Welcome back to the world of weird wedding rituals! We looked high and low for some international wedding traditions that, to our western eyes, are truly bizarre. Here are two rituals from opposite ends of the globe that are totally out of this world!
China – Crying Marriage
Tears of joy or tears of sorrow? The Chinese tradition of the Zuo Tang requires a bride to cry for at least an hour a day, every day, in the month leading up to her wedding. But this super fun ritual isn’t just for the bride; ten days after she starts her mother must join in, followed by grandmother and other female members of her family. By the time the wedding rolls around everyone is crying.
The tradition is said to originate from the story of a princess who was married off to become queen sometime around 475-221 B.C. While the bride herself didn’t cry, her mother certainly did. Falling to her daughter’s feet, the mother sobbed and asked her to return home as soon as possible. So what was originally a gesture of love eventually transformed into a rite where the bride cries her eyes out for at least a month. Traditionally, the bridal tears ceased after some choice cursing at the matchmaker who arranged her marriage, which to us, seems like a great way to vent after a month of crying.
This tradition was practiced regularly in the southwest Sichuan province up till the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). While not as popular as it used to be, this tradition lives on today since every Tujia bride is required to perform this marriage rite.
France – La Soupe
In France, after a long day of celebration the bride and groom are rushed to their room while the guests stick around to clean up. As they clean the trash that is left over from the party, the guests prepare a little something special for the couple. Any leftovers, be it cake, vegetables, appetizers, champagne, chocolates, or wine, all get poured into a toilet. Yes, a toilet. In the olden days of non-indoor plumbing it was a chamber pot, so we bet French brides are really thankful for modern conveniences. The toilet gruel that is created from these leftovers is called “La soupe.”
After the last crusty tart is thrown into the mix, La Soupe is then proudly presented to the couple already relaxing in their bridal suite. Then the guests won’t leave until the bride and groom drink the sloppy offering! It’s a sign of love I suppose. God-awful disgusting I-will-never-forgive-you Love.
The good news is that the tradition is changing and is now mostly made of chocolate and champagne. However, it is still served out of a toilet. So not as bad, but still pretty horrible. Traditions like these make you really thankful that the worst thing you might have to do at your wedding is the Chicken Dance! (To avoid this dreadful fate be sure to book a professional and popular Chicago wedding band like the Stitely Orchestra.)