Hutsul Wedding Traditions

Hutsuls’ Matchmaking

God came to this house and we had; do you have a girl of marriageable age?

Courtship occurs mostly during Christmas holidays, rarely in fall. The guy who wants to get married, chooses two matchmakers from among his relatives or friends, goes into the house of her darling at night. “Good evening – sounds greeting of arrivals. – God came to this house and we had; do you have a girl of marriageable age? “As soon as the girl’s father answers the question” yes “matchmakers say again:” Well, we have come to connect children with God’s help! “. Then a guy puts a full bottle of vodka on a table, pours a full glass and drinks to the health of the girl. If then she takes and drink a glass filled with vodka, it means that the proposal is accepted. Then it is being sealed with kisses and there is not need for formal engagement to take place first. If, on the contrary, she passes on the glass without draining it, or puts it on the table, then matchmakers take a bottle and go to another house to seek their fortune.

In most cases, both parties who enter into marriage, originating from the same area. About girl’s dowry {wine changes) negotiations are conducted at the same evening as engagement. It usually consists of two or three complete sets of apparel, carpets of coarse wool, linen, cows and sheep. Lands girl gets mostly only when she has no brothers. Usually the older children get married first, but it happens that younger children marry before seniors. There is no shortage of influence of parents on choice of their children.

The day of the wedding is finally determined when young people have stood the prayers exam at priest. A visit to the church in order to make this test calls for paternoster.

Wedding is usually in January or February, because in most cases there is just a few weeks between matchmaking and marriage. For this reason rarely happens that promises are being torn.

Wedding is usually in January or February, because in most cases there is just a few weeks between matchmaking and marriage. For this reason rarely happens that promises are being torn. If this happens, in case side accuses the other in immoral acts, the retreating party must reimburse the other charges made by that time. Immediately after proposal houses are being cleaned and washed, setting supplies of food and beverages. That has to be a lot because there are many guests mostly and the wedding lasts for three-four days. But guests bring food with them too. On the day before the wedding guests gather in both houses who were solemnly invited by groom (Duke) and fiancé (Princess) earlier or on that day. For this, groom and bride, first one with one or two of best men, the second one with a few bride’s mates go to different houses best man or a bride’s mate says these words: ” Father and mother of the groom (bride) asked you, then the groom (bride) and I ask you that you were so kind to come to the wedding. ”

When both houses guests have gathered to mark the feast they put Christmas tree decorated with multi-colored hair on the table, and starting a joyous festive entertainment

This invitation walking both groups escorted by several musicians; also pistol shots can be heard. But when both houses guests have gathered to mark the feast they put Christmas tree decorated with multi-colored hair on the table, and starting a joyous festive entertainment; dancing and playing throughout the night. When the sun rises, wreath for the bride is being made of leaves of periwinkle, decorated with gold sequins and coins to affix a crown and garlic as a preventive measure against all evil. During this in some areas people sing a song; for all other stages of wedding no special songs; mostly everyone sings what they wants. Once wreath is made, it’s put on the girl’s head, accompanying action with blessing statements; and a needle that has been used at work, leave in the leaves. After this bride with bride’s mates goes three times around the table and then kneels before her parents to thank them for their manifest goodness and get their blessings. The same thing happens at the house of the groom; for this, wreath is being made and attached to his cap. In addition to these wreaths, groom and bride have on their left hands large, made of hard dried cheese rings (kalach); bride’s head sometimes is tied from chin to crown with a handkerchief and of two or one scarf on the shoulders. On usual festive dressings couple then dresses long coats (Manta) in some places it is needed that the bride instead of material that overshadow skirt, would wear an actual skirt of blue cloth, decorated on the lower rim with gold plating; on top of it still needs to wear a front cloth. All guests also festively dressed, best men and bridesmaids are decorated with flowers.

As soon as the couple left the church, a groom stroking bride three times with a whip, as a sign that he has now become her owner.

