Weddings in Latvia are unique occasions where guests are charmed by a variety of interesting wedding customs. Latvian wedding traditions are a mix of a modern twist and traditional rituals, making these events well worth your time.
Latvia is a Baltic Sea country located between two countries, Lithuania and Estonia. Latvian, commonly known as "Lettish," is a Baltic language spoken in Eastern Europe. It is the official language of Latvia, which regained independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991.
If you are going to Latvia, you should learn about its language for conversing with natives. Join the Ling app - a language learning app that will help you understand basic to advanced level words, phrases, and sentences in Latvian. But, only the knowledge of the language will not enough for your stay in Latvia. You should know about its culture, festivals, interesting wedding traditions, and celebrations.
Every nation has its own traditions, today we will explore some Latvian wedding traditions to know more about Latvia and its people.
Latvians have a rich heritage of traditions and customs rooted in natural cycles and observations over generations. Traditional rites and customs worked their magic most effectively at big events such as marriages, christenings, or jubilees. It was likely to wish harmony, happiness, or luck on such occasions through rituals and customs.
Like almost every wedding, a Latvian wedding has many traditions. Family, friends, and other guests gathered to wish newlyweds a happy life ahead, either in a guest house or outside.
Latvian weddings take on a new level after the traditional church ceremony. So, it's time to explain why you'll notice various Latvian traditions on a wedding day. To begin with much depends on where people reside, or, to put it another way, some Riga customs may differ from those in Ventspils. Furthermore, financial status contributes to the wedding's luxury, which includes more conventional events. Following are some common traditions in Latvian wedding ceremonies.
After the wedding ceremony, it is one of the Latvian wedding traditions to hide a coin inside the pie, and whoever grabs it first becomes the budget keeper of their new family.
Mičošana is a tradition of ancient times that represents the bride's transformation into a wife and the groom into a husband. It's a way of saying "goodbye" to childhood and the place where you grew up. Micosana is a midnight tradition, and it is one of the oldest in which the new couple becomes a family. It is a sweet, tragic, and romantic event all rolled into one.
Traditionally, soon after mičošana, newlyweds would go for a good night's sleep, whereas invitees may dance till the rooster sings its song and the sun rises.
Passing through the 'Three Gates' is another one of the well-known Latvian wedding traditions. Each gate represents a stage of human development: the first is the "childhood gate," the second is called "youth gate," and the third is the "husband and wife gate." Overall, the goal of this tradition in a wedding ceremony is to put the new couple's collaboration abilities to the test.
This is a Russian tradition that Latvians adopted. It involves locking a padlock and throwing away the key, which symbolizes unbreakable love. This custom has gained popularity among young couples.
Another widely-known tradition is throwing the bride's flowers bouquet. Latvian brides throw the bridal bouquet to the single women, with whoever catches the bouquet being the next to marry.
Some ceremonies are done on the dower before it is opened. Young girls began weaving, sewing, knitting, and other crafts at an early age for their dower. The dower followed the new bride to her new home. Some of the nicer items were given to the in-laws and husband to gain goodwill.
Moreover, the dower is traditionally opened multiple times during the marriage ceremony. It demonstrates the bride's diligence as well as the riches of her father's household.
The new husband does not leave his wife's side during the wedding. There could be more to it than just desiring to be around her. Some of the guests from the intimate gathering may steal her if he isn't careful.
Also, the close friends and family demand something from the young man who is now the groom, which he has to fulfill. So, the groom keeps an eye on her and makes sure she doesn't leave his side till after midnight! It is a notable event for Latvian weddings.
Among many Latvian wedding traditions, dance tradition is also a moment of fun and celebration. The happy couple set a complete stage on fire with their first dance. Family and close friends also join them by dancing around.
The wedding reception is one of the important Latvian wedding traditions, in which the party is hosted to celebrate the couple's marriage with drinks and dinner. In the one wedding ceremony, the couple gets legally married, but the happy couple celebrates their joy with their friends and family at the reception party.
If you have to attend Latvian weddings, now you know the essence of Latvian wedding traditions. But how to communicate with the natives? This is a great time for you to learn Latvian. You can visit the Simya Solutions’ Ling app website or download the app to master the Latvian language.
The Ling app with its unique game-based system and puzzles, make you understand your target language in a friendly environment. Its chatbot system will help you to communicate with native speakers actively.
If you want to explore more about your target language, you can read our blogs on "Introducing yourself in Latvian" and "Religion in Latvia." Not only Latvian, but you can also learn 60+ other languages. Visit our website from any part of the world and start learning a foreign language quickly.