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Wedding | ritual | Britannica

Wedding | ritual | Britannica

ritual

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arts

  • dance
    • Egyptian dancing, detail from a tomb painting from Shaykh ʿAbd al-Qurnah, Egypt, c. 1400 bce; in the British Museum, London.

      In Western dance: Jewish dance

      Weddings provided another important occasion for ritual dancing. Dancing with the bride was considered an act of devotion, and the officiating rabbi always complied with pleasure. During the Diaspora of the early Christian Era many of the ritual dances disappeared, but the bridal dance continued…

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  • epithalamium
    • In epithalamium

      …bride and bridegroom at their wedding. In ancient Greece, the singing of such songs was a traditional way of invoking good fortune on the marriage and often of indulging in ribaldry. By derivation, the epithalamium should be sung at the marriage chamber; but the word is also used for the…

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  • folk art objects and motifs
    • rooster weather vane

      In folk art: Content and motifs

      In many regions elaborate wedding chests were carved or painted for the bride. The bridal bedspread or bed curtain, like the wedding costume, was ornate and highly symbolic, with such motifs as Adam and Eve, the tree of life, and mating birds considered appropriate. Both weddings and funerals required…

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religions

  • Christian parables
  • Hinduism
    • Ravana, the 10-headed demon king, detail from a Guler painting of the Ramayana, c. 1720.

      In Hinduism: Samskaras: rites of passage

      Wedding ceremonies, the most important of all, not only have remained elaborate—and often very expensive—but also have incorporated various elements—among others, propitiations and expiations—that are not indicated in the oldest sources. Already in ancient times there existed great divergences in accordance with local customs or…

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  • Judaism
    • In ḥuppa

      …or Ḥuppas, in a Jewish wedding, the portable canopy beneath which the couple stands while the ceremony is performed. Depending on the local custom and the preference of the bride and groom, the ḥuppa may be a simple Jewish prayer shawl (ṭallit) suspended from four poles, a richly embroidered cloth…

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  • Shintō
    • Shintō shrine

      In Shintō: Rites of passage

      The Japanese usually have their wedding ceremonies in Shintō style and pronounce their wedding vows to kami. Shintō funeral ceremonies, however, are not popular. The majority of the Japanese are Buddhist and Shintōist at the same time and have their funerals in Buddhist style. A traditional Japanese house has two…

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