It's June which can only mean one thing...wedding season! I was invited to a wedding, my 2nd invitation in 4 years of living here (I am not that popular among the Belgians I guess) and ...I am going to have to miss this one too!!! Disappointed to say the least because what better way is there to understand a culture than to be invited into the inner sanctum on the most intimate of days? I did have a friend in France invite me to a funeral. I declined. In connection with this wedding, I also learned a fantastic new French phrase: "brûler les culottes" . Translation: to burn the panties. Snort. This is the term used for the Bachelorette Party or Hen Party as the say in the UK. Cluck Cluck Cluck.
Seriously, burning underwear? Isn't that odd? Seems like the underwear stay on more often after you're married, if you now what I mean. To use this picturesque expression in a sentence, you say something like this, "No, I am sorry I can't join you for dinner, my friend is burning her panties that night". Or, mix it up and use it in the substantive: "Oh, that is the night of my sisters 'brulage'". Like me, you must be wondering ...if women have to burn their undies, what must men have to do before their wedding? (besides the obvious going to church and thanking God they found someone to marry them).
The phrase for bachelor party or stag party is "l'enterrement de vie de garcon". Translation: funeral (or burial) of the life of young man. I think burning my La Perla sounds much more fun, non?
So broads of many nations, this got me wondering...what are some other wedding/hen/bachelorette traditions from home? Funny things... Share share share, spare no details. Here are some fun wedding factoids I have picked up from friends.
1. It was in Italy, the land of love, that gold wedding rings first became popular, and it was also in Italy that the tradition of the wedding cake was first begun . Gotta love Italy.
2. During the Tudor period in England it became customary for the wedding party to throw old shoes at the bride and groom's carriage; if the carriage was struck by a shoe it was considered a symbol of good fortune to follow. Make mine a Monolo Blahnik please. This must be where the tradition of tying shoes to the bumper came from?
3. The traditional bridal trousseau, or hope chest, originated in France and came from the French word trousse, meaning bundle. Inside was typically hand made table and bed linens. Today...big bundle of nothing. Did anyone have a trousseau at their wedding? I had a bundle of bills from paying for mine. All worth it though...aaaahhhh.
4. In India, the bride traditionally wears red (white signifies death ). An important detail to know on your wedding day.
I want to know more! Tell me your family traditions, national traditions, food served, clothes worn, your deepest wedding traditions yearning to be free. Send me an email and I'll share with fellow broads abroad.
Until then, happy June, and happy summer, and happy weddings, especially if it's your own. But don't get your panties too close the fire, or we may have to bury you with the boys.