Thursday, April 3, 2008

Polish Wedding Tradition: The Bedding Down

It's midnight and I am still doing the research for an 8-paper due tommorow on Polish Holidays (yes that does mean I haven't started writing yet). While doing my research I came across a book that talked about the entire Polish wedding ceremony. I think I will do a series detailing the different things that were done, it's so fascinating to read about the different customs of other cultures, particularly surrounding weddings. This tradition is a little early in the series, but it's late at night and I find it unbelievably funny and horrifying at the moment. This is something that will NOT be happening on our wedding night.

Pokładziny-The Bedding Down


In ancient times, putting the bridal pair to bed was a normal and expected part of the marriage customs, and was down with much joking and hilarity. The young couple were directed by the entire wedding party to a room that had been specially prepared for them. The swat, still overseeing that all went according to custom, placed himself on the marriage bed to "warm it up". The womenfolk jumped up and down on the bed to make sure it could hold up and now break down. Rocks or sharp straw or thorns might have been placed underneath the sheets. The swat and swata then chased everyone out of the room and took the bride and groom to the bed and left them alone. The door was locked behind them and after serenading the bridal couple with some very warm and bawdy songs, along with vodka toasts and admonitions "not to be lazy," the couple were left alone.
The next morning, musicians awake the couple and gave them kasza cooked in milk and vodka that had been dyed red as a sign of lost virginity. The sheets were inspected for the expected stain that meant the loss of virginity. This made everybody happy and was the cause of more singing and dancing.
From "Polish Customs, Traditions and Folklore" by Sophie Hodorowicz Knab

Dang, I'm not sure if that book title should be underlined. I suck at MLA formatting.

Just so you know, we won't need any warnings against being lazy, and there will be no singing and dancing at the loss of my virginity, unless it is by yours truly.

11 comments:

Kelli said...

That's freaking hilarious :)

Eliza said...

jenna! I just found your blog! congrats for starting it. i have loads of catching up to do, cause I see in little time you've produced plenty;)

ah..and the tradition you wrote about...really very ancient times;) never heard about it, not even in the ancient books was given to read at school. so no worries, no one from the Polish side will encourage you to have it;)

good luck with the blog and planning!

if you need more help with 'real' haha Polish traditions, let me know;)

Etiquettely Correct said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I can't wait to get caught up on yours!

Erin and Todd said...

thanks for reading my blog and for letting me find yours! :)

i am having my bridesmaid brunch the morning before the day of the wedding and we're doing the charms there and having the cake there for the maids. i've seen it done both ways-- at the reception and at the bridesmaid brunch, but i wanted something more private.

Jenna said...

eliza-I am glad you stumbled over here, I am still reading yours (well I guess by reading I should say, looking at the pictures). In terms of actual traditions that are practiced in Poland today, you are going to be my first source!

erin-very nice idea. I think I will see what I can incorporate....

amberdawn said...

ha ha ha. i love this but i don't think it will happen to trace and i... people taking us to a room and locking the door, that is. I'm pretty sure we can do that ourselves :)

mnc said...

Wow!! That Stat thing is coo-wole. Thanks!

Heather said...

jenna... i hate this story for so many reasons :)

Jenna said...

heather-watch out on your night. I might be there jumping on the bed to test things out.

zu said...

Funny thing is I never heard of that tradition. It have to be really ancient ;)

Jenna said...

zu-I'm glad you aren't planning on doing that to us on our wedding night.