Life basically entails three primary stages; birth, life and death. However, most traditional societies do not celebrate celibacy apart from when taken up as a minister to serve God. Marriage is considered an essential part of living and almost regarded as a rite of passage which one must undergo in life.
To mark the beginning of a marriage, couples will hold a wedding ceremony to celebrate with friends and family. In many different cultures, when you are invited to an occasion, the least you can do is bring a gift for the host. Once you decide to accept a wedding invite, as a guest you are obliged to carry a gift for the newlyweds.
Choosing a gift, especially for adults and more so couples can be a task. However, different cultures all over the globe have devised ways to gift newlyweds. These gifts vary from those which guests give to the couple, to those that in-laws give to welcome the groom or bride into the new family. Wedding gifts are subtle in general, but some cultures have some strange traditions.
In Korea, the groom gifts the mother-in-law with a wooden wild goose. This is meant to show that he will stay faithful to her daughter. This is because the bird is known as an animal which sticks to one partner in its life, hence, symbolizing monogamy and faithfulness.
In China, the color red is considered symbolic to good luck, hence, chasing any evil that may befall the couple. In this regard, wedding guests tend to give in cash in red envelopes.
This may, however, change as cryptocurrency becomes acceptable money. With blockchain technology advancing, an investment in crypto currency is a novel gift that any couple will love to receive on their wedding day.
To bring in happiness to the new union, guests in Holland gift the bride and groom with bulbs of lilies of the valley. The couple are meant to plant these around their house to promote joy in their new home.
The Polish have a ‘money dance,’ during which the guests must ‘pay’ to dance with the bride. This is a way of gifting the couple in cash. The maid or groom of honor is often tasked with being in charge of the ‘cash registry.’ The money raised is meant as donations to fund the couple’s honeymoon.
In Cuba, a similar “money dance” is performed but with a slight variation. Male guests must pay to dance with the bride, but in this case, pin the cash onto her dress
In Greece, guests traditionally bring gourmet pastries made of sesame seeds, quince, and honey. They also practice the money dance, similar to Cuba.
In Indonesia, gifts to the couple vary from expensive jewelry to hand-woven fabrics and clothing. Married couples are viewed with high esteem; hence, guests give quite costly gifts as a way to appreciate their status.
Modern couples create a gift registry at a particular outlet or store, where the guests can purchase their desired gift to them. This gift registry ideally includes items the couple consider essential to begin their new home. These items vary from kitchenware to bathroom essentials and gift vouchers. The wide range of pre-listed items also ensures that guests give a variety of presents as opposed to similar gifts.