Superstitions and Wedding Traditions in the Philippines

A wedding is a busy affair indeed. There are a lot of things to take care of, to think about, to arrange, to finalize. There is the need to find the perfect wedding reception venue, the panic of coming up with good wedding invitations, and even the thought of wedding favors seem to be taxing as well. On top of that, people are also mindful of the wedding superstitions and wedding traditions in the Philippines. Though we are very much living in the 21st century, you will find that some of these superstitions and traditions are still present and still being practiced in weddings.

Wedding Superstitions in the Philippines

Perhaps the most infamous wedding superstition in the Philippines is “sukob”. Sukob is when two siblings marry within the same year. Many believe that when two siblings get married in the same year it will bring bad luck (unless it is a double wedding). Some also apply this superstition to other members of the family as well. For example, some people think that if their wedding and their parents’ renewal of vows happen in the same year, it is considered a sukob. Another version is that, you cannot get married the same year a family member died.

Another one of the popular wedding superstitions in the Philippines is the groom seeing the bride before the wedding day. This one supposedly brings bad luck as well and the wedding might not push through. This is why some people really try to separate the bride and the groom on the days leading up to their big day. However, this superstition may have western influences.

Brides are also advised not to include pearls, or any tear-shaped jewelry, as part of their wedding accessory. These things represent tears—especially pearls, which are believed to be “tears of oysters”. Another superstition that concerns the look of the bride is the gown. It is said that brides must not wear the final gown before the wedding day—even for the final fitting—so as to not attract bad luck.

When it comes to the actual wedding ceremony, there are a few superstitions as well. One is that if any of the two lit candles is extinguished on its own, the person on the side of that particular candle will be the first one to die between the couple. Another superstition that concerns candles is that whoever’s candle is lighted last will be the submissive partner between the two. Another is that the dropping of ceremonial items such as the veil, cord, rings, and arrhae will mean unhappiness during the couple’s married life.

One of the uncanny wedding superstitions in the Philippines is offering eggs. Offering eggs to St. Claire supposedly means good weather on your wedding day instead or harsh rains whatsoever. Another uncanny superstition is having an unmarried person as a ninong or ninang. It is said that that person will remain unmarried for the rest of his or her life. Guests should also avoid giving sharp objects as wedding gifts as they symbolize a possible broken marriage.

Not all wedding superstitions in the Philippines are bad though. Some also lead to good results. For example, a light drizzle of rain on the wedding day symbolizes prosperity. When something breaks during the reception on the other hand, it means good luck. The ceremonial doves symbolize the Holy Spirit and purity of marriage and intention, and if they fly and end up together, it supposedly means a happy life for the newlyweds. Plus receiving chamberpots or arinola as a wedding gift will bring good luck.

Wedding Traditions in the Philippines

Wedding traditions in the Philippines are, of course, regarded immensely. One of the most prominent wedding tradition here is the pamamanhikan. This roughly translates to “asking the parents for their daughter’s hand in marriage”. The groom-to-be and his family will visit the bride-to-be and her family in the latter’s home. Pamamanhikan is a way of seeking approval and blessings for their marriage, and this is where families of both parties unite and start to arrange the wedding.

There is also a very ancient tradition in Filipino weddings. This is known as the paninilbihan, which translates to “being of service” to the family of the bride-to-be. Here, the groom has to perform various household chores, whether it be cooking, laundry, or cleaning the house. This tradition is long forgotten especially among modern families, but in some rural provinces, this is still being practiced.

One of the fun and classic wedding traditions in the Philippines is the throwing of rice grains. As the newlyweds exit the ceremony venue, people will throw rice at them to wish them prosperity. Apart from a happy married life, these rice grains also symbolize fertility and longevity for the couple.

Another fun wedding tradition in the Philippines—and even other countries—is the throwing of the bridal bouquet. The bride will throw her bouquet backwards and the unmarried woman who will catch it is supposedly the next one to get married.

And of course, a Filipino wedding will not be complete without the wedding reception. It is a Filipino tradition to hold large gatherings and celebrate with families and friends. There is buffet-style food, music, dancing, and even a program to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime event. Some families organize it on their own, but some opt for a great and affordable wedding package from an event caterer such as Stellaire, a trusted and affordable catering service in Cavite.

Another one is the so-called money dance. During the newlyweds’ first dance, guests will try to pin money, usually paper bills, onto the bride or the groom’s clothes in order to dance with them. By the end of the dance, the married couple can keep all those money and use it to start their lives together.

Though these superstitions and wedding traditions in the Philippines are established in almost every Filipino wedding, you can still choose to not go through them or believe in them. Go with whatever you and your partner and like, and make sure that you and your families enjoy your wonderful day without ominous superstitions or tiring traditions.

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