Lithuania wedding traditions
G: I haven’t seen you for ages! Nice to meet you but… what are you doing here?
R: I’m so glad that we meet in Lithuania. I see you are surprised to see me but I came here to take part in my cousin’s wedding.
G: Fancy that! What a wonder! But you have never mentioned about your relatives in my homeland.
R: For my part, let’s go to some coffee and continue our speaking. You know, I would like to know more about Lithuania wedding traditions.
G: Ok, ok, let’s go!
G: Well, I understood that you are quite educated speaking about nowadays Lithuania wedding traditions so I with pleasure tell you something about old customs of marriage. Do you know that at the end of XIX century the most important facts in choosing your life partner were economical and social situation of his or her… And love was of no importance.
R: Do you mean that parents would choose a wife or husband for their child? I think it’s impossible.
G: Heh… but you are quite right! And it was sad if parents didn’t agree with the choice of their child, the priest couldn’t marry them.
R: Oh, I see! In my country when two people decide to wed they must have 2 witness and in your country there are called.. I don’t remember the exact word..
G: Could I interrupt you?
R: Oh, sure!
G: In Lithuania they are called matchmakers. But there is one thing you don’t know; sometimes in place of matchmaker who matched the couple went a woman called tulkininkė.
R: Can you repeat the last word?
R: How do you spell that?
G: Ty ju el kei ai en ai en kei y
R: I don’t understand. Could you say it in other words?
G: Tulkininkė is a woman who has the same functions as the matchmaker but she was popular in the north east of Lithuania at the end of XIX century. Do you understand me now?
R: All right, I got that. But I know that in marriage rituals very important role belongs to matron, if I am not mistaken.
G: Sorry to interrupt, but very important role belongs to whom?
R: To matron
G: Uh, yeah, you aren’t. In some regions the functions of matron are the same as of made of honour.
R: In other words matron is the same as a maid of honour?
G: No, I didn’t say that I just said that in some regions their functions were the same. To continue, there were some cases when the bride invited even 3 matrons: one matron went with the bride and groom to church, another performed rituals in which bride passed into position of married woman and the third one went with the bride to groom’s house and was like a maid???? Between two families.
R: Really very interesting customs. When I was invited in my friend’s wedding I took part in the evening where were all girls and we were celebrating before her wedding. It was great, only girls.
G: Just a quick interruption, if that’s okay; it was wedding eve or in other words her party?
R: Yes, exactly. But I heard that these wedding eves now aren’t the same as they were. Nowadays everybody is cheerful.
G: sorry to interrupt, but I’ve read a book in which was described such like custom when bride and her friends gathered together in one place, during the evening dominated sad parting mood, bride was mourning.
R: Could I ask the question?
R: Why she was mourning?
G: You know, when the girl doesn’t love the man she is going to marry she is afraid of her future life, I think so, but there was written that she wasn’t allowed to cry in the grooms house.
R: Poor girls.
G: If you don’t mind I remembered the old names of wedding eve. It was called pintuves, vakarynos.
R: It was called how?
G: py ai en ty ju vy y es, vy ei kei ei a vai en eu es
R: So you mean that vakarynos or pintuves were the same as wedding eve?
G: Yes you are right.
R: And what about cutting brides hair, were all brides in short cut?
G: I’m not sure about it, but I know the fact that bride’s hair were unturned and combed, nothing about cutting. Maybe in some regions of Lithuania bride was cut exact.
R: I’m so sorry but I have a question.
R: Well, yesterday I came into Lithuania and while I was coming from Vilnius to Kaunas I saw a wedding ceremony but it was very strange to me… a groom was caring his bride through the bridge..
G: Oh, it’s one of the nowadays traditions. It turned up (taryb. Laikais) this tradition was popularized by tax drivers. They wanted to earn more money.
R: Oh, I understand… They wanted to earn more money so they tried to find more bridges not only in the town but some km. outside the town, right?
R: You know I bought a present to my cousin.
G: Oh, and if it is not a secret what did you buy?
R: Oh. Of course it’s not a secret: luxurious chine coffee – service
G: I hope they like it very much.
R: I hope so, because my cousin didn’t give a list of presents.
G: She didn’t give you what?
R: The list of presents. Don’t you know that?
G: To tell you the truth, we are not using such thing. Guests give presents, which they think, are useful for bride and groom.
R: Hmm, I see. And what about old traditions?
G: There was such tradition call aciavimas.
R: What does the last word mean?
G: In Samogitia was popular custom when village women gather the presents of all village people for bride and groom and for showing graduate they were singing. The word aciavimas is something like the word thank you.
R: Oh, that’s very interesting, I really didn’t hear something like that earlier. What exciting me are wedding clothes. My cousin is going to wear a red extravagant dress during her wedding. Aren’t brides in Lithuania wearing white traditional dresses?
G: Oh, a good question, in Lithuania are popular white long dresses for brides and black costumes for grooms. And these brides who want to look differently wear various colors and lengths dresses.
R: Hmm, I see. Did brides wear white dresses in old days?
G: Are you kidding, they wore our national clothes.
R: Now I believe I know almost everything, I mean traditions, and what about celebration?
G: You see, there are such things as (kelio blokavimas), matchmaker’s hanging, matron’s feast, table’s (uzsedimas)
R: As I understand those traditions are from the old days. Are all couples keeping to them now?
G: Of course not all, some of couples even don’t know some of them or they keep to some new customs.
R: Oh, I absolutely forgot! It’s 10 o’clock and I have to go to hairdressing saloon to make my hair, you know wedding…
G: Oh then I don’t disturb you. Maybe we will meet after the wedding some day?
R: O.K. I’ll call you, Bye!
G: Bye! Good luck!