CZECH WEDDING TRADITIONS
There are many uniquely Czech wedding traditions, a complete list of which can be found here. Below are a few of our favorites:
Groom’s test – There was a chopping block and axe and bottle of wineprepared for the groom at the threshold of the bride’s house. If he took the axe it was a good sign – he would be a good houseman. If he decided for a bottle of wine, he would be a drunkard.
Bride’s test – As she entered the groom’s house for the first time there was a broom ready in the room and she had to sweep the room briskly and put it back to its place. She showed that she wanted to be a good housewife.
Union – At the Czech wedding reception, a plate is broken at the feet of the bride and groom and they must clean the pieces up together to promote the ability to work together in a healthy manner throughout their marriage.
Wedding guard of honor – Friends form an aisle for the newly weds to walk through. They try to make it difficult. Symbolic meaning: overcoming difficulties in marriage.
Pulling – After a wedding ceremony the groom’s friends pull a rope outside a church. The rope is decorated with flowers, ribbons and also with empty bottles and they allow them to continue their journey if they are paid off by the groom. The groom has to pay off the sins of his youth.
Circular dance – The bride dances with closed eyes and single girls try to get a bit of her veil (it is better to use a cheap veil for this occasion). Men form a protective circle around the bride to prevent the girls to get to her. If the circle is broken through, it symbolizes the farewell to innocence and virginity.
Kidnapping of the bride – This symbolizes the bride’s separation from her parents and the beginning of a new partnership. Later, when the reception is almost over friends kidnap the bride. If the groom does not find her he has to pay a ransom. Note: Time limit should be set so wedding guests do not wait hours for the bride’s return.
Inviting kolache – Traditionally these small buns are baked few weeks
before the wedding. They are given to relatives, friends and neighbors as an invitation to the wedding reception. Kolache should have at least three fillings and are considered to show the culinary art of the housewife.
Trust – At the wedding reception, the bride and groom are joined by being covered in a large towel symbolizing unity, and then finish a bowl of soup using one spoon to symbolize the melting of two souls into one and the trust that each will carry for reliance on the other in time of need.
Kolibka – Is among the many special dances performed at the wedding celebration. In this dance, the chief bridesmaid holds a plate in her arms as if it were a baby. Guests throw coins onto the plate to start a nest egg for the couple’s future offspring.