Wedding's customs

Wedding's customs

The weddings in Crete are a very important event not only for the couple and their parents but also for the whole community. All the people take part in the joy of the young couple that is getting married through many and various wedding’s customs.
In the past all started with "matchmaking". The couple knew each other or someone else thought that that the two of them matched and became the mediator in order to get them together. The mediator went to the future bride’s house with the groom’s permission and proposed to the bride’s father.
But love dominated and will always dominate. So the couple could have been influenced by the god of love so the groom went to a member of the family in order to ask his/her permission to marry the bride. If the father accepted, the familiar procedure would take place. But if not, in many cases, that rejection led to “stealing” the bride (“abduction” of the bride). The groom “stole” the bride, they got hidden somewhere and either got married or waited till the father’s permission was given to them.
The preparation of the bride’s dowry is the first thing in the wedding’s procedures, nevertheless that had started since she was born. So the bride had to prepare her knitted blankets, her tablecloths, etc.
A few days before the wedding, the bed’s preparation took place in the house where the couple would live. The bed was made with beautiful coverings and flowers. Their relatives and friends visited in the evening and put money on it for good luck. They also had a boy lying on the bed so as the first child of the couple would be a boy.
In the wedding’s eve, in Crete, “progamos” used to take place. Friends and relatives gathered in the parents’ houses and celebrated altogether with wine and food.
The basket with the clothes of the couple was prepared a few days before the wedding. The basket with the clothes of the groom was prepared in the bride’s house and the basket with the bride’s clothes was in the groom’s house. Relatives of the couple were up to deliver them to the couple with “kaniskia” (i.e. the presents for the couple).When the relatives of the bride arrived at the groom’s house in order to give him his clothes they were welcomed with many treats. The same happened with the groom’s relatives. In some areas there was also a nice “game”. When the relatives of the one or another did not give the basket, someone tried to “steal” an object from the houses. If he/she managed not to get caught, it remained in the house of the in-laws but, if he/she got caught, the “game” ended.
Their friends got the groom and the bride dressed singing traditional songs and mantinades and the bride wrote the name of her unmarried friends on the shoe’s sole (if, after the wedding, someone’s name was deleted, it showed that she will get married soon).
In many areas the groom went to the bride’s house accompanied with Cretan lyre and laouto and together went to the church.
The weddings in Crete have many, many, many guests and the ceremony usually takes place in the bride’s village.
“Kaniski” of the best man is also included in the Cretan wedding’s customs. The presents of the best man were many and various and the most important of them was “gamokoulouro”. “Gamokoulouro” or “ksompliasti kouloura” is a type of semi-sweet bread that is decorated with various patterns.
A feast with food and drinks follows the ceremony.
The customs of the wedding are different from area to area and many new are added.
(and as they say to the unmarried in the weddings)…. The same to you!

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