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Korean Wedding Traditions

Korean Wedding Traditions

Blue and red are important colors in Korean weddings as they symbolize yin and yang, the female and the male uniting in perfect balance and harmony.

Another important symbol in Korean weddings is the pair of wooden wild geese wrapped in a blue and red bojagi that are presented by the groom to the bride's family at the beginning of a traditional marriage ceremony. Wild geese are known to be monogamous and were admired by the ancient Koreans for their faithfulness and devotion to one another throughout their lives. Thus the wooden geese, carved by an honorable member of the community in the olden days, were a symbol of the groom's promise to be faithful to his bride.

One custom that has been all but lost over the years is the traditional string wrapped around the female goose's bill. In a Confucian society where the man of the house reigned supreme, can you guess the meaning of this string?

In the olden days, girls were married around the age of 16 and sent to live with her in-laws. In fact the Korean phrase for "girl getting married" is shi-jip-gahn-da, which means going to the in-laws. Her husband was often only 12 years old or so. It's hard for us to imagine in this day and age a 16 year-old girl listening obediently to anything a 12 year-old boy had to say!

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