In the last few posts, I’ve shared some traditions about Irish and Scottish weddings. Here are a few more Celtic wedding traditions:
• The Welsh Lovespoon--This may have been an early type fof engagement ring, or perhaps the accesptance of the cared spoon at least meant the beginning of a serious courtship, “going steady”, so to speak. Could this be where the term “spooning” originated? This giving of an elaborate, carved wooden spoon, decorated with keys hearts and balls, origanated in Wales during the 17th century.
• The Celtic Love Knot Design--The lines of the Celtic love knot entwined hearts, indicateing theat the two separate lives become one. Other populare knot designes are animals such as the heron, because the heron mates for life. These designs are used to adorn invitatins, napkins, wrappings for favors, and embroidered into the wedding dress and the bride’s hanky.
• Harvest Love Knots--In Northern Ireland, young men and women would take long braids of straw and twist them into decorative knots to give away as love tokens. When one’s lover accepted a harvest knot, it was assumed that a wedding would follow the next spring. Today, these knots are made with raffie and attorned with flowers and colorful ribbons. They’re used as boutonnieres for the groom, worn int he bride’s haire, attached to the bride’s bouquet, and even used as napkin rings at the wedding reception.
• Handfasting--This is a type of Celtic wedding ceremony dating back to the middle Ages, or possibly earlier. Many small villages did not have a local minister or jpriest to perform marriage ceremonies, so couples would perform a handfasting, which legally bound them until someone of the clergy could perform a ceremony. It was a temporary marrieagethat lasted for a year and a day. Handfasting is now included in may wedding ceremonies as a way to honor the couple’s celtic heritage. Their hands are bound together with a cord or a tartan cloth during the vows to show that from that pint foward, they will live and love as one.
These wedding traditions, and more, can be found in the liner notes of my CD, “Haste to the Wedding” (Copyright©2005 Anne Roos):
“May all your joys be pure joys and all your pain champagne.”
--Traditional Irish Toast
Have your own Celtic wedding traditions to add? Please add a comment or two....Next time: Romantic wedding traditions (new and old) for everyone in honor of St. Valentine’s Day!