Traditional Slovak Wedding

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  • Přidal/a: anonymous
  • Datum přidání: 23. února 2007
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Příbuzná témata

Traditional Slovak Wedding

I. Intermediation and matchmaking of the wedding

Matchmaking of children’s wedding was always a business of a mother or of a female part of a family. Mother and her friends and female family members were looking for a good bride for her son. After the agreement between two families, mother and son’s godmother did a little research in the house of his future spouse. Then the talks between the future bride’s in-laws and groom’s parents started. At first girl’s parents were not completely willing to let their daughter to marry. They argue, that she was too young or so, but after all they asked her whether she wants to marry. But, this question, when the agreement was already set, was just a formality and was a practical form command.
After the agreement, the girl with her family came to see the house and the farmyard of her future spouse and his parents. The term of the wedding was settled immediately or later. The most weddings have been in the winter, so that the preparation would not interrupt the agricultural works on fields and around the farmyard. II. Engagement

The engagement was done at the house of bride. It was connected with feast and first exchange of presents. The “starejší” (mostly the godfather, or the local community leader) talked about the marriage and the cited the Bible. Then the girl gave to his future groom a scarf, they shook their hands and finally exchanged the wedding rings. This was a symbol of the end of their freedom. III. Preparations for the wedding

The preparations were most intensive in the last week before the wedding itself. These preparations were connected with many magic rituals and do’s and don’ts because to improve the future life of the couple. On Thursday, which was supposed to be a lucky day, women, none of them could be a widow, came to the house of bride and put some talismans into the eiderdowns. For example, pigeon feather for love and faithfulness; some herbs, piece of sugar should protect the couple against the spells and sorcery; coins should bring money and wealth; the eiderdowns should not to be banged, so that husband will not beat his wife; and at the end of whole process they sat a little boy on the eiderdowns, that the girl will bear son. On the Friday, nothing except baking was done, because the Friday was considered as a day of bad luck. On the Sunday, the bride’s trousseau was transported to couple’s future house.

The trousseau consisted of a large, painted, wooden coffer; one or two eiderdowns, four to six pillows in red-white slip. On Sunday afternoon, the bridesmaids came to the bride’s house and prepare her for the ceremony. They made a wreath for a bride and feathers for a groom. The bridesmaids later started to invite the guests. The guests, as they came, they brought presents in the form of food and groceries for the wedding feast; wheat and grain for bride. Bride with bridesmaids sang a leave-taking song and dance. Similar ceremony was held at groom’s house. On Monday morning, groom’s godmother brought him a new shirt, feather, cakes and (distilled) spirit. Bride was dressed by bridesmaids and by bride’s godmother. The dressing was also connected with superstitions and magic rituals - the reversed under-skirt, bread, garlic, and parsley – all this things should protect bride against bewitching and spells. When the bride was ready, she kneeled on a scarf and starejší thanked parents for raising her, he told the bride to keep obeying her parents and to ask them for a blessing. The leave taking at the groom’s house looked the same. Then the groom with his suite went to the bride’s house and asked her starejší for her. When he accepted, then the groom and his suite and the bride with her suite went to the church. IV. After the ceremony at the church

After the wedding ceremony, both suites and guests return to the bride’s house. In many parts of Slovakia, impeding the access to the house became on of the humorous wedding customs. Then the feast started after all guests were at the spot. The meals were served by the best men. Before every meal, one of the best men had an ironic toast, making fun of newlyweds and hungry guests. After the feast the bride was “taken” away from her family, siblings, friends and neighbors. Then she got on the couch and went to the groom’s house. Her arrival into the new house was attended by another bunch of customs and magical rituals, which should bring happiness, prosperity, children, (preferably sons) and protect the house against the demons. After all ceremonies, the bride and the groom (or best men) had a first dance in a new house. The dance was attended by the light of twelve candles. The fire and the candlelight had in the Indo-European societies defending and purifying function.

V. Act of removing the wreath and act of “bonneting”

Before the dawn, bridesmaids and bride’s godmother took the bride into the pantry. The best men removed the bride’s wreath, put it up on a stick or sword and showed to the wedding guests.

Then “starejší“ brought the groom. The groom and the bride went to bed and all the guests went to sleep.
On the third day of wedding the most important act was promoted – the act of bonneting the bride. In the morning the guests met at the house of the newlyweds to have a rich breakfast. After the breakfast, the “main” bridesmaid and young girls from the village (not the bridesmaids) made the bride a new hairdo and put a bonnet on her head. She had to sit on a wooden bucket full of water, this should bring her fertility and she should bear a son in one year’s time. Then the best men took the bride among the wedding guests. Now, she was a young woman. Then she started to dance with the guests - bride went from one hands to another. In the afternoon the guests were welcomed by the young husband and wife. Next to the couple stood the best man with a plate. Every guest had to congratulate the newlyweds and put some amount money on the plate. The couple’s payback was a feast with music and dance. VI. Wedding games and the end of a feast

The last day of a wedding was full of manifold games. One of the most favorite games was the execution of a rooster. Boys caught a rooster, brought him to the yard of the wedding house. One of the young guys was judge and listed all the sins of a poor rooster and sentenced him to the death. The rooster was beheaded by one of the young boys and later was roasted and eaten. In the other game, some of the guests dressed into masks and tried to steal some things from the houses, which owners were at the wedding. Later they bid the stolen things, when nobody took the thing, it was taken to the innkeeper as a deposit. Other games included the shaving of male guests and striking the horseshoes to women. The last meal of the wedding feast was the porridge with honey. The porridge was brought by a cook with bondage on a hand. She told the guests, that she burned herself and asked the guests for money to pay doctor. At the end “starejší” thanked the parents for rich feast with lot of food, he thanked guests for attendance and presents and gave everyone piece of cake and meat – a hamper.

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