Cretan Wedding

Wedding in Crete

Usually young men and women of Crete in love and get married if not approved by the mother and father in law, the couple "stolen", the men takes the bride and go to an unknown place.

But there are too many young men and women who for various reasons to marry match, with an intermediary entity, called matchmaker.

In the first case of new meeting is to see each other eye, if not seen before, and followed secret meetings of young people for better acquaintance.

After the decision of the new couple for marriage, following the approval of the family, they make engagement or "logostema."

The formal approval of their parents and especially his father for the marriage is usually present priest, who blesses the rings and having written the "dowry" which defines the financial details of the wedding, attended by matchmaker (although we have by marriage matchmaking) is defined and the date of the sacrament of marriage.

If we have love in marriage by her engagement groom does not claim anything. He takes what he wrote or gives dowry to the father in law.

A few days before the wedding, the father of the bride and groom send someone, the so-called "call" to announce to friends and relatives the date and the church that celebrated the marriage and at the same time invite them to the mystery. Today, instead of call, we have the wedding invitations.

Necessarily invited all the relatives to second cousins, all the neighbors, all friends and all the authorities (president, mayor, sheriff, etc.). If there is a dispute between the family of the groom or bride with one of the guests, made reconciliation (truce, something that is as the "Olympic Truce"). Lord he is the father who has the ability to call in his child's wedding the whole village and all the authorities.

By day the mystery relatives and friends send gifts, called "kaniskia" parents who marry their children, usually a basket with olive oil, cheese, wine and potatoes in order to help them make a rich marriage, a marriage that will not miss anything.

When the guests bring their own gifts at home that will stay the young couple, offered Cretan treat, nuts, almonds, delicious homemade side with honey (xerotigana), raki or wine, etc.

On the wedding day the bride's home, the young women gathered Friday before the wedding and prepare the bride's dowry. The dowry or proukia are various mobile assets and mainly woven, embroidered, knitted, etc. Then the bride carried in procession, accompanied by music at home that will house the newlyweds to spend all the villagers and see them. There the bride with her friends decorated and the bed where we slept with the groom.

On Sunday, the day of marriage, and before starting the bride and groom to the church to become the mystery and is the decoration of the bride from her friends and shaving - decoration of the groom from his friends.

If the bride is from another village or a distant neighborhood, is called "psiki." So leave the new home of the groom with horses or mules. Competing in the races and go to the bride's house to inform her of the good news, namely that the groom is not broke his promise to marry, and that comes in a little with his guests, to make the marriage. Then the winner with his horse and go ahead with the bride leads the procession of vehicles in the church where the wedding will take place. If the bride is from the same village with the groom, the groom with the best man and guests go in procession to the bride's house to take her and lead her to church.

After the groom goes into the house with a bouquet of roses, and after greeting and kisses the hand of the bride's parents, get their wish, ask the bride's hand to lead her to church. The bride, upon invitation of her parents, comes from the private room and gives her hand to the groom, while giving him a sweet kiss of love. At that time the father of the bride and he throws three gunshots (balothies), because he protect his daughter all these years. These mean that the girl goes to hug his father and now is responsible for the groom. In this way the father says goodbye to his daughter ... then hit the bell that calls the person about to be married should be directed to the church.

At the ceremony in the church, if the bride and groom stepped on the foot (at the time the priest says "the woman is not afraid her man," the true interpretation is "and the wife must respect her husband"), the Groom has the right to "end" the marriage. Upon reaching there, the groom chases a cross on the door and the bride pours honey and breaks at the entrance to a pomegranate, to make the marriage sweet as honey and fruitful as the pomegranate. Alongside the fathers, especially the groom joy throwing rifles.

After the ritual of marriage that we saw earlier following high jinks in a square or other open space (land or cosmic center). The party with plenty of exotic foods, drinks and Cretan delicacies paved over boards and continues to dance until dawn. The food is mostly wedding boiled lamb or goat, rice or pasta with ricotta, roast pork, etc. In carouser ears heard many serenades.

The next Sunday of the wedding, they make the antigamos. Usually the bride's house gathered all known, friends and those who helped with the wedding preparations. The aim is to show the bride the "dowry", to please the world and to celebrate once again the happy fact that a lot of wine and raki.