Greece and Their Wedding Traditions


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Belen Garcia, Writer

Greece is one of the most romantic and cultural countries in the world. There are two reasons that Greek weddings are full of strange traditions. 

Normally they are celebrated in January, as it is considered the month of the protection of women in Greek culture, thanks to the fact that it was the time of the year in which Hera, the goddess of marriage, defended the rights of women.

To begin, the proposal has to be in the presence of both families. The bride and groom exchange the rings that are blessed for the first time by the priest. They place them on the left hand.

Friends also play an important role in the weddings preparation, as they are in charge of decorating the marriage bed with candied almonds and petals, symbolizing prosperity and love. It’s also tradition to roll a child around the bed to ensure fertility. 

The day of the wedding, the groom is shaved by his best man as a symbol of trust. The bride is helped by her friends, and a very curious tradition is to write the name of all her single friends on the sole of her shoe. At the end of the wedding, the names are almost erased, as a symbol that the friends are going to stop being single.

In America, it is a tradition that the bride waits for the groom at the altar, but in a Greek wedding, the two enter the church at the same time, with a wreath of intertwined white flowers, symbolizing unity. They also carry two white candles that they leave on the altar as soon as they enter the church.

At the moment of exchanging the rings, the couple does it three times, in symbolism of the Holy Trinity; the rings are also blessed once again by the priest.

The bride and groom share the wine with the guests, which represents the willingness of the couple to share material and spiritual goods with their loved ones.

Almost at the end of the ceremony, the priest guides the couple around the altar three times as a symbol of the eternity of marriage and the first steps as a couple. This tradition is called the Isaias dance. At the exit of the church, the guests throw rice at the bride and groom.

A party after the ceremony is not that atypical, but it still has some interesting traditions, like dancing and singing hasapiko; a traditional Greek song. The most popular tradition is, without a doubt, breaking a plate to scare away bad luck.

Greek weddings can last two days and it is normal that the bride and the groom give the guests delicious candied almonds of which I have already spoken of in a previous paragraph.