The Philippines is a unique country full of beliefs and superstitions that most of the time rule over the whole cultural system. As a country with a long history of both trading and colonization with various cultures and customs, one can expect that superstitions and their variations abound. They abound in all areas and aspect of the Philippine Culture may they be a very trivial thing to a very huge event.
Weddings are covered with many superstitious beliefs that have been passed down from one generation to the other. It is unexplainable why weddings are one of the most favorite occasions to be given many superstitions. Even at these modern times, wedding superstitions rule even with the advent of changing cultural landscapes and wedding traditions. So much can be read about the most famous Philippine superstitions when it comes to weddings.
This article will focus on the lesser known wedding superstitions in the Philippines. These superstitions come from the different areas and sub-cultures of the Philippines. Here is the list of the not so famous ten:
1. Give the couple a chamber pot as one of the best wedding gifts. The use of chamber pot is very popular in the Philippines especially in the rural areas where their toilets are separate from the main house. However, the giving of chamber pot as a wedding gift to a couple is not a well known fact. For the believers in this superstition, the chamber pot encourages good luck for the couple.
2. The bride should not wear any pearl. Pearls are highly discouraged to be worn as ornaments or accessories for the bride. Pearls are associated with the drop of tears. As such, the superstition says that the bride who wears pearl on her wedding day will be unhappy and lonely throughout her marriage. Moreover, heartaches will be common for her.
3. If the bride wants her soon to be husband to listen to her all the time, step on his foot. This superstition says that the bride should step on the foot of his groom if she wants him to agree with her all the time. It is a symbol of dominance in the part of the woman. The bride however, should do it while walking towards the altar.
4. The groom should not be the first to sit during the ceremony. Grooms who sit first ahead of the bride will forever be nagged by the bride, the superstition says. Sitting is a symbol of defeat and hands down by the groom in favor of the bride. Grooms are taught to wait for the bride to be seated, if he wants peace for their marriage.
5. During the reception, break a glass. Or just about anything for that matter. It is widely believed that breaking anything after the ceremony will bring good luck for the couple. It is may be due to the casting away of the evil spirits through the sound of the breaking. This, however, should be done during the reception and not during the wedding ceremony- which has its own superstition regarding breaking of wedding elements.
6. The bride should not cry during the ceremony. A bride crying is one of the best ways to attract bad luck. The crying paves the way for heartaches and bitterness in the part of the bride, in all aspects of marriage. It is like calling on the bad luck to take center stage in marriage. Even uncontrollable tears count as bad luck.
7. Parents are also not allowed to cry. The bride’s and the groom’s parents are also prohibited to cry during the ceremony. This is not because of the noise that they will make. It is believed that if parents cry, it symbolizes their disagreement in the marriage, and therefore calls on a bad omen for their children’s marriage. It is like the parents will bring a curse to the marriage.
8. The fire on the wedding candles should be put out simultaneously. Destiny is sealed should one of the wedding candles be extinguished ahead of the other. The one whose candle is put out first is to die first. Therefore, superstitious belief says that the candles should be guarded and to be put out simultaneously.
9. When going up the stairs in their new home, the bride and groom should walk alongside each other. This is believed to be imperative if the newlyweds want to be equal and not dominating the other for the rest of their married life. They have to do up the stairs together for the first time in their new home.
10. Follow the newlywed’s footprints. Move over bridal bouquet. If a woman desires to marry soon, she should follow the footsteps of the newlywed couple- literally. She should do this after the ceremony when the bride and groom exit the wedding venue. Marriage is near to those who follow the footsteps of the newlyweds.
These lesser know wedding superstitions in the Philippines may be newer ones or forgotten ones. These may also have simply sprung from the more famous superstitious beliefs in weddings. These may also be just some variations or a superstition within a superstition.
These superstitions are not claimed to be unique only in the Philippines because these beliefs are from the mixture of several cultures that influenced the present Philippines. These lesser-known superstitions are existing in the Philippine society and vary in degree and execution with regards to the ruling culture in a specific area of the country.
Variations may be due to the stronger cultural influences over the weaker ones. A certain sub-culture may or may not accept a specific superstition. Others accept everything.
It is also very important to note how a wedding superstition is connected not only to marriage and the life of the newlywed couple but also to wealth and property, other members of the family, future of the others, and even death. That proves to be how rooted and embedded superstitions are in the Philippines.