The Wedding Day In Kosiv

The wedding day ceremony begins in the bride’s house. The living room is festively decorated with flowers and embroidered rushnyk-towels.

The table is covered with an embroidered ritual cloth on which a wedding strutsel is placed. This is a large bread loaf decorated with symbolic dough ornaments. In ancient times this bread was offered as a sacrifice to the pagan gods.

A tree of life is made, married women come to the table and stick branches of “laskavets” (a plant with oval, limpid leaves) into the strutsel. The leaves of laskavets are gilded or painted red, blue, green and yellow.

According to ancient myths, the life of an individual, their future and fate are tied to the tree of life. It is very important to make this tree for the young couple and decorate it with herbs and other things that can bring them good luck.

The decorating ceremony is accompanied by singing various songs.

The bride and two bridesmaids will stand at the table. The bride is dressed in a beautiful embroidered blouse, pleated dark skirt, a white apron with lace, and decorated with myrtle. The bride’s hair is braided. The groom’s group is at the door of the bride’s house. The groom’s ushers and brother come into the living room. Musicians will play the wedding march.

One of the ushers has a present in his hands. It is a wooden carved box with the bride’s wreath, a mirror and presents for the bride and her bridesmaids. Under the box there is an embroidered rushnyk-towel and a “kolach” (round bread with a hole).

Another usher and the brother have kolachi in their hands. The embroidered rushnyk towel is pushed through the hole with kolachi. The ushers and brother bow and take a step back three times. The bride and her bridesmaids bow to them.

The senior usher says:

Good morning, young lady bride,
May this day be happy and bright?
Your groom, your dearest friend,
Wants us the wedding wreath to you to present.

The ushers come up to the table, put the box on it take three breads with kolachi, and break them into pieces. A piece of wedding bread is offered to everyone, present from the oldest guest to the youngest one. The bride comes from the table and sits down on the pillow placed on the chair. She looks into the mirror in the box. The bride’s brother unbraids her hair.

The women sing two times:

Roses bloom unfading,
Brother’s bride unbraiding.

The bride’s mother combs her daughter’s hair. The women sing:

Oh my mother, dear mother,
Stroke my hair, dear mother,
With your hands white and kind,
With your tears, tears fine.

The bride’s father touches his daughter’s head three times with the wreath then places it on her head.

The women sing:

The bride’s wreath is as gold and bright
As the fire is ablaze with light.

The bride bows to all the four corners of the room. Her mother and father sit down before the table, and take kolachi into their hands.

The bride says three times:

Bless me, my mother!
Bless me, my father!

Her parents say three times:

Let God bless you!

The bride says:

Bless me, the people!

The people say:

Let God bless you!

The wedding march is played. The groom comes into the room. He has a bouquet of flowers for the bride.

The groom says:

Take these flowers as a symbol of our love,
Let them be always unfading
As unfading will be our love.

The bridesmaids attach small corsages to the ushers’ lapels. The bride attaches a large corsages to the groom’s lapel. The ushers take the bride by her arm and are followed by the groom and bridesmaids.

Married couple. Photo: Stanislav Mykhajlyuk

The wedding march song is played.

The procession walks to the church.

The parents throw wheat kernels and sugar at the bride and the groom as a sign of fertility and love.


Author
A. Drebotjuk
English teacher of the Kosiv secondary school №1 of the I–III grades.
Note According to ancient myths, the life of an individual, their future and fate are tied to the tree of life. It is very important to make this tree for the young couple and decorate it with herbs and other things that can bring them good luck.
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