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> Marriage customs
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  Posted: 11-Feb-2002, 09:59 PM
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Here are some customs which used to be prevalent in Scotland and some have survived to this day.

Although most people married locally, young people learned from an early age how to foretell who their marriage partner would be or what he/she would be like. For example, by paring an apple so the skin comes off in one length. As the clock strikes twelve, it was thrown over the left shoulder. When it landed it would form the first letter of the name of the spouse. Also 2 nuts were burnt in a fire-if they burnt quitely all would be well, if they exploded and burst, true love would be hard to find.

Walking out was a popular activity for the young men and women in towns. They would gradually pair off and when they become betrothed, they stand opposite side of a burn, dipped their hands in the water and joined hands.

Leap Year
It is said that in the 11th century Queen Margaret introduced the custom of allowing the girl to ask the boy to marry her on 29 February in a leap year. It evolved if the boy refused, he had to buy her a dress and kid gloves.

The ring on the third finger of the left hand goes back to Roman times but was banned in Scotland after the Reformation in the 16th century as being a Popish relic. But the custom came back again in the 17th century. The wearing of wedding rings by man is a recent innovation.

"Free" weddings were where the father of the bride paid for all the food and drink. Scots wedding usually continue into the evening with dancing and more alcohol. "Penny Weddings" meant each guest provided some food and drink and often lasted for more than one day.

Wedding Gowns
The color white for a wedding dress was introduced by Queen Victoria-prior to that any color was acceptable except green (which was associated with fairies) and black (which was for mourning). The tradition of the bride "something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue" is still often followed. Traditionally, there were never any knots in ribbons or clothing but these were retied after the wedding-tying the knot.

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Posted: 12-Feb-2002, 12:06 PM
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Wow, I am hugely impressed, thanks!  I am always interested in these historic customs!  Keep up the good work!
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