Friday, May 25, 2012

Bachelorette party

I've understood that American style bridal shower is something where you stay at somebody's home with the girls, have brunch and give presents to the soon-to-be-wedded bride. That's far away form the bachelorette parties I've been to - they have been full of action all day long. Sometimes even for two days.

The basic idea of the contemporary bachelorette party is to wander around the city and do some exercises. It can be sports, culture, some handicrafts, serenade, sports, and of course eating well. I guess in the 90's the idea was to humiliate the bride by dressing her up and make her sell something, but that hasn't been the case in any of the bachelorette parties I've been to.

However, none of the action things are tradition Finnish preparations for the soon-to-be-wedded bride. The traditional bridal act is (surprise, surprise) sauna - bridal sauna with lots of magic:

A mild way to sit on nettles
  • The sauna crew is supposed to hit and kick the wall of the sauna to scare away the bad spirits.
  • In sauna the bride is supposed to sit on nettles - to get the first taste of the wedding night and to be reminded, that life is not always just flowers and roses. 
  • When the bride can't no longer sit in the heat of the sauna, the girl who's able to sit on bride's place first will be the next bride. 
  • The bride will be scrubbed with salt and flours to get rid of the "old salt" (i.e. past love) and to ensure the wealth.
  • The fertility is ensured by breaking an egg to brides head. 
  • The bride is of course supposed to use vasta (a bundle of birch branches and flowers) in the sauna. After the sauna the bride throws the vasta to the roof of sauna. 
    • If the handle of the bundle points to the roof ridge, the first child will be a boy.
    • If the handle points to the eaves, then it's going to be a girl.
  • The bride is supposed to run around the sauna naked. While running, she's supposed to shout the names of the ex-boyfriends - one round per each ex. That's how she'll eventually let go of the past loves.
  • After the sauna the hair of the bride is done on braid. Braid symbolizes the two lives that are now tied together. 

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