Viburnum in Slavic wedding ceremonies

Among our Slavic ancestors, viburnum played an important role in many wedding ceremonies. It was the main decoration of a wreath, a tree, a loaf and other attributes of a wedding. Wedding candles (even weapons of guests) were decorated with viburnum berries and branches, bridesmaids weaved it into their braids.

The Ukrainians hung a branch of viburnum on the house as a sign that the girl was being married off in this house. Belarusians, Ukrainians and Poles wove a bride’s wreath from viburnum, periwinkle and fragrant herbs. Bulgarians believed that viburnum must be in a wreath – then the young couple will love each other.

The expression “Viburnum bridge” (‘Kalinov most’) is very well known in Slavic folklore. Interestingly, in Polish wedding songs, the matchmakers use the viburnum branches to make a bridge for guests to go across it to the wedding.

Do you know how viburnum is used today (if at all) in wedding rituals?

More interesting facts can be found in: “Slavic Antiquities” – encyclopedic dictionary in 5 volumes by Institute for Slavic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.