Traditions and Customs. Wedding, Baptism ceremonies Olaine Secondary School No1 Lifelong Learning Multirateral Comenius School Project “We all came here from somewhere” -2011 Wedding The wedding celebration is the family ritual which has survived most completely through the centuries. Wedding Today's weddings are divided into different parts. First is the formal part the church or the register office ceremony. Wedding The next part is the multitraditional part, when the vedēji can show their creativity by completing traditional wedding values with modern interpretations. Wedding In the wedding morning the bride has to be in her parents’ house and the groom cannot see her before that. Wedding Latvian wedding tradition is that the groom and the bride both together go into the church or registry office. Wedding The groom and vedēji ( a woman and a man who manage all the wedding ceremony at the reception) arrive to the bride’s parents’ house and after the groom has proved that he is suitable for their daughter, the groom , the bride and vedēji go to the churh or registry office in one car. The bride’s parents follow them in another one. Wedding After the formal civil ceremony or the ceremony in the church newly weds go on a small trip. Sometimes all the guests follow them but most often the trip is only for vedēji and them an during this trip a new couple takes different photos. Wedding During the trip the young couple has to go trough different trials. One of the most popular trial - the groom has to carry his bride over seven bridges. Crossing the bridge symbolizes a conversion from status 'mine' and 'yours' to the status 'ours'. Wedding This is the time, when they should forget the previous sins and also write some wishes and promises for further life together as a family. Wedding One of the trials is to deal with “the gates of honour” which are erected by the invited or most often uninvited guests in the way the young couple must go. As bigger the amount of gates are as better their further life will be. They can pass the gates by paying some ransom (money, sweets, alcohol) or by doing some tasks. Wedding In the evening all invite guest and the young couple meet at the wedding banquet. The young couple have to pass here last three gates of honour – Gates of the Childhood, the Youth and the Family - again by doing some tasks demonstrating they are suitable for each other. Wedding When entering the room, the groom has to carry the bride over the path of towel with a plate hidden under it. The groom has to break the plate. The amount of pieces shows the amount of children in this family. Wedding At the beginning of the meal three candles are lighted by parents and newly weds. This fire in Latvian culture symbolizes a hearth. In ancient times that was the most important in every house – to keep in fire. Those candles are reference to that. Wedding When the guests try the first glass of the drink somebody starts calling – Rūgts! That means the drink tastes bitter and newly weds have to make it sweeter by kiss. As longer lasts the kiss as sweeter tastes the drink. Wedding Usually the dancing part of the wedding party starts with the first waltz of the young couple. Later guests have lots of fun by singing, playing games, dancing and participating in different wedding competitions. Wedding The culmination of the traditional wedding is “mičošana” or “tuckering” at midnight when the bride’s veil is taken off anda wife’s tucker is put on. Now "the bride" becomes "the wife," and she wears a married woman's cap. Also the groom gets his husband’s hat. Wedding Then the new wife opens her hope chest. The young couple shares the gifts saying thanks to their parents and other people who are notable for them or have helped to organize weddings. Wedding Some time later at night the young couple is accompanied to bed while singing songs. Predicting the firstborn child in this family, some things are put under their bed - an axe for a son or a ladle for a daughter. After that guests continue the party to provide successfully life for the new family. Wedding The awakening of the new couple in the next morning is also ritualized. Normally the husband and wife are awakened by the guests, who try to make noise with drums, voices, pans and cooking pots and singing. Afterwards they wash in the same bowl and wipe in the same towel. Wedding A lot of the wedding customs were derived from the times of our ancestors and a lot of them are inspired from other countries. Each generation adds something new to the wedding rituals. Baptism If the wedding traditions have largely been preserved through the centuries, the ancient Latvian baptism traditions have remained mostly only in folklore. Baptism Nowadays only dievturi (Godskeepers – a Neopagan religious movement, which claims to be a modern revival of the folk religion of Latvians before Christianization in the 13 th century) baptize a child according to them. Baptism The majority of Latvian people chose between the baptism in the church (depending on the family religious affiliation) or the child’s registration ceremony at the registry office. Baptism Only immediate family members, relatives and selected friends participate in baptism ceremony. After the ceremony the child receives presents. Thank you for attention!