Right now, it’s 1:30 AM in Vitebsk, Belarus. I want to go to sleep. But I can’t. My body thinks it’s 3:30 in the afternoon. And I’ve promised myself that I will not stop posting on my blog while in Belarus.
I know I said I would write a post about men’s hats. It’ll still come. Just next week.
Thankfully, a friend of mine saved me from doing any extensive translations today. She found a wonderful 19th century travel account of Russian folk customs, written by a Frenchman. In it, there are some interesting additions to my previous post about Russian wedding customs. She was also kind enough to translate it from French to English.
Here is what she sent me, and I hope that my readers will forgive today’s brevity. I really need to get to sleep!
These are traditions that stems from antiquity in remote villages away from large towns. Finally, the wedding day comes. The guests walk the couple to the church. A choir of young girls surrounding the future bride sing a wedding song:
“The falcon follows the dove closely.
Are you ready? Your groom has come to get you.
The answer ‘yes’, with heavy sighs, must be given as an answer.”
After the wedding ceremony, the groom can finally give his new bride the”kitra,” or kiss following the very unusual custom of taking his bride by the ears. Before the bride comes out of church the ‘svakha’ (matchmaker) changes the bride’s pre-married hair-style to a married hair-style ….
The next day the newly wedded groom throws hazlenuts to the ground to renounce his childhood games.”
Want to know more about Russian history, traditions, and fairy tales? Join my Readers’ Group. You’ll get updates from me by email every two weeks. Every once in a while, I’ll be sending my Readers’ Group excerpts from my new novel and other goodies.