Ukrainian Wedding

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Wedding traditions in Ukraine

Ukrainian traditional wedding is a marriage ceremony identifiable by folk music, singing, dancing and rites. Most of Ukrainian wedding traditions dating back to the pre-Christian times. Our ancestors carefully carried these traditions through years and nowadays wedding ceremony is still the same as it was many years ago.

Traditional Ukrainian wedding can be divided in to four parts:

Brokage

Brokage in Ukrainian wedding is a day when a groom takes his marriage brokers and goes to meet bride’s relatives to ask permission to merry a girl. Traditionally marriage brokers were groom’s relatives. However, if there were not any, these could be his friends. Usually, marriage brokers were jolly guys, who are able to cheer up people. They came to bride’s house and asked for a hand. Brokage could be any day except Wednesday and Friday. Brokage could last for several days, until bride’s relatives gave a final answer. If the answer is negative, marriage brokers went away back-first. According to wedding rite, if marriage brokers went away back-first the girl may lose her chance to get married.

Bride-show

Bride-show is another one Ukrainian traditional wedding rite, when groom’s parents comes to gage the bride. Parents apprise dower and gage bride. If both sides are satisfied next time they meet each other on betrothal.

Betrothal

Betrothal is a time between proposal and marriage itself. Groom gives an engagement ring to his bride and they set the date of wedding. If a couple has a happy union this ring runs in the family.

Nowadays these rites are followed partially only. Commonly people unite these three parts in to one. In some parts of Ukraine, specially in the Western part of the country people follow these rites and perform these rituals in full. However, mostly young marrieds just tell their relatives about their decision to get married, meet their parents and follow a tradition of engagement only.

Wedding ceremony

The wedding ceremony in Ukraine is called Vesillya (from the word Merriment). The celebration can last for several days. There are a lot of wedding attributes inherent to Ukrainian wedding ceremony.

The couple steps up on a rushnyk before they take their vows. Traditionally, the one who steps on the towel first, will have the final say throughout their marriage. Then, when official ceremony is over a couple tastes Ukrainian wedding bread, called korovai. The similar belief is applied to korovai. Who bites off a bigger piece, the one will have the leading meaning in the couple throughout the marriage.

The celebration itself includes contests, songs and dances. Guests bless the couple and wish them happy marriage. In villages almost all people are involved in to celebration. All over again it shows warm hospitality of Ukrainian people.