Throwing the bouquet, scandalously removing the garter, the couple’s first dance, the cutting of the cake, and the life-affirming moment that the Electric Slide begins – **these are all wedding traditions that most Americans know and love.** Around the world, wedding traditions are a little bit different: Some of them are heartwarmingly romantic, and some of them are a little strange, and some of them might make you a little bit uncomfortable. Check out these 31 love and marriage customs from around the globe.Here’s a completely messed up tradition that will have you cringing; In Krygyzstan, an old adage claims that tears on a wedding day will make for a happy marriage. Until 1991 (when it was finally made illegal) many parents would consent to the marriage of a kidnapped young girl, especially if she was crying.
In Scotland, there is a particularly nasty pre-wedding tradition that involves the bride and groom being pelted with food trash, including rotten eggs and fish. The Scots believe that if a couple can withstand this, their marriage can withstand anything.
For China’s Tujia people, the bride-to-be is actually required to begin weeping for one hour a day, for one month before a wedding. In fact, many of the women in the bride’s family are encouraged to weep as well.
In Mauritania, a large, full-bodied wife is said to signify good luck and prosperity in a marriage. Unfortunately, Mauritian women are often force-fed to become fatter for their wedding, sometimes causing them endless illness and health problems down the line.
In Fiji, men have to find an unusual gift before they can ask for a woman’s hand in marriage: Before asking for the hand of his beloved, the groom must present his father-in-law with a whale’s tooth.
In Daur, China, there is a tradition that requires engaged couples to dissect a chicken and check out it’s liver: If the liver is healthy, the couple can set a date. If not, they can’t plan their nuptials until they find one that is.
In Borneo, one tribe does not allow newlyweds to leave their homes during their wedding day, not even to go to the bathroom. Like most odd traditions, it is said to bring the couple good luck.
In China, when a groom comes to get his bride, he must first break through an aggressive wall of her angry bridesmaids. The bridesmaids demand money from him, and put him through a series of silly performances and tasks – all meant to prove just how strong his love really is.
Some African tribes allow women to enter a “courting hut” so they can hang out with potential spouses away from the prying eyes of their parents – and the rest of the village.
In some gypsy groups, there is a controversial tradition that involves male suitors to grab a girl and start forcefully kissing her. It might be love – or it just might be an unwanted assault.
South Korea is a very couple-oriented country: They have matching outfits for couples, “couple-sets” on every menu, and an endless slew of romantic holidays. In fact, on the 14th of every month, many Korean couples celebrate Valentine’s Day and buy special treats for one another.
In some parts of India, it is said that girls born during a certain astrological period are cursed, and will cause an early death for their husband. The only way to break the curse is for the woman to first marry a tree, and then have the tree cut down.
In an average display of somberness and seriousness, many Russians choose to be married at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow.
This tradition has become popular all over the world, but many believe that it started in Rome, Italy. Couples come to the bridge, attached their decorated lock to the fence, and then throw away the key – a symbol that they will be bound together forever.
In Wales, it’s common for a man to gift his new lover with a carved wooden spoon, symbolizing that he will never allow her to go hungry.
In Zagreb, Croatia, there is a museum that showcases a collection of souvenirs, mementos, and paraphernalia left behind after a marriage has failed.
In Niger, men have to dress in elaborate costumes and perform for their potential mates. When the performance is over, the women get to choose the man they like best.
During Greek weddings, the bride and groom share a traditional dance, during which guests pin money to their clothing.
In Russia, March 8th is Women’s Day. The event is similar to Valentine’s Day: Russian men give gifts to their special ladies, as well as take care of any household chores that need to be done.
In Puerto Rico, a doll dressed as the bride is placed at the head of the table during the wedding reception, surrounded by charms and gifts. At the end of the reception, the guests receive these trinkets as a show of appreciation.
In Japan, there is a special day called White Day. It’s exactly one month after Valentine’s Day, and on White Day, it’s required for the women to buy special gifts for their men.
This tradition stems from the American deep south. Back in times of slavery, black newlyweds jumped over a broom to symbolize moving forward in their new lives together. Though obviously somewhat antiquated, some couples still participate in this tradition.
A cherished Aussie tradition, B and S Balls offer a rare opportunity for youngsters from the bush to socialize – that would be the censored version. Notorious for binge drinking, dangerous stunts and casual sex, these parties are under pressure from insurance companies to close down. But beneath the dust and debauchery, the Balls are loaded with that quintessential Aussie joie de vivre and are seen as a rite of passage for kids in the Outback who often lead quite secluded lives.
In India, the Shagun TV channel is dedicated to broadcasting profiles of single people, in the hopes that other single will call and want to meet them. It’s basically like eHarmony for the small screen.
Each year in Sonkarjävi, Finland, competitors come from all over the world to participate in a wife-carrying competition. Basically, it’s like a huge obstacle course that must be conquered with your spouse, girlfriend, or partner on your back. This competition brings new meaning to “carrying the load in the relationship.”
Arabic, African, and Indian women tattoo themselves with henna before their wedding days. The tattoos symbolize the bride’s elegance and beauty.
In the Papua New Guinean jungle, there is a tribe that paint their bodies and wear feathers to impress the women. They are called the sing-sings, and they are supposed to imitate the mating rituals of male birds.
In Armenia, single women eat a slice of a traditional salty bread in order to inspire a prophetic dream about the man they are going to marry: The guy that brings them water in their dream is the one they are supposed to marry.
In France, there was an old tradition that said a newlywed couple should drink the leftover alcohol from their wedding out of a replica toilet bowl. Thankfully, most French couples no longer feel compelled to down the contents of their wedding commode.
In Scotland, there aren’t any laws about how old one has to be to tie the knot. Gretna Green in Scotland became a popular elopement spot for couples who were too young to get married in the UK – 5,000 couples visit Gretna Green every year.
In South Korea, there is a traditional custom that says that a groom should have his feet beaten with fish and canes the night before his wedding. It’s supposed to prove strength of character, but might just actually be the groomsman attempting to interfere with him walking down the aisle – we see what you did there, bros.