Marriage Customs of the World: From Henna to Honeymoons

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An encyclopedia of marriage rites, traditions, and beliefs from around the world, ranging from ancient practices to contemporary ceremonies.


Marriage Customs of the World: From Henna to Honeymoons cordially invites you to explore the rites, rituals, and iconography of weddings from around the globe. In more than 200 alphabetically organized entries, an accomplished folklorist describes the key components and beliefs related to marriage across a representative selection of the world's cultures.

Tracing the evolution of wedding ceremonies from their beginnings to their contemporary forms, Marriage Customs of the World dispels many myths and uncovers a number of intriguing connections and variations across different peoples. Readers will learn that the church wedding was not practiced in Europe until the 16th century, that the white bridal dress is a 20th-century development, and that the canopy associated with Jewish weddings is also commonly used in Sri Lanka, Egypt, and Finland. Engaging, authoritative, and insightful, Marriage Customs of the World is the ideal reference for investigating both familiar and exotic practices and for exploring what is both specific and universal about the role of marriage in societies everywhere.


- 200 A-Z entries on wedding practices and beliefs from cultures around the world

- Dozens of photographs of weddings and wedding artifacts

- Numerous illustrations, including the table plan from Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management

- A thorough introduction that explores marriage both as a rite and as a ceremony

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George P. Monger is a freelance museum conservator, consultant, and folklorist based in East Anglia, England.

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