26th Nov 2015
FONT SIZE: A+ A-
World’s strangest love customs
World’s strangest love customs

When you think of love, do rotten eggs, your partner’s weight in beer or ‘courting huts’ come to mind? These five strange love customs from around the world prove that romance comes in a variety of strange forms.

1. Whale’s tooth promise 

Nothing says commitment like a whale’s tooth, right? In Fiji whale teeth hold important cultural significance, especially for birthdays, funerals and weddings. It’s common practice for a man to present his future father-in-law with a tabua – whale’s tooth – to show his esteem for his new family.

2. Blackening of the bride 

In this Scottish pre-wedding tradition, the bride and bridegroom are showered with a number of things, from rotten eggs, fish and treacle to soot, flour and feathers, and are then paraded through the streets on a cart. The lucky man or woman would likely be highly intoxicated, and would end up being tied to a lamp post or thrown into the shallow sea. The belief was this would ward off evil spirits and help the couple prepare for married life. 

3. Monthly Valentine’s Day 

For us, Valentine’s Day happens once a year on 14 February. In South Korea, it happens every month. On the 14th day of each month, a type of Valentine’s Day is celebrated. These days are all named after colours, with White Day and Black Day being the most significant after Valentine’s Day. White Day (14 March) is a chance for men to express their appreciation of their partners, traditionally with gifts of white lingerie or white chocolates. Black Day (14 April), is supposedly for single people who may not have received a gift in the previous two months. On this day, it is typical for single friends to gather and eat jjajyangmyeon (noodles in black bean soup). 

4. African courting hut 

In what we would deem a progressive way of parenting, girls in some African tribes are provided with ‘courting huts’ by their parents to entertain suitors and choose a partner, in privacy. 

5. Wife-carrying race 

Each year in the village of Sonkarjävi, Finland, competitors from around the world gather to undertake the Wife Carrying World Championships. In this tradition, men (typically) throw their wives or girlfriends over their shoulders and compete in a 253.5 metre obstacle course.  The winner is bestowed with his partner’s weight in beer. 

Just for fun, why not check out the video from this year’s Wife Carrying World Championships? 

Find out about more strange love and marriage customs at lonelyplanet.com.





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    MILA
    2nd Dec 2015
    4:17pm
    LOBOLA is another African tradition is for a man to pay dowry to the father of the bride by giving him cattle: the more he gives to his future father in law , the more would be the love and the want for the lady of his dreams. Quality of cattle is not as important and their numbers. Imagine many many more that apply in different countries and cultures: what a wonderful world!
    Chris B T
    2nd Dec 2015
    9:03pm
    I thought he was getting rid of a cow, why would want anymore.
    A bull is useless without a cow.LOL
    Peterrj
    2nd Dec 2015
    4:54pm
    I find talking to my wife a novel experience!
    MILA
    2nd Dec 2015
    6:54pm
    WOW!!
    Peterrj
    2nd Dec 2015
    7:15pm
    Yeah, she also got a surprise!
    Adrianus
    3rd Dec 2015
    11:58pm
    During the Finland wife carrying championships, why is it necessary for some of the wives to be carried upside down??? Is it because the husbands want to see how long they can hold their breath through the water obstacle? Or are they just showing off?? They wouldn't ride in a Melbourne Cup like that surely???!!!
    I've got my doubts about what the winner said? Did he say he was enjoying it in a strange sort of way?? Somehow I cant see it taking off here in Oz.


    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles