Our country has a rich history and tradition, and as such, it has gone through a large number of changes and influences of other nations. Thanks to their people, Serbian customs, which also date back to ancient times, have managed to survive to this day. One type of them is associated with the most beautiful and for some one of the most important days in life – wedding.
We believe that you know some of these customs, but we’ll do our best to tell you about the symbolism that lies behind them.
Shooting an apple
The groom’s shooting of apples in front of the bride’s house is something you have certainly witnessed so far if you have been to a wedding, especially in the south of Serbia. It is one of the oldest customs and originates from the period when the main role of a man was exclusively of a hunting nature. The apple in this case is an obstacle that the groom has to cross in order to come and win the bride.
When he finally takes her, the bride is taken out of the house, drinks wine from a glass which she then throws on the ground. If the glass breaks up, it is believed that the first child the couple gets will be a boy, otherwise they will get a girl.
Buying a bride
In addition to shooting and breaking, there is also the so-called “purchase” of the bride, in which the brother-in-law or some other groom’s closest relative participates. Earlier, the bride could only be redeemed with a large sum of money or ducats, while today this amount is symbolic or humorous. After this, the brother-in-law gives the shoes to the bride who came out in slippers, and his task is to keep her safe so that no one would steal her. An interesting fact about this is that Prince Aleksandar Karađorđević forbade the purchase of a bride by law in 1846.
When the bride and groom go to his house for the first time, the mother-in-law prepares a sieve, which she first fills with grain, and then with coins, candies and various decorations. The sieve symbolizes wealth and harmony in marriage, and the bride’s task is to throw it on the roof of the house. If it stays, the marriage will be successful, but if it falls, one of the female guests has the task of breaking it as soon as possible.
And at the wedding itself, the bride and groom compete over who will step on their partner first. Whoever does it first is believed to have the last word in the house.
No wedding in our country and around the world can be imagined without a big wedding cake that is more than just a candy. It symbolizes the happy and sweet life of a married couple, and cutting its first slice together is the first of many things that this couple will do together.
“Grabena pogaca” (cake)
In Serbia, the forerunner of Biedermeier, another inevitable detail of a wedding, is the so-called “grabena pogaca”. This sweet cake made and brought by the mother-in-law is broken by the guests on a canvas above the bride’s head as soon as she leaves the house. Broken pieces are thrown away and whoever catches them will be lucky in life or will be next on the wedding list if they are not married.
Whether you still respect these customs or not, the ship Horizont is here to make this day special for you. With the sounds of the river, fresh air and the beautiful panorama of Belgrade, you and your guests will surely classify this event as one of the best in your life.