the World

Photo: Jeanann Wilkinson

Every culture has traditional marriage rituals, from the Bulgarian throwing of figs at the departing newlyweds, to the seating of a doll on the bride and groom's wedding table (Puerto Rican). Here are a few rituals to celebrate your heritage that you may not even have known about:

African-American

Jumping the broom. Since African slaves were not permitted to marry in America, they would make a public declaration of their love and commitment by jumping over a broom to the beat of drums. The broom has since come to symbolize the newlywed act of setting up home.

Chinese

The color of love and joy in China is red, so during the ceremony the couple drink wine and honey from goblets tied together with red string. Find out more Chinese wedding traditions here.

French

The couple often drinks the reception toast from an engraved two-handled cup -- the coupe de marriage.

German

The bride carries salt and bread in her pocket to ensure bounty; the groom carries grain, for wealth and good fortune.

Indian

The groom's brother sprinkles flower petals over the couple at the end of the ceremony to ward off evil.

Japanese

The couple takes nine sips of sake, becoming husband and wife after the first sip.

Mexican

A traditional pinata is fun reception entertainment -- especially for kids! A sweet addition: Guests often form a heart-shaped ring around the couple before their first newlywed dance.

Polish

For village weddings, friends weave a crown of rosemary leaves, symbolizing remembrance, for the bride.

Turkey

Before the bride walks down the aisle, she asks her single bridesmaids and relatives to sign the sole of her bridal shoes. After a night of dancing and prancing, tradition states that the person's signature who has faded the most will be the next to marry.

Incorporating one of these acts into your ceremony is a great way to add originality, as well as to pay a special tribute to your background and heritage.


-- The Knot

See More: Wedding Customs