EWWW! Watch Strange Pre-wedding Tradition In Scotland Where Friends Bathe The Couple In Dirt Before Their Big Day • illuminaija
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EWWW! Watch Strange Pre-wedding Tradition In Scotland Where Friends Bathe The Couple In Dirt Before Their Big Day

   
   

EWWW! Watch Strange Pre-wedding Tradition In Scotland Where Friends Bathe The Couple In Dirt Before Their Big Day

Blackening is a traditional wedding custom performed in the days or weeks prior to marriages in rural areas of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The bride and/or groom are ‘captured’ by friends and family, covered in food, or a variety of other – preferably adhesive – substances, then paraded publicly for the community to see.

EWWW! Watch Strange Pre-wedding Tradition In Scotland Where Friends Bathe The Couple In Dirt Before Their Big Day

Frequently, the couple are driven in the back of an open-backed truck, accompanied by the clattering and banging of pots and pans by the couple’s ‘captors’. There are no strict rules regarding the act of blackening itself, only that the couple must be rendered messy and uncomfortable, and that as many people as possible should witness the occasion.

   
   

EWWW! Watch Strange Pre-wedding Tradition In Scotland Where Friends Bathe The Couple In Dirt Before Their Big Day

The most famous occurrence was performed on Melanie Richmond, she was covered in tripe, pigs blood, and feathers before marching from Elgin to Aberdeen over the course of five days.

Blackenings occur predominantly in rural areas of north-east Scotland, the Highlands, and the Northern Isles.

The origins of the custom are obscure, however researcher, Dr. Sheila Young of the Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen has shown that the blackening has evolved from an earlier Scottish ritual called the ‘feet-washing’.

There is uncertainty surrounding just when it began, but it probably started as a solemn washing ritual for both men and women on the eve of their wedding and included a blackening of the feet and legs by the early 19th century.

EWWW! Watch Strange Pre-wedding Tradition In Scotland Where Friends Bathe The Couple In Dirt Before Their Big Day

A little later, it had developed into a kind of a game, with the legs and feet being alternately blackened and scrubbed clean, and then by the end of the 19th century early 20th-century escape, capture, tar, and feathering, and pillorying had become part of the ritual.

EWWW! Watch Strange Pre-wedding Tradition In Scotland Where Friends Bathe The Couple In Dirt Before Their Big Day

In order for this to happen the ritual had to move out of doors. The move out of doors appears to have coincided with a change in wedding practices, with more people marrying in the summer months.

A ritual, which began as a washing ceremony, developed into a dirtying ceremony. It is probable then, that a change in the form of the ritual led to a change in name.

   
   

The blackening’s roots are Scottish, though a similar practice, called a doing, is to be found in Northern Ireland.

   
   

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