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Secrets of the wedding night: rituals of the peoples of the world


Traditions relating to the first wedding night were almost all peoples. And almost all of them, one way or another, are connected with the virginity of the bride. True, everyone approached this issue from different points of view. In some countries, it was obligatory to keep virginity, in others it was easier, and in others, virginity was considered a disgrace.

For example, our ancestors did not attach much importance to virginity. They did not see anything shameful in premarital relations; moreover, there was a so-called trial marriage. The bride and groom could live together for some time to understand if they are suitable for each other. Even a girl with a child could be a bride, in some ways even more desirable than a childless one, in this case it is known for certain that a woman can give birth. And these traditions could not be eliminated even during the time of Christianity.

Nevertheless, the first wedding night was still considered something special and was accompanied by certain rituals. The young were closed in a separate room, but they were not left alone. All night long, various relatives walked around and teased the groom, gave advice, joked … And it is natural that in such an environment it is not surprising for the groom to blunder. In this case, he was given two more attempts. If the young husband could not cope even for the third time, a temporary replacement was found for him: an older relative, a godfather, or the most honored guest.

There are even more amazing traditions.

In Europe in the Middle Ages, the right of the wedding night took place. The bride saw her off not with her legal husband, but with her overlord. Scholars cite various possible reasons for this custom. In particular, it was believed that a certain danger was associated with the deprivation of virginity, which goes back to the custom of giving virginity to deities. And the more experienced overlord protected his subjects in this way. Perhaps the custom was born in this way, but over time it degenerated into the satisfaction of one’s own lust. So the overlord could well refuse unattractive brides, and with beautiful girls this rule was strictly observed.

In some African tribes, the groom knocked out the bride’s two front teeth on her wedding night. And in some countries (in the Philippines or Mexico) on their wedding night, or even several nights, the newlyweds abstained from sex, as they drink alcohol at the wedding feast. In other countries, by the way, including in Russia, on the contrary, newlyweds were forbidden to take intoxicating drinks.

And in other tribes of the same Africa, girls were deprived of their virginity even before the onset of menstruation, and an absolutely stranger had to do this. Most often some traveler passing through the village. If by the first menstruation the girl remained a virgin, this was considered a shame, and she could well remain an old maid.

In Samoa, the wedding night takes place in the bride’s house, surrounded by sleeping relatives. And it must pass in complete silence so that no one wakes up. Otherwise, the passionate groom will be beaten. Men, by the way, with this in mind, smear themselves with oil before a date: it’s easier to break free and endure beatings.

An interesting custom in the Bakhtu tribe, Central Africa. There, instead of sex, the newlyweds are engaged in a completely different thing: they enter into a fight. And they fight until dawn, after which they go to their parents’ houses to sleep off. After all, the next night they will fight again. And so on until the young feel that they have exhausted all the anger at each other for years to come. Sometimes such battles dragged on for a week. And extremely rarely, but still there were deaths.

And the strangest customs associated with the wedding and the first wedding night are among the Nayars, a tribe in one of the states of India. That is, the wedding itself and the first wedding night (or rather, three whole nights) are not much different from the weddings of other local tribes. But for all peoples, a wedding is the beginning of a life together. In the same tribe, on the fourth day, the husband leaves his wife, and then each of them lives his own life, with whom he wants and how he wants. And changes lovers as he pleases. And another lover is responsible for the children born to a woman, until he is also replaced.

This is how diversely they relate to such an important event in life in different countries and among different peoples.

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