In Greece, a few years back, it was believed that women should remain pure and untouched before getting married. This was not a mere choice, it was the bride’s family obligation towards the groom’s family. It was a self-evident deal between the two uniting families. If the bride to be wasn’t a virgin, she was thought to be “broken”…
Tradition said that the day after the first night of the wedding, the new wife should prove that she was pure by hanging the bed sheets on the balcony for the whole world to see (and of course the demanding relatives). Of course regardless the time or the social position of the woman, Greek women always found a way to make things work on their behalf, “pure” or not “pure”! And this is where the rooster comes…
If the wife to-be wasn’t exactly untouched before the wedding, the family of the bride used to kill a rooster and preserve his blood for the girl to use on her first night as a wife. Why a rooster? Well according to the old Greeks, the rooster has the same color blood as that of a virgin woman. Then, after the wedding night, the family would cook the rooster and share it for dinner. The same thing would happen if the new couple had “spent time together” before getting married. The groom to be would help his wife to prove her purity and be accepted by his strict family.
The Greek folklore actually describes the fact in a funny way, as the girl’s family or the groom to be, had to kill the poor rooster in a silent way, so that the neighborhood wouldn’t understand the fraud. And I will tell you one thing, roosters don’t go down easily…!
Now all that belongs in the past and Greek roosters live happily (except when it’s soup’s time). This story is mentioned in funny moments, when a woman’s virginity is the topic of discussion, just to tease her:
“Don’t worry dear, I promise I will slaughter a rooster at your wedding!”
Do you have similar bloody wedding traditions in your country?
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Ioanna Aggelidaki is the Social Media Manager and Contributor of the Greek Weddings and Traditions Blog.
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