Jun 20, 2008

Would You Rather: Burn Your Panties or Bury Your Youth?

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.

1 comment:

MessyMom said...

Have you ever been to an Orthodox Jewish wedding? The bride and groom fast the day of their wedding - no food or drink.

The day starts with the men in one room finalizing the marriage & legal papers (with Crown Royal) and the female guests greeting the bride.

Eventually the men dance the groom from their room to where the bride is, with the guests looking on singing and clapping. Here he raises her veil to make sure he has the right woman (reminiscent of the whole Rachel/Leah confusion in the bible).

The ceremony includes the bride walking 7 times around the groom and the famous breaking of the glass to remember the destruction of the holy temple in Israel.

After the ceremony the bride and groom disappear. In modern day it is for photos, but that's not what they were doing in the long ago past!

Then lots of dancing for hours - with the men and women on opposite ends of the room. People think it is a mitzvah (good deed) to entertain the bride and groom, so they do silly things like juggle, come in gorilla costumes and breakdance. Yes, Rabbi Shwarmitz is suddenly spinning plates on his nose - a talent no one knew he had!

My brother, being the rebel he is, took tango lessons and actually danced with his bride at his wedding to the surprise of all the rabbis in the room. HE TOUCHED her in public!

It is a true PARTY atmosphere!!