A fight at a wedding — why was it mandatory in Russia

A fight at a wedding — why was it mandatory in Russia

Categories: Culture | History | Nations | Society

In the modern world, weddings with matchmaking, bride redemption, toastmaster and loaf have long faded into the background. Increasingly, young people arrange modest, intimate celebrations attended only by family members and their close friends.

However, once upon a time wedding traditions, which now seem strange, were considered mandatory. Moreover, this was done not only for the sake of entertainment, but was of enormous importance for our ancestors. Why? Read below.

A fight at a wedding — why was it mandatory in Russia

Since ancient times, village and city weddings have been radically different. If in the cities the celebrations were more restrained and "European-style", then in the villages they were mass celebrations with songs and dances until they drop. Residents of the whole village could come to the wedding, and sometimes even guests from neighboring villages. Of course, in such a large company, there were conflicts, which, in turn, ended in carnage.

A fight at a wedding — why was it mandatory in Russia

But this is not the only reason why the fight was an integral part of a traditional Russian wedding. To better understand this, we first suggest that you familiarize yourself with the wedding customs of our ancestors.

Wedding ceremonies began long before the celebration itself and were accompanied by many accompanying rituals. At first, young people of marriageable age gathered, got acquainted and showed sympathy for each other. As a rule, this happened during fairs, round dances, general gatherings, other weddings and other celebrations.

A fight at a wedding — why was it mandatory in Russia

Different ways of showing attention were used: a guy could give an apple with a silver coin, a handkerchief or an empty spindle to a girl he liked, hoping to get it back with threads. The girls also sent bouquets, Easter eggs and feathers to the boys for a hat. However, the parents of the young played a crucial role in choosing a couple.

The groom's relatives or people to whom the groom's parents entrusted this important matter usually came to match the bride. It all happened like this: matchmakers in beautiful outfits with gifts and treats came to the bride's parents and asked for the girl's hand. Most often, the matchmaking took place at night and so that the neighbors did not notice — in case of refusal, the groom could avoid disgrace in this way. Sometimes to do this, they had to travel by circumferential routes and "trick" in every possible way so that no one would guess the true purpose of their visit.

A fight at a wedding — why was it mandatory in Russia

After entering the house, the matchmakers first started talking about something neutral, and then gradually moved on to the main thing. To do this, the phrases "you have a product, we have a merchant" or "we are looking for a sheep, is it lost?" etc. could be used. If the matchmaking was successful, after a few days the bride's parents came to the groom's house for a viewing. Often, if they were not satisfied with his housing or income, they could easily refuse a wedding.

In different traditions, the engagement was called differently: "zaruchiny", "rukobitie", "conspiracy", "vaults" and so on. However, in any tradition, it was with this ritual that the wedding itself began. After the public announcement of the engagement, the guy and the girl became the "bride and groom", and now only exceptional circumstances could upset the wedding.

A fight at a wedding — why was it mandatory in Russia

Usually "zaruchiny" were held two weeks after the matchmaking. They were attended by relatives, friends of the young and villagers. About a day before the engagement, she was reported to the whole village. It was on this day that the date of the wedding was determined, who would be a friend and the like. The groom gave the bride the first gift — a ring that symbolized their strong love, and she, accepting this gift, agreed to become his wife.

But the most interesting and intense stage of all this "folk theater" was the wedding itself. The celebration was held loudly and on a grand scale, everyone who could come was present. Usually the wedding lasted for several days, or even a week. On the first day, something like the following happened: the arrival of the groom, the delivery of the dowry, the trip to the crown, the arrival at the house of the young and the wedding feast.

A fight at a wedding — why was it mandatory in Russia

The wedding feast could last two or three days, only the place of the feast changed. In parallel, other rituals were carried out: checking the young woman's economy, evaluating her dowry, mutual visits of young relatives, and so on. But all these actions were necessarily accompanied by a festive feast, songs and dances.

A fight at a wedding — why was it mandatory in Russia

It is not surprising that in a drunken frenzy, conflicts often arose between people, and they were solved in Russia only with their fists. Therefore, a fight has always been an integral "attribute" of the wedding. If the celebration was quiet and boring, it was considered something shameful for the parents of the young and for themselves. In addition, people believed that the energy of unrestrained fun and abundance should be transmitted to the future life of the newlyweds. Well, who wants a boring and dull life?

There was another reason why fights often took place at weddings at that time. Since parents made the decision for the young, they often ignored the wishes of their children and arranged so-called drive marriages (contract). The fact that the young did not love each other, at the same time, few people bothered. "It's scary to see: it will be tolerated — it will be loved," people said then.

A fight at a wedding — why was it mandatory in Russia

However, the bride's former suitors often disagreed with this. They could show up at the wedding and have a fight with the groom. And this happened very often. Therefore, if the groom did not fight with the bride's former lover at the wedding, it was believed that no one needed her. In order not to upset the bride and not to shame her in the eyes of the whole village, people even staged staged fights.

Over the years, this has become so normal that it was even difficult to imagine a wedding without a fight. Fortunately, now they are beginning to forget about this "tradition". Well, if there is a fight at the wedding, it is only from the general enthusiasm and intensity of passions — sincerely and without pretense!

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