Adarka and Yauhen, a young couple from Belarus, decided to have their wedding ceremony in an old Belarusian style.
The two were joined by the Members of the Students’ Ethnographic Society and held a wonderful ceremony in an open air Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Lifestyle.
The participants wanted to show Belarusians and foreign visitors how important wedding ceremonies are for newlyweds to develop mutual understanding and promote their relations with other family members and the entire community.
They also stood an opportunity to have fun, sing and dance.
The young couple arrived at the ceremony in the wooden cart driven by the horse that was decorated with flowers and bells. The parents welcomed the newlyweds according to the tradition – with wedding bread called karavai and small shots of vodka.
The bride and groom walked over animal skin – a popular belief says that after such ritual their family life will be prosperous. The wedding ceremony was held in the yard, as it was once done in villages.
The couple got traditional symbolic gifts – belts and blankets – from their relatives. In old times the bride was expected to weave such things herself before the wedding.
At first, Yauhen and Adarka were sitting at the head of the table, under the icon of St. Nicholas. Then they were offered to sit on the money collected from guests – this is believe to grant the family a prosperous future.
The bride was also presented with a swaddled log and asked to lull it so that many children would be born in the family.
The final rite of the wedding was also the most meaningful one. The mother-in-law took the wreath and veil off Adarka’s head and covered her hair with a kerchief symbolizing a girl’s transition from youth to maturity, from being a girlfriend to being a wife.
In the end the guests broke the bench on which the newlyweds were sitting.
Ancient Belarusians believed that this would protect the marriage and prevent the groom from celebrating another wedding in his house.
Source: belsat.eu, photos by Vyachaslau Radzimich.