13 Interesting Wedding Traditions of Ancient Turkey

13 Interesting Wedding Traditions of Ancient Turkey
  1. Some Greek and Roman cities had the tradition of the bride’s father bathing her daughter a night before the wedding and cutting her hair as a rite of passage into the adulthood.
  2. Bathing water for the bride was carried from a flowing river by children to make her future abundant and fertile.
  3. Spartans had a very uncommon way of ”finding” their wives. Spartans kidnapped their wives and forced them into the marriage. After having intercourse, Spartan man used to sleep in barracks with other comrade soldiers.
  4. It was very common for elder man to marry girls who are 16 or below. Age gap was acceptable.
  5. While a pestle was hanging on the door of the wedding room, the bride would bring along a sieve and a pan. These were symbols of her future activities as housewives.
  6. Priestess in the temple of Aphrodite in the Turkish Ancient City of Aphrodisias had the right of marriage after they serve for certain time to the goddess. These priests used to pay for their own wedding with the money they earn thanks to prostitution they make in the temple.
  7. The groom gifted an apple to the bride upon her arrival in the new home. This tradition signified the groom’s responsibility of providing the bride’s needs.
  8. Brides had a veil in front of their eyes just like the modern brides of our time. Veil was the symbol of purity but also in the same time brides couldn’t see their surroundings very well because of their veils too. That’s why brides had a helper next to them till their veils were lifted by the groom.
  9. A man had to finish his military service before he settles down to raise a family.
  10. Taking a bath before the wedding was not as important as the bride when it comes to groom. There are records of people bathing their dead daughters if they pass away before their wedding. They made it to ensure an adult life for their girls in the afterlife.
  11. Love was not a common emotion in the early years of marriage. Couples spent more time together in their old ages and love or something similar started to spark in between them.
  12. Man and woman were seated in the same room but in different tables. They were eating the same dishes such as seeds, fruits and wine which were mixed with honey.
  13. A child who’s both parents are still alive was selected as a servant who will gift bread loafs to the guests. They thought this will bring richness and good luck for their new house.

Hasan Gülday

Hasan Gülday. Professional licensed tour guide working in Turkey.

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