A Polish wedding is not simply a one day affair. It is a full-out celebration consisting of three full days of binge eating, drinking, and dancing. The fun begins with the Polterabend: a Polish/German custom (side note history lesson: our part of Poland was under German/Prussian occupation for close to 300 years before WWI) where anyone from the community that wants to come and wish the soon-to-be-married couple well is invited to bring a collection of bottles and jars and smash the glass on the porch of the bride’s house. Traditionally, the bride and groom were supposed to clean the glass up themselves to prove that they would work together on the household chores. The people “testing” them could only be persuaded to stop throwing glass if the groom persuaded them with enough wodka.
***All pictures below are personal shots taken by Mr. P or me at my cousin’s Polterabend in Poland.
In the modern version of the Polterabend, some things have changed:
And some things haven’t changed at all:
There is still a lot of wodka
If you ever go to a Polterabend, you can also expect a lot of food:
My aunt and me with a tub of freshly made kielbasa on the morning of the party
And, in true Polish fashion, someone is bound to whip out an accordion and play a polka or two:
Mr. Pudding and I will be having our own version of the Polterabend, although it will be more symbolic than authentic.
Has anyone out there been to one of these celebrations? Does your culture have any pre-wedding traditions?
- Greater Toronto Area/Vermont
- High School Teacher
- Wedding Date:
- July 2010
- Catholic Ceremony, Cultural Hall Reception