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The Traditional Javanese Wedding Ceremony
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The Traditional Javanese Wedding Ceremony

Wedding is a very important thing in the Javanese culture and considered as one of the biggest event in one's life. Every part in Indonesia has different ceremonies, but Javanese is the most interesting and full of philosophical meaning, as the center of the Kingdom was in Java.

It will needs around three days in a row for all the ceremonies, but some wealthy families would do more than 3 days.

It starts with the proposal day, where the parents of the bridegroom visit the parents of the house to propose their daughter. They come with gifts usually 7 or 9 packages for the bride. The proposal is with a poem in old Javanese language, created nicely and the bride's family would reply also in the same language.

If this bride has an older sibling that has not married, there would be a separate ceremony, where the bride would ask permission to the older sibling, to go into a marriage life by-passing the older sibling. The older sibling then would bless the wedding. In this ceremony the bride is presenting some gifts to the older sibling.

Here is the main steps of the wedding ceremony :

Day 1

Parents of the bride has to put a sign in the house to tell that they are having a wedding ceremony.

This will put a gate in the doorway with these plants : 2 stems of ripe banana, means that the new family will adapt fast anywhere they live like banana tree. Live happily and successfully wherever they are, a pair of red sugar cane means that their life would be as sweet as the sugar cane, a young yellow coconut symbol of nobility and prosperity.

On the top of the gate the parents (usually the father) has to put an ornament made of plaited coconut leaves to drive out evil spirits.

Some offerings are for the ancestors and the good spirits.

Day 2

In the morning is the bathing ceremony for both bride and bride groom in their own places held in the same time. Both has this ceremony that symbolized purification of body, mind and soul. Water has taken from 7 different spring water, and the bride and bridegroom bathed by the elders of the family or high rank official guest for their blessings. The water from the bridegroom then sent to the bride's house telling that the ceremony had been held successfully.

In the evening, is the night of the angels. The bride stays in the room while the bridegroom and his family visit to the bride's house. The bridegroom cannot meet the bride, only the female of his family can meet the bride in the room. The father of the bride would give advice to his future son-in-law, of how to become a good husband and father.

Day 3

The day of the wedding, where the bridegroom and families come to the meeting point in front of the bride's house to hand over the bride to attend the ceremony. Parents of the bridegrooms are not attending the ceremony, to show that they have given their son totally.

The bridegroom in the hallway of the house approached by the bride, and he then will step on an egg, crushed it, and the bride will clean up his foot with waters with flowers. Symbolized about a good wife on serving the husband.

Then before they sit on the wedding chair, they both have to sit on each lap of the bride's father. The mother then will ask her husband which one is heavier, and the father has to say they are equal. Symbolized that they now see their son-in-law as equal as their own daughter and would be fair on treating them

After they both be seated in their wedding chair, the bridegroom will spills out from a bag of rice, soya beans, peanuts, corns, flowers and coins to the bride, meaning that the husband would work for the family and give all his all his income to the wife, and the wife would managed carefully.

After some other small rituals, then the blessing ceremony would be the ending of the rituals, where the couple would kneel and ask blessing from both parents. The bridegroom parents would come after the couple sit in the wedding chair.

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