Japanese women wear wedding rings
Japanese Wedding - Customs and Traditions in Japan
All over the world there are weddings and around the wedding day and the wedding ceremony have become country-specific Wedding customs and traditions developed. Many customs had a justification and a deeper meaning in times long past. Today customs from different countries have mixed up or have been completely forgotten. That also applies to japanese weddings. Their own history and culture are lived and celebrated, but the western influence cannot be overlooked. Despite all modernity: Japanese weddings used to be extremely expensive and still are today.
Japanese parents are proud when their son or daughter gets married and from the age of 20 onwards, people have been looking for the perfect partner more and more often. After all, Japanese women should be married by the age of 24. The groom is expected to have worked for at least a year before the wedding. Anyone who celebrates their 30th birthday in Japan and is still not married is, at best, considered a nerd, in the worst case as a failure. There are more and more unmarried Japanese, due to the high costs that a befitting wedding brings with it.
This cost has created a new trend in Japan. A dream Wedding dress, an exclusive bridal bouquet, romantic music and an excited bride - but not a groom. In Japan, the land of curiosities, solo weddings have become a lucrative business. Organizers offer an all-round service for almost 2000 euros, which even includes good-looking men for the wedding photo.
But back for traditional Japanese wedding. The groom needs a well-paying job to be able to afford a wedding. Spending begins long before the most beautiful day in life, because first the future husband has to hand over an expensive piece of jewelry or a large amount of money to his chosen one. The expensive gift symbolizes the ransom from the parental home.
Legal marriage in Japan takes place without a ceremony. At the registry office, a wedding document is simply provided with the seals of both spouses. Unimaginable for us, but in Japan the bride and groom don't even have to be personally present. The actual wedding ceremony is later carried out in a particularly festive and, above all, religious manner.
In Japan in 1882 all religious groups were divided into three categories by the government: Buddhism, Shintoism and Christianity, and according to these traditions, marriage in Japan can take place, regardless of which denomination the newlyweds belong to. At Christian weddings, the western influence is most visible and the brides wear white and modern wedding dresses like us. Christian ceremonies are on the rise in Japan, even though only around one percent of Japanese are Christian. But Western clothing and western-style wedding celebrations are very popular and trendy, especially with young bridal couples.
Unlike us, it is in Japan the outfit not bought for the wedding day, but only borrowed. Anyone who thinks that the wedding celebration makes a Japanese wedding so expensive is wrong. The rental fee for the Wedding clothing and the long photo session make the wedding reception so expensive. You are wondering why the bride and groom don’t just buy their wedding robe? Because the price of wedding clothing would exceed the price of a sports car.
Anyone who opts for a traditional Japanese celebration will get married in a kimono.
The colors red and white dominate because these two colors stand for purity in Shintoism. The groom wears a dark kimono, the bride a white wig with her kimono.
Only the closest relatives are present at the wedding ceremony and the Shinto priest performs a ritual cleansing of the bride and groom. The groom must take an oath and declare that he will always take care of his wife. After a few more Branches of the sacred sakaki tree have been sacrificed to the gods, the bride and groom drink the traditional rice wine sake from three bowls.
After the Shinto priest has finished the ceremony, the wedding celebration begins, which in most cases takes place in a hotel. In addition to family and friends, neighbors, work colleagues and often even former school friends are invited. The invited wedding guests either buy an expensive ticket or hand over a larger amount of money as a wedding gift. The bridal couple expects 300 to 500 euros per guest. It is not customary to give gifts in kind to the bride and groom.
Of course there are also cakes in Japan, but the classic wedding cake is just a dummy. Colorful, huge and mostly made of paper mache. There are often rockets inside the wedding cake.
Image of the Japanese bride and groom: © imtmphoto - fotolia.com
Image of cherry blossom heart for the wedding: © doris oberfrank-list - fotolia.com
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