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Ethnic Weddings

Members of the Navajo nation have used corn throughout history to symbolize the marriage union. According to Navajo tradition, a pudding of white and yellow corn is offered at the wedding reception. The bride enters the reception with the basket of corn pudding and sits next to the groom. The corn ceremony comprises the cleansing of the bride and groom's hands by each other, and the sharing of the corn pudding. Then the bride and groom feeds the corn pudding to each other. Because Mexico is a Roman Catholic country, weddings usually occur within a nuptial Mass.

Godparents play an important role in the wedding ceremony. The madrina de lazo carries a rope or a rosary symbolizing fertility. The rope is positioned on the bride and groom’s head in a figure eight as they take their vows. The madrina de arras holds 13 coins (for Jesus and his 12 apostles) that are blessed by the priest and represent the sharing of finances between the couple. Often, godparents hold wine glasses for the wedding toast.

During the nuptial Mass, the couple may kiss a cross to show faithfulness to each other and the Lord. Mariachi music is a vital part of Mexican wedding celebrations. Prior to the first dance, the reception guests enclose the couple in a heart-shaped ring. The Mexican wedding tradition that should excite any kid attending is the ceremony piñata. Piñatas are a focal point of Mexican wedding celebrations. Broom Jumping is one of the most common African American traditions at wedding. According to Harriette Cole in her book, "Jumping the Broom." Our ancestors created the ritual itself during slavery. Because slaves were unable to perform legal marriages, they created their own wedding rituals to honor their unions. The jumping of the broom symbolizes the sweeping away of the old and welcoming the new.

Clearly, “Jumping the Broom” is a symbol of a new beginning. Nowadays, the ceremony is usually performed at the wedding after the minister pronounces the couple husband and wife or at the reception just after the bridal party enters the reception area. It is important to explain your wedding tradition in your wedding program. Your ethnic traditions are better understood and enjoyed with appropriate explanation.


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