The wedding is held in a certain neighborhood only on Thursday or Sunday, because it is believed that only these days bring happiness, and always before dinner. At the agreed hour groom and bride go to their parents’ houses horseback, accompanied by ostentatious retinue to go to church. Before they leave the mansion, parents through wheat on them. Groom is being accompanied by chosen himself best men and bride – herself chosen bridesmaid. Ahead of the campaign people carry fairy trees decorated with multicolored fur. In front of the church two groups meet, and now formal engagement with exchange of rings is being held, and immediately after it – wedding. As soon as the couple left the church, a groom stroking bride three times with a whip, as a sign that he has now become her owner. Groom and bride go back on their horses. Thundering shots of pistols and all gallop to the house of the bride. But at some segment of road group of the groom stays behind, as bride and her retinue rushes forward. Before her hut she gets off a horse with saddle and at the door she is greeted by mother with praising statements. After that, all go to the room, and here her brides mates take her three times around the table. Then she sits on her assigned place of honor; during it she quietly substitutes as many fingers under her as many years she wants to remain childless. Then witness comes to her again and waves kalach three semicircles in  front of her face; then puts it against the sun, and asks the bride: “What do you see?”. She says: “I see amazingly beautiful world, but at God it’s the best.”

Meanwhile, groom with his associates drives into the yard. He sends ring of Carpathian cheese with his best man to the bride, which he carried in his hand at the wedding, and she sends him hers. In some places the couple give each other on this occasion full bowl of corn grains. Hostess comes in the yard, goes three times around groom and his support and throws wheat on them. Then she puts honey on the mouth of the groom; meanwhile witness comes up with his kalach, waving it and asks the same question as before with the bride. Groom also gets off the horse with saddle and goes into the house after his parents have tie his two young accompanies (boeri, meaning soldiers, nobles) colorful scarves over their shoulders. There he discovers that his place by bride is occupied by brother or some relative of the bride. Now begins the auction for the bride. “How much do you ask for a place?” – Starts groom.

“Three hundred guldens” – he gets a randomly said in response. “This is too much” – denies groom and bargaining begins, until the groom buys the bride and a place beside her for a small donation or an ax and whips the enemy to the door; and now bride gets three whips again. Without the gift to a relative he could refuse to give the bride up; but gifts from groom to a bride and her mother are only voluntary; they consist of shoes and scarves. It is to give other gifts, but do not get presents young bride or from her family. Wedding guests bring with them cakes, fruits, cash gifts and scarves for the bride.

Marriage remains valid even if the Hutsul found that his bride is no longer a young girl.

During a festive dinner a little girl holds lighted candle behind newlywed. She’s called sviteuka, it means – bearer of light, and she receives for her service towel and kalach. After a fun-filled entertainment groom finally signs to leave. Newlyweds and their companions again sit on the horses and together ride to the house of the parents of groom. Those solemnly bless them and shower them with wheat, all come into the house and have fun there until late night. Then witnesses escort a young couple to bedroom. Here best man takes off shoes from bride and then groom, after it guests leave. In the morning, a young couple is being woke up by mother and bride  covers her head with a handkerchief as a sign that she is a wife now. Marriage remains valid even if the Hutsul found that his bride is no longer a young girl. On the third day of the wedding prop is celebrated. Young couple is visited only by parents of the bride, and there should be no shortage of drinks.

Eight days after the marriage is finally outlets, a young couple entering the church. On this day young couple visiting bride’s parents and take dowry. In some areas, this transmission occurs on the day after prop. So on the fourth day after the wedding. It should be noted that the transfer of gifts by witnesses is not on the wedding day, but later, as stated on gifts of godparents. The young couple passes wedding kalachs for parents and receives in return gifts. However, this holiday is called kolachyny.

As mentioned setting trees on tables marks the beginning of the wedding, so their withdrawal means the end of the wedding celebration. It should be noted, that the ring of cheese that the couple carried at the wedding often kept for years in memory of the event. Finally, we must also note that the old guys in hutsuls are not uncommon. However, they have ordered household and instruct it to a hired hostess who performs all the duties of wife. There are also old unmarried hutsul women, as already mentioned. Persons living in unregistered marriage swear allegiance to each other and humility with lump of salt and two lighted wax candles.

Post Your Thoughts