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BIG LIST: Weird Weddings

Friday 13 May 2011, 12:38AM

While William and Kate’s wedding might take the cake for grandiose decadence, it really still falls a little on the conservative side (unlike the wedding opposite).

Here’s a taste of a few rather unusual traditions from around the world that probably won’t be making an appearance at the royal wedding (although we can always hope!).

Korea: After the wedding ceremony, friends of the groom take off his socks, tie a rope around his ankles, and start beating the soles of his feet with dried yellow corvina, a kind of fish! It supposedly makes the groom stronger before the first wedding night.

There is also a tradition where guests at the wedding throw various symbolic objects at the happy couple. These objects include chestnuts (symbolising respect) and jujubes (“daechu”) or dried red dates (symbolising diligence).

Scotland: Family members kidnap the bride-to-be and then pour some rather smelly substances on her. Would you like the recipe? Mix eggs, different sauces, butter, cheese, noodles, fish, sausages and carrots. Extra ingredients can be added at your discretion. When she is “blackened”, she is guided through town for everyone to see her.

Germany: In the north of Germany people have a “Kössenbitter”, usually one of bride's cousins. He wears a tuxedo and hat, and his duty is to deliver wedding invitations. Traditionally people give him two glasses of "schnapps" – one for the bride and one for the groom. He has several days to perform his duty, meaning his liver will cop quite a beating.

After the wedding, some couples have to saw a log in half working together. This should show how they will solve problems which will appear in their life.

China: The Tujia people, with a population of more than 8 million, live in central China. For them, crying is a regular part of weddings. A month before the big day, the bride cries for about an hour. Ten days later, she is joined by her mother. Ten days after that, her grandmothers, sisters and aunts join them too.

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China again: The Uygur people or Yellow Uygurs live in Sunan Uygur Autonomous County in G?nsù Province. During local weddings the groom shoots three arrows at the bride. Don’t worry, they don’t have arrowheads and nobody gets hurt. At the wedding ceremony the groom breaks the arrows and the bow. The act is symbolic, bringing eternal love and life together.

Still in China: The Daur people of Chinese Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Heilongjiang Province settle the date of the wedding in a rather interesting, and pretty morbid, way. The young man and his bride hold a knife together to kill a young chick. Then they analyse its liver. If it is of suitable appearance the date of wedding is decided. If not the happy couple kills yet another chick.

Okay Chinese weddings are just weird: The Gelao (Gelo) people live in the Guizhou Province located in the southwest of China. They call themselves Klau. For the Gelao girl it is not good to be a virgin. It is believed that the girl who gets married as virgin is a bad luck for the family and her future husband. That is why, to become less attractive to local guys, the girl who is still a virgin knocks out one or two of her teeth.

Malaysia: The Tidong (Tedong) tribe lives in the Malaysian state of Sabah and in Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province. Both are located in the north of Borneo. The newly-wed couple is not supposed to go to toilet for 72 hours. They spend the time in isolation closely watched by their families. They are given small amounts of food and water. No cheating is allowed. Releasing their bowels will bring them bad luck.

Greece: It is a tradition to write names of all single women at the wedding party on the sole of the bride's shoe. Women whose names have been worn off the shoe by the end of the ceremony will be married soon.

After the wedding, the bride throws a pomegranate at a door covered with honey. If fruit seeds stay stuck to the door the couple will have many children.

The Marquesas Islands: This small nation consist of 14 island in French Polynesia. Local wedding ends in a rather interesting way. The bride's relatives lay face down forming a row in front of the bride and groom. The couple leaves the wedding reception walking over this "human carpet".

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