12 Interesting Wedding Traditions of Ancient Anatolia

12 Interesting Wedding Traditions of Ancient Anatolia
  1. When it comes to a marriage, a religious blessing is necessary. Such an important religious and social action would have been possible with the sacrificial offerings and the approval of various gods (Zeus, Hera, Artemis, Apollo). The blessing and guarding of marriage was under the auspices of these gods.
  2. Men used to be around 30 years of age and women were around 14 years old when they had their marriages in the ancient world.
  3. Marriages usually took place in the month known as Gamelion (February). But as long as the moon is full, weddings could be held in any month, regardless of winter or summer.
  4. It was taken from a holy water source and brought to the place where the wedding would take place. This sacred water was brought by a young lad known as ”lutophoros”. Before the wedding, the bride and groom were washed with water. Especially before the wedding, the bride was sure of her purity. Later, the bride’s dolls and other toys were dedicated as offerings to the goddesses. The reason for this was that the girl got out of childhood and entered womanhood.
  5. Marriage was not just between the bride and the groom, it was also an alliance between son-in-law and father-in-law.
  6. Rich or poor does not matter, all the couples used to ride to their new homes on a chariot. Rich had horses, poor had an ox pulling the cart.
  7. The bride took a torch and burned down the axle of the cart which brought her from her childhood home to the groom’s house. This symbolized the intention of not returning to her family’s home.
  8. Having a divorce was very common and easy in Ancient Greece and Rome. A simple visit to the town’s magistrate (judge) was enough to finalize agreements in between couples.
  9. When the new bride enters into her new home, her mother-in-law used to shower her with dates, nuts and rice. This was believed to make the bride fertile and bear many children.
  10. A large animal would be sacrificed on the day of marriage. The girl’s father would present a large festive dinner for the guests. The father of the groom, on the other hand, gave food to the relatives of the family.
  11. The bride took her place among the other female guests with her bridal dress and veil decorated with ointments, festive wreaths. After having drinks with good wishes, we would go to the bride’s house.
  12. 3 things were very important when it came to choosing a bride. First one was dowry, the second was bride’s family’s fertility and the third was skills of the bride such as weaving or cooking.

Hasan Gülday

Hasan Gülday. Professional licensed tour guide working in Turkey.

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