Want to add a bit of ethnic flavor into your upcoming wedding? For those of you who feel that the staple western wedding tradition, though iconic, can be a bit overdone, why not take a page from the unusual Asian customs and see how unusually fun weddings can be!
1. China’s Apple-Dangling Kiss
In China, traditional weddings take parlor games to a new extreme. By extreme, we mean fun, sidesplitting entertainment for the guests- both awkward and embarrassing for the bride and groom. One of these cruel yet kind of funny games involve an apple, a stick, and a long ribbon. To the cheering and laughter from family and friends, the bride and groom have to bite the apple while a close, albeit sadistic, friend tugs the ribbon upward which forces the embarrassed couple to kiss or fall on each other! What a cheeky way to snag a kiss if you ask me! Why do they do this? Well, apple, 苹果 (Píng Guǒ), sounds similar to peace, 平安 (Píng ān), so it is believed this would bring peace and harmony to the marriage. Though, nowadays people do it because…well, it’s just fun to watch!
2. South Korea’s Groom Spanking Practice
Moving to another part of Northern Asia, guests play a more vicious prank in South Korea. The poor groom is tied and bound by his close friends so he can be spanked on his bare feet with dried Corvina fish (or bamboo in some cases). Yikes! Though no one really knows who started the custom, whoever it was has good reason to hide. It is believed that the practice would improve the groom’s…uh, performance (wink wink). No wonder the bride doesn’t want to intervene!
3. Philippines’s “Pin the Money on the Bride” Ritual
Ever dreamt of dancing to the tune of a hundred thousand dollars raining down on you? No? Well, in this fun wedding custom from the Philippines, the newlywed couple does exactly that. While the bride and groom do their thing on the dancefloor, family, friends, and other beloved guests pin money all over their clothes, hair, shoes, etc. Anywhere is free game! It may look a little silly, especially if your friends have prepared a crown, scepter, and sash for you made out of cold hard cash! But hey, at the end of it all, you are a thousand dollars richer for it!
4. Malaysia’s Wedding Bladder Test
How long can you hold your bladder? An hour? Perhaps two? How about three days? Well, in Malaysia, members of the Tidong tribe stand the test of true insanity…err, I mean love! The members of this tribe do not partake in toilet comforts for three solid days before they get married. Yes, that means no. 1s or no. 2s – talk about bladders of steel! Why do they do this? The Tidong people believe this would drive away misfortune from the marriage. If that’s what it takes!
5. India’s Tree Marriage Ceremony
Would you marry a tree? Seriously, would you? No joke, but in a weird yet interesting case, people do marry trees in some parts of India. These unfortunate tree brides were unlucky enough to be born when Saturn and Mars were under the seventh house, meaning they are cursed for early widowhood. So what do they do about it? They marry a tree! In a religious ceremony called “Kumbh Vivah”, the tree brides wed their leafy husbands-to-be and destroy them post-ceremony. Only by doing this can they be lifted of their curse. That definitely stumped us!