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Discovering the Folklore and Traditions of Marriage, by George Monger

Reviewed by BadWitch

With the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton taking place this Friday, books about weddings are filling bookshop windows. One that took my eye was Discovering the Folklore and Traditions of Marriage by folklorist George Monger.

The book is a fascinating look at the customs that have surrounded weddings in the past, some of which are still observed today. It begins with love and courtship – including divinations to find out who one will marry and the kinds of gifts given as tokens of betrothal. Engagement rings only became common in the 19th century, before that all sorts of presents could be exchanged as part of the espousal period, including gloves, shoes, coins, handkerchiefs and even knitting needles or lacemaking bobbins.

Preparations for the big day have a huge amount of superstition attached, including picking the right day and the right month. It might be a good thing that Will and Kate are marrying after Easter but at the end of April, because an old saying goes, “Marry in Lent, you’ll live to repent” and “Marry in May, you’ll rue the day”.

Read the original article at: A Bad Witchs Blog

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