What we call bizarre is actually rather common in other places, continue reading to find out how ordinary American weddings are compared to others around the world.
The big day is something most of us dream about. It’s the beginning of spending “happily ever after” with the person you love until death do you part…but what if they’re already deceased when you reach the altar? Yep, you read that right. In some cultures (especially Chinese), it’s quite normal to wed someone who is no longer among the living.
Believe it or not, in some cultures an unmarried woman at the age of 30 is considered a “leftover.” This is partially due to the idea that a woman’s main duty is to get married and bear children. So, if she hasn’t accomplished either, she would marry a man who was already dead to prevent shaming her family. During the ceremony, a white rooster stands in place of the groom and will continue to accompany the bride to formal dealings with her in-laws. The new bride is then expected to move in with them and take a vow of celibacy. This works the other way around as well. If a man has passed and was unmarried, the family may seek to find him a bride. In fact, for deceased women, ghost marriage offers social, spiritual and financial advantages for her loved ones.
In Japanese culture, instead of marrying the deceased, they often wed a doll instead. After the war and Japanese invasion in Manchuria, there weren’t enough single men left for every woman to wed. According to atlasobscura.com, a photo of the dead man is placed in a glass case alongside the doll to represent their union. The idea is to keep the ghost husband calm and prevent him from causing unrest