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Engagement Traditions. Getting engaged is one of the happiest and most exciting times of anyone’s life, but it is also steeped in a lot of traditions and customs that vary widely across different cultures and countries. From the symbolism of the ring to the way proposals are made, there are so many fascinating engagement traditions to be explored. The celebration of marriage and engagement is always more than just throwing a party. Different traditions come with different meanings, cultural associations, and values that make them unique. Let’s take a look at some exciting engagement traditions around the world. From the long-standing jumping of the broom to the concept of “dragging the groom” from bed, these traditions inspire, entertain, and inform us about human history and culture. So in this blog, we are going to dive into some of the most interesting and unique engagement customs from around the world!
Let’s start with India, where a traditional engagement ceremony, or sagan, is held to bring together the two families of the engaged couple. The ceremony involves an exchange of gifts, including sweets, flowers, and jewelry. Afterward, the bride is presented with a ring, which is called a mangal sutra, and symbolizes the union of the couple. In some parts of the country, a haldi ceremony is also performed, where turmeric paste is applied to the skin of the bride and groom to signify the purification of their souls.
In Japan, engagement traditions are very different. Instead of exchanging rings, the couple exchanges long-stemmed roses, which are a symbol of the connection between them. The roses are also tied together with a red string, which is said to represent the ties that bind the couple together. And in a unique twist, the future in-laws also exchange gifts as a way of signaling their acceptance of the upcoming marriage.
Traveling to Spain, we see the tradition of exchanging coins during an engagement ceremony. The groom presents thirteen coins known as arras to his bride as a symbol of his dedication and commitment to her. The coins are usually presented in a small box and later used to purchase something meaningful, like a piece of jewelry, to commemorate the engagement.
Over in Scotland, couples often exchange engagement rings that are made of a particular type of metal called Celtic knotwork. This type of ring is designed with an intricate woven pattern that symbolizes two lives entwined together. And in another unique twist, when the couple becomes engaged in Scotland, a party may be known as a ceilidh. This is an event that includes traditional Scottish music, dancing, and storytelling, all of which celebrate the future union of the couple.
If you’ve ever attended a Nigerian wedding, you may have witnessed the tradition of the groom’s family presenting a basket of gifts to the bride’s family as part of the engagement festivities. This gift basket, known as “kola nut”, is filled with items that are meaningful to the bride’s family, such as palm oil and bitter kola nuts. It is a symbol of the good intentions and respect the groom has for his future bride’s family.
There are so many different engagement traditions worldwide, each with unique symbolism and customs. Each tradition is steeped in history and meaning, from exchanging rings to exchanging roses. Whether it’s attending a ceilidh in Scotland or a sagan in India, these cultural customs remind us of the importance of family and community in our lives. And while the ways we celebrate may be different, the one thing that remains constant is the love and commitment between the couples. So no matter where in the world you get engaged, the joy and excitement of saying “yes” to the love of your life remain the same.