Getting married in Abruzzo
There are so many traditions connected to the wedding ritual in Abruzzo.
Marriage has always represented one of the most significant and relevant moment in a life cycle.
Weddings followed a complex and structured system of rituals, habits and popular traditions, involving the whole community: a public celebration for the whole village!
According to the local tradition, ceremonies used to take place only in April, September and December, when the wine ‘has completely cleared’ and all signs of fermentation are long gone.
The mother of the bride used to say goodbye to her beloved daughter on the doorstep of their house, with a linen cloth on her shoulder to wipe away her tears, while greeting her.
On the wedding day, the couple and families used to go to the church, followed by a parade, from the bride’s house.
After the celebration, the wedding reception took place at the bride’s house.
At the end of the reception, the bride was not allowed to follow the groom to their new house, she stayed at home for another seven days, until the day of the ‘riscita’ (i.e. the day when she used to leave the parents’ house for her family new life). After that, the bride was used to be welcomed into her in-laws’ house, where a new reception was held and the bride and groom received gifts from their relatives and friends.
At the end of this special reception, the groom’s uncle used to collect the gifts (huge amounts of money) from all the guests, putting them on a silver tray.
This tradition has now evolved into the modern habit of giving envelopes containing money directly to the guests, during the party.
The bride used to give embroidered handkerchiefs, precious textiles and sugared almonds served.
The day after the wedding, the groom used to go to his in-laws’ house to greet the new family and bring the bride’s greetings.
The wedding ceremony
The wedding ceremony was very simple and characterised by superstitious and propitiatory rites.
At the end of the religious celebration, the newlyweds were celebrated with the throw of rice and sugared almonds as a sign of good luck.
During the wedding parade heading to the bride’s house, a special ritual took place: the couple’s cut of the ribbon. The bride and groom had to cut a ribbon, placed in the middle of the street, as a symbol of entering a new life together.