From rain on your wedding day and an uneven number of guests to dropping the wedding rings and shattering glass, every culture has invented elaborate superstitions and talismans to prevent evil spirits from wreaking havoc on the newlywed couple’s happiness.
“An entire encyclopedia could hold only part of the astounding variety of myths, customs, traditions and magical thinking that surrounds everything from the courtship to the honeymoon,” notes an article about Irish and Celtic Wedding Traditions and Superstitions on BrideVillage.com. Many of these customs are immersed in pagan rituals and cultural folktales that predate the Christian era.
Some superstitions are simply for fun while others are meant to alleviate our anxieties and fears. In Russia, brides are encouraged to shed a few tears before the ceremony so that she will never need to cry again over her marriage. In Ireland, the bride and groom eat three spoonfuls of oatmeal sprinkled with salt at the beginning of the reception to keep the mischievous fairies at bay. Even American brides who do not consider themselves superstitious will don something old, new, borrowed and blue when they tie the knot, just in case the ritual really does have the power to bless the marriage with good luck.