Presentation on theme: "WEDDING TRADITIONS IN LITHUANIA. Lithuania is an old country with wedding traditions that stretch back hundreds of years."— Presentation transcript:
WEDDING TRADITIONS IN LITHUANIA
Lithuania is an old country with wedding traditions that stretch back hundreds of years.
In the past many Lithuanian families lived rather isolated lives on scattered farms.
It was not always easy for young people to meet or to get to know each other.
Therefore the father of a prospective groom would hire the services of a matchmaker to find a suitable wife for his son.
Even if a couple knew each other previously and wished to marry, the matchmaker was still hired to negotiate the dowry that the brides family would pay to the groom for marrying their daughter.
Engagement periods varied from region to region and could also be determined by whether the couple were already acquainted or whether they first met through the services of the matchmaker.
The traditional Lithuanian marriage ceremony itself was very ritualistic. It began early in the morning with the bride saying good-bye to her parents and to her parents home.
This was a very dramatic and sad time, with a great deal of sorrowful music and farewell songs, culminating with the bride riding away from her parents home and to the home of her future husband.
The brides arrival at the home of her intended was the second stage of the marriage ceremony.
They would arrive with the brides dowry chests which were filled with things that she had collected over the years in anticipation of this very moment.
The actual wedding ceremony itself followed the presentation of the bride to the grooms household.
The bride-to-be entered the church wearing a wreath of rue, symbolizing her childhood.
The ceremony would begin with the brides matron of honor and other married women removing the brides girlish wreath of rue and replacing it with the headdress of a mature woman, symbolizing the young brides transition from girlhood into womanhood.
A charming tradition was to have the flower girl and the ring bearer both dressed in exact miniature copies of the bride and grooms wedding outfits.
At the conclusion of the ceremony the bride and groom place the wedding rings on each others finger, symbolizing never-ending love, and the marriage is sealed with a kiss.
The couple would also be showered with both grain and water and were then wrapped in furs to insure that their life together would be rich and successful and that their future harvests would be bountiful and their livestock healthy and fat.
Finally came the third part of the ceremony. This was the atgriztai or the coming back. The coming back generally took place after a one week honeymoon.
During this part of the ceremony the bride returned to her parents home for a brief visit – and she was welcomed into her familys home as a guest, rather than as a member of the family, symbolizing her transition from her familys home to her own home.
Today few Lithuanians follow all of the ancient traditions, although in small, rural villages many of the traditions are still followed today as they have been for hundreds of years.