Icelandic Marrige Customs

2269 words, 10 pages

Intro Sample...


My father is originally from Iceland. He was born and raised in Iceland, and all of our relatives on his side of the family still live in Iceland. The current traditions for an Icelandic wedding ceremony follow the traditions of the Lutheran church, which is the religion of about 98% of the population in Iceland. While the Lutheran practice is also beautiful, I found the historical marriage customs to be much more interesting to study than a common Christian wedding. Historically Iceland was inhabited by Vikings, which populated the country. The marriage rituals of the Vikings are told in many of the Icelandic sagas, which the Icelandic people hold dearly as their history.

The function of marriage in society is to control human... View More »

Body Sample...


The dowry was the bride's accompaniment from home. The dowry represented a girl's portion of her inheritance from her father. The husband administered the dowry, but he kept it as a trust, which could not be squandered. It was intended as a payment for the wife's maintenance in a marriage. In the case of a divorce, the dowry was returned to the wife. The bride price was set at minimum of eight ounces of silver in Iceland, and twelve ounces in Norway. This was the minimum amount that would be accepted because if a man could not provide economic support now, would not be able to sustain a family. The bride price also compensated for her loss of work at home. Lastly, the price paid by the groom to the bride's family was the morning gift. The gift was usually one-third to one-half the woman's dowry, and was compensation for her virginity. The morning gift served to ensure financial support during the marriage, and owned it outright from the time it was given.

The traditional day for weddings in Iceland was Friday. This day was sacred to the goddess Frigga. The date of the weddings in Iceland was further limited by the climate. Guests, witnesses, and the bridal and grooms parties would have to travel and during the dark winter months that is almost impossible. The wedding celebrations usually lasted about a week, so enough food had to be provided to feed all the guests. This would make the wedding date have to be around harvest time. Legally, the requirements of a wedding made it mandatory that the bride and groom drink the bridal ale together, mead. ...

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