From ancient times, the ceremony of matchmaking was considered a kind of "purchase" of the bride. This ceremony was held in high esteem by many peoples and was held in several stages. In the article we will consider who are matchmakers, what is the meaning of the word "matchmaker", "matchmaker" and the procedure for conducting matchmaking.
Matchmaking: the purpose of the ceremony
Wedding is an important event in the life of any person. And the traditional marriage is preceded by an equally important rite of matchmaking. Unfortunately, in today's world there is so little room for tradition. But it is in them that the soul of the people, its mentality is reflected.
In ancient times, even strangers to the bride could send matchmakers, parents, in turn, could persuade her to marry if the groom, in their opinion, was suitable for their daughter. Therefore, during the matchmaking, the fate of the girl was practically decided. Now the ceremony of matchmaking is formal, it is held either to meet the parents, or to discuss the details of the upcoming wedding. It even happens that this is completely abandoned, especially if the future husband and wife themselves organizewedding.
Matchmaking is the original tradition of the Slavs. The concepts of "matchmaker", "matchmaker", "matchmaker"
Before we find out who the matchmaker and matchmaker are, let's remember who the matchmaker is. Many no longer remember what the difference is between "matchmaker" and "matchmaker". It is worth starting with an explanation of these concepts.
Matchmaker (if we are talking about a woman) is a person who was professionally involved in arranging marriage. Sometimes they not only helped to marry the bride, but also selected candidates.
Svatya is the mother of one of the spouses in relation to the mother of the other.
But the meaning of the word "matchmaker" is a little more complicated. A matchmaker is both a “matchmaker” and a relative of one of the spouses in relation to the relatives of the other. Such an appeal of the parents of the newlyweds to each other is a sign of respect and location. Etymologically, the word "matchmakers" and the word "friends" have the same basis. And in the tradition of the Slavic peoples, such an appeal is a symbol of the merging of two peoples.
Preparing for matchmaking
When the groom's parents found out that their son was going to marry, they tried to find out as much as possible about his chosen one. During the inquiry, they were interested not only in the reputation of the girl herself, but also in her relatives. They learned about the financial situation of the family. It has long been believed that the bride is taken not for an individual guy, but for the whole family. And this means that she should become a worthy member of the family. After that, matchmakers were sent - they are a kind of intermediaries between the two families. The girl's family, in turn, prepared a dowry - property with which the young wife would move to her husband's house. It could be bedunderwear, shirts, household items, jewelry. It was accumulated from the birth of the girl and was her property even after marriage. If we were talking about merchant families, then the dowry included money. The nobles often accompanied the girl with real estate.
Who acted as matchmakers
The mission of matchmakers was honorable and very important. Matchmakers are the people who negotiated. It had to be done delicately. Direct speech was avoided, all statements were in the form of allegories. The bride's parents may have been against the marriage. In this case, the matchmakers had to give strong arguments in favor of the groom, but not to persuade - this was considered a bad omen.
In ancient times, elders were sent - wise and respected people. In some localities priests wooed. But often the delegation included the groom's parents, the godfather, professional matchmakers or matchmakers (in Russia men were more likely to woo, and in Ukraine and Belarus this role was performed by women), other relatives could also participate. All participants in the procession had to be family people. And their marriage is strong and happy.
Signs accompanying the ceremony of matchmaking
Now you know who matchmakers are. There are a lot of signs associated with matchmaking, here are some of them:
- Thursday was considered the most successful day. And on Wednesday and Friday, marriage was not accepted. The reason is that these days are fasting (on Wednesday Judas sold Christ, and on Friday the crucifixion took place). If you look rationally, then these days there is simply nothingtreat those who come. Yes, and the ethical side was of great importance for our ancestors;
- went in the evening. In order to avoid the evil eye. There is a more rational explanation: if the matchmakers want to keep it a secret, for example, in case of refusal - there are fewer people in the evening, therefore, less likely to be noticed;
- before leaving the house, the matchmaker puts his hands on the stove. Such an action was supposed to guarantee a successful outcome of the matchmaking;
- on the way to the bride's house, matchmakers were forbidden to talk;
- the only one who brought good luck was considered a girl carrying clean water;
- it was necessary to close the doors with a bolt as soon as the matchmakers entered the house. This was done in order to avoid uninvited guests;
- when entering the house, the matchmaker or the groom's father tapped his left heel three times on the threshold. At the same time, the words were said: “They are silent (it was said about the ancestors - the guardians of the clan), and you are silent, do not speak words against”;
- matchmakers did not take off their hats until they were invited to the table;
- one of the matchmakers had to manage to steal the spoon from the bride's parents. This provided the future husband with headship in the family. And the wife had to be faithful and obedient. Three months after the wedding, the spoon had to be secretly returned;
- if a girl is being wooed for the first time, it was advised to cover her tracks, saying: “A hundred suitors will follow your trail”;
- you can only get married until the end of April. Matchmaking and marriage in May is a bad omen. This promises the newlyweds a family life filled with scandals;
- if the parents of the bride and the matchmakers came to an agreement, then after the departure of the guests, the young mother tied the poker and the tong.
Having learned who the matchmakers are, let's proceed to the consideration of the rite of matchmaking itself. Usually matchmakers were sent several times. At the first meeting, it was customary to refuse, even if the bride's family agreed to the marriage. It was considered bad form to give the girl away the first time. In addition, the delay made it possible to learn more about the groom's relatives, if the families had not known each other before. It was also believed that after the first groom, you can expect the next, more profitable one. The first matchmaking was formal. The groom's parents could not take part in it.
When the matchmakers were met for the second time, it was customary to lay a rich table. Candles were lit in the house, lamps were placed near the icons. The groom's parents were always present, and sometimes he himself. If the bride was present at the matchmaking, then she was seated separately from the intended husband. Negotiations were conducted with the girl's father. The girl's opinion was not asked. It was believed that such questions should be solved by wise parents. It happened differently, it depended on the lifestyle of an individual family.
If the matchmakers received a positive response, preparations for the wedding began immediately.
The wedding date was chosen. Families discussed what contribution each side would make to the organization of the long-awaited event. Resolved the issue of redemption. It could be clothes, valuables or money. In this situation, it was takenWhen everything was decided, the bride's relatives lit a candle and, together with the representatives of the young man, held a divine service. This was how the agreement on the union was sealed.