Sunday, June 10, 2012

Wondertales and Weddings: Stories of Love and Enchantment


Princess Badoura
by Warwick Goble, 1913

The month of June derives its name from Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage. In ancient times it was believed that couples who married in June would be blessed with prosperity and happiness.

This Friday I had the pleasure of attending a wedding and so my thoughts turned to love stories and one of my favorite memories, my son Christopher's wedding. In 2010 I had the amazing honor of sharing a love story at the church for his marriage to Stephanie; definitely my favorite storytelling moment.

Below I have compiled a list of  love stories from around the world, some end with the traditional "happily ever after" and others, not so much! This is by no means an exhaustive list but one that might help begin your journey down the aisle to a new storytelling program.


Insight behind some wedding traditions:

  • Wedding bouquets were originally made of such strong herbs as thyme and garlic, which were meant to frighten away evil spirits.
  • In ancient times, it was believed that a Bride was especially lucky on her wedding day. The Bride's tossing of her bouquet grew from her desire to offer a good luck souvenir.
  • Early Brides and Bridesmaids wore similar dresses in order to confuse evil spirits.
  • Placing a penny in the bride’s shoe is a European tradition to bring the Bride good luck, fortune, and protection against want.
  • Prior to the 5th century, the ring finger was actually the index finger. Later, it was believed that the third finger contained the "vein of love" that led directly to the heart.
  • By believing that newlyweds brought good luck, guests used to shower them with nuts and grains to insure a bountiful harvest, and many children to work the land. During years of a poor harvest, rice was tossed instead.
  • During the days of the Roman Empire, wedding cakes were baked of wheat or barley. At the reception, they were traditionally broken over the head of the new Bride by the Groom as a symbol of her fertility. The above information and more may be found at: http://www.chicagomarriage.com/wedding_traditions.htm

STORIES

The Clever Girl – Italy
The Girl Who Married a Snake – India
http://tinyurl.com/6uy9kqz
Dorani - Pakistan
http://hazel.forest.net/whootie/stories/dorani_Pakistan.html
Green Willow - Japan
http://tinyurl.com/89z443w

Greyfoot - Denmark
http://tinyurl.com/7b662ex
The Glass Mountain – Poland
http://www.rickwalton.com/folktale/yellow17.htm
How Frog Went to Heaven

The Knell at the Wedding – United States
http://tinyurl.com/7a4udrj
The Lute Player - Russia

http://learningtogive.org/materials/folktales/luteplayer.asp
Maid Maleen - German
Marriage of Robin Redbreast and the Wren
http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/sfft/sfft08.htm

The Pigeon's Bride - The Story of a Princess Who Kissed and Told – Yugoslavia
http://tinyurl.com/7oes8tx The Professional Wedding Guest - Kashmir
http://www.koausa.org/Folk/Sadhu/24.html
The Rat’s Wedding - India
http://www.amritsar.com/punjabtales/punjabitales.shtml
The Robber Bridegroom – German
http://www.familymanagement.com/literacy/grimms/grimms30.html

The Royal Bridegroom - China
http://www.storiestogrowby.com/stories/royal_bride_china.html
Specter Bridegrooms – A collection of folktales from around the world, courtesy of D.L. Ashliman.
http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0365.html
The Star Lovers - Japan
http://worldoftales.com/Asian_folktales/Japanese_folktale_37.html
The Story Spirits - Korea
http://www.aaronshep.com/stories/060.html

The Three Fayes - Sweden
http://learningtogive.org/materials/folktales/ThreeFayes.asp
To Vishnu’s Wedding - India 
http://tinyurl.com/83qskoy
The Werewolf’s Bride – United States
http://americanfolklore.net/folklore/2010/07/the_werewolfs_bride.html


And if you need some more “love” head over to this blog post from 2010.

Tales of Love to Warm the Winter Nights
http://karenchace.blogspot.com/2010/01/two-tales-on-power-of-love-story-of.html



BOOKS

Happily Ever After: Folktales That Illuminate Marriage and Commitment by Meliss Bunce.
http://books.google.com/books/about/Happily_Ever_After .

The Heart of the Wedding by Gerald Fierst.
http://tinyurl.com/d8p8pn8



WEDDING TOASTS

Will you be offering a blessing or a toast at a wedding this year? Here is one of my favorites.

Irish Wedding Blessing

May the road rise to meet you and the
wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your
face, the rains fall soft upon your fields.
May the light of friendship guide your
paths together.

May the laughter of children grace your home.
May the joy of living for one another
trip a smile on your lips and twinkle in your eye.
And when eternity beckons at the end of
a life heaped high with love.
May the good Lord embrace you with
the arms that have nurtured you the
whole length of your joy filled days.
May the gracious God hold you in the
palm of his hands.
And today may the spirit of love find a
dwelling place in your hearts.

Additional toasts to help you make the moment memorable.

Wedding Toasts
http://quotations.about.com/cs/weddingtoasts/a/bls_wed_toasts.htm



Karen Chace 2012 ©
This blog post was researched and compiled by Karen Chace. Permission for private use is granted. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without my expressed written permission. For permission please contact me at storybug@aol.com. Of course, if you wish to link to my blog via your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook page or Twitter please feel free to do so; I greatly appreciate your support and personal integrity.


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