Today is July 7, 2007. Some say it's the luckiest day of the year. Some say it's a great day to open a business, to travel, to give birth, to get married. Others say it's just a date with the same numbers.
Almost, if not all countries have their own superstitious beliefs -- and that includes Filipinos here in our native land or around the world as passed on by relatives who've chosen to dwell in other countries but have kept their "Filipino-ness" in tact.
Superstitions abound all around the world which mostly consist of old wives' tales, stories of good/bad luck or a need to explain the unexplainable. In the Philippines (in Tagalog), they're called "Pamahiin" -- some beliefs passed on from generation to generation and Filipinos have a pamahiin for every stage or milestone in their lives, beginning from while a child is still in the womb until their death. Marriages/weddings are not spared from these beliefs, which by the way have no real scientific basis and yet there are still a lot of people who choose to follow them to ensure the success of a wedding/union. Some have even passed on these superstitions as traditions which should be revered.
From Western countries, common traditions and superstitions that have been practiced even in the Philippines are: wearing something old/new/borrowed/blue (forgetting that there should be a sixpence in the wedding shoe), carrying the bride while crossing the threshold, throwing the bouquet and garter, cutting a wedding cake, showering the bride and groom with grains/rice/confetti during the recessional, to name a few.
Some popular wedding superstitions still practiced by some Filipinos include:
A bride should not try on her wedding dress before the wedding day or her wedding will not push through.
In other Eastern countries, the groom only sees his bride on the day of the wedding and the face of the bride is covered to protect her from evil spirits, thereby keeping her pure for her husband. This also prevents the groom from seeing his bride who actually looks like an evil spirit. :-P
I think a wedding planner must have thought of this in order for you to hire one. :-) Also, it might have been thought of by well-meaning old folks to spare the soon-to-weds from possible accidents, thereby canceling the wedding. My, my, what would they do with their gowns if your wedding got canceled?
Prosperity and marital bliss are sure to pour in when the rain does on your wedding!
Now, this one, I think was concocted to make the bride feel better when it rains on her wedding day after all the preparations she went through to make everything a success. I guess Mother Nature has a way of telling you that not even the best wedding planner can stop the rain from falling. But let me ask you, what does the cycle of evaporation and condensation have to do with marital bliss? Weird connection, I tell you.
A bride shouldn't wear pearls on her wedding day because it brings tears to her marriage.
I think we inherited this belief from Mexican traditions who think of pearls as "oyster tears" and wearing them on your wedding day counts the tears you will have during your marriage. Yes, I say, blame it on the poor oysters which are eaten on the honeymoon night as they are said to increase the newlyweds' libido. Go figure what the oysters are more known for.
If the flame on your wedding candle dies out first during the ceremony, you will die ahead of your spouse.
I think this just means the electric fan was too strong on that side of the room which blew out the candle. :-D
Since it's a tradition for Eastern countries that the groom's family pay for the wedding, I suspect this was a ploy to reduce the groom's family expenses for the year. Now, what did I say about keeping it simple and sweet?
And if you are aspiring to be a bride, you can either sing while you cook or laugh out loud "tawa ng tawa, gustong mag-asawa" ("laugh with glee, a bride you'll soon be").
Traditions or not, I think it's best to leave everything to the One who will bless this marriage. No force of nature, no circumstance, no third party can crush a marriage filled with faith, hope and true love unless they allow them to. Most of the time, traditions and superstitions prevent us from making our own choices and when you talk about weddings or marriage, right choices are what we should make. In recent years, couples have discarded the bouquet and garter toss, have opted for cupcakes instead of a big cake you can cut, the doves have been replaced by butterflies, the white dress is not so white anymore.
Slowly but surely, we are letting go of these superstitions that we have realized have no real bearing on our marriages. Thank goodness for that!