Old Russian wedding: modern fiction and real facts

Old Russian wedding: modern inventions and real facts

If ordinary travel is more than a little fed up with you, “Subtleties” invites you to make a fair trip through time and go to Ancient Russia. In order to visit a real old Russian wedding, look at the preparations for it – and make sure that not everything that is now being told about ancient wedding rites was true.

6. The groom could never see the bride before the wedding

It's true. It happened that the parents of the guys themselves decided with whom they wanted to intermarry. Therefore, they also chose their future wife themselves. The main characters were matchmakers. They tried to find out what dowry they give for the bride, how rich and strong the family is. The appearance of the girl also mattered, but not the key. So the groom could only find out on the wedding day whether his betrothed was beautiful. This was not common everywhere. Often a guy and a girl have known each other for a long time and even chose each other themselves. The groom could steal the bride's shirt and give it back when she agreed to become his wife, or catch and bring her her wreath, which she floated on the water.

5. The bride's parents “drank away” their daughter

If the matchmakers and the parents of both families agreed that there would be a wedding, a feast was immediately arranged. In different regions it was called differently: collusion, zapoiny, zaruchiny, magarych or sing< /i>. Alcohol was really present at this holiday: according to tradition, it was brought by the mother and father of the groom. However, the word “sing” in the name of this meeting did not come from the word “drink” at all, but from the word “sing”, because there were many songs at the matchmaking. So “drinking” is a myth, but not really.

4. Bachelorette parties have not been celebrated before

Many people think that the tradition of hen and stag parties, in order to finally break away before the wedding, has appeared in modern times. But this is a myth. Previously, bachelorette parties were also arranged – with songs and dances. Moreover, it was allowed to invite the groom with friends to this event. True, the bachelorette parties were not as wild as they are now.

3. The bride was “buried” alive before the wedding

It's true. For many years in Russia there was such a rite, designed to appease the spirits of ancestors and show them that the bride does not leave her kind of good will. In addition, after such a “death”, she should have been born as a married woman. The bride was washed three times, “conducting” her in this way through the worlds of the dead, the living and the gods. But, of course, no one buried the girl in the ground. Before the ceremony, the future wife was covered with a shroud, which could only be removed by the newly-made husband. So the modern veil, apparently, bears traces of gloomy symbolism. It was obligatory for the bride to mourn her fate bitterly, even if she was happy to be married.

2. Wedding marches have not been played before

This myth is connected with the fact that Mendelssohn's march was written only in 1842, and began to sound at weddings even later. But in Russia, even without any Mendelssohns, they had their own wedding melodies. True, the actual marches appeared only when musical instruments came into use (the first were psaltery, flutes, pipes, rattles). Before that, they sang wedding and other ritual songs – their own for each stage of matchmaking and celebrations.

What else to read?

  • The disgusting Middle Ages: what they ate at rich feasts and in poor shacks then
  • Old Russian feast: what they ate in the royal mansions and poor peasants' huts of that time
  • Ugly antiquity: what happened at the rich revels of that time

1. The bride and groom were not fed at the wedding

It's true. During the wedding feast, the bride and groom could not eat a crumb, except to bite off a piece from the wedding loaf. All the treats were intended for the guests, and the newlyweds began to be fed with wedding dishes after the wedding night.

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