Marriage customs differ for different cultures and societies but whatever the customs may be, marriage is a symbol of unity, happiness and prosperity. It is a message for beginning a new life based on sharing and togetherness. This is the prime reason why the institution of marriage and the marriage traditions have evolved and grown over the hundreds and thousands of years. Marriage customs and wedding traditions are important part of the marriage as they are helpful for the well-wishers to convey their good luck to the couple as well as a mean for the couple to promise and convey their commitment, feelings and emotions for each other.
Marriage customs: Common traditions and customs of marriage
Though marriage customs and traditions differ across cultures and societies, there are some common customs and traditions that are more or less uniformly followed. Exchange of wedding rings is one of such custom which symbolizes everlasting love and commitment between the couples. Presence of the religious leader or a public authority figure gives social and religious sanction to the marriage. Purchase of new wedding garments symbolizes a new beginning with a hope of prosperity and growth. A wedding ceremony and reception of some form is also arranged so that that the near and dear ones and friends and well wishers can gather together to celebrate the occasion and bestow blessings and good luck on the newly married couple. Music and dance are also utilized as resources for conveying the joy and the festive mood. The promise of marriage or the pledge is anther common phenomenon seen in all marriages. These pledges are made with the help of prayers and readings from sacred religious scriptures. From the legal point of view, registration of marriage is also an important custom or tradition that cannot be ignored.
Marriage customs: The tradition of wearing a white dress
In many cultures the bride adorns the white dress and a white veil. This is especially true in the Christian religion and the western traditions. The white dress and veil signifies purity, chastity and the beginning of a new life based on divine blessings.
Marriage customs: The tradition of exchanging the rings
This is one of the oldest and ancient symbols of marriage. The origin of exchanging rings during marriage can be traced back to the Roman times. The Romans believed that the round structure of the ring symbolized continuity and longevity and they exchanged rings during marriage to have a break-free, long and prosperous married life. This tradition of exchanging the rings is now practiced among many cultures and societies around the world. Further the ring now has got manifold meanings and it symbolizes love, faithfulness and commitment of the couple to the marriage. The circular ring has become a symbol of never ending love which goes through the circle of life without ever breaking.
Marriage customs: The tradition of pledge
This is one of the most significant and important custom or tradition of marriage which is universally followed irrespective of culture or society. The pledge is made in public in presence of the well wishers and in presence of a religious leader reading sacred religious scriptures. It is one of the most important parts of the marriage ceremony where the couple promises to each other to remain Man and Wife in all circumstances whether good or bad. They vow to remain committed and faithful to each other for life with reciprocal feelings of love and bonding for each other. The pledge is in fact a custom or a tradition which tries to bring the couple together at the physical, mental and spiritual levels. It is a custom which tries to make the couple soul mates and kindle a feeling of love and commitment for life. A pledge unites the couple and makes them one soul living in two bodies.
Marriage customs: The tradition of wedding Kiss
In many cultures the wedding kiss is also important as the wedding ring. After the marriage ceremony the bride and groom have to exchange the wedding kiss. The wedding kiss symbolizes the union of two different people to become one in body and soul. It is a symbol of union and togetherness.
Marriage customs: Marriage traditions and customs bring people together
Marriage and marriage customs and traditions mean a lot more than bringing two individuals together. Marriage is in fact a social institution which brings together people, families, tribes, villages and countries. Though marriage is the immediate union between two individuals but the interaction among people take place at a larger level involving two families, tribes or villages or countries. These interactions at a larger scale are possible due to the various customs and traditions that are followed before, during and after the marriage.
Marriage customs: Marriage itself as a tradition to show your love
In the ancient times marriage was used as a tool for economic, political, social and religious gains. It is true even today to some extent but in many parts of the world marriage has outgrown these considerations to become an institution to show love between two consenting individuals. It has now become an illustration of individual choice. We can safely say that marriage has itself become a tradition for showing love, faithfulness and commitment to each other for life.
Article by Sanjay Nair
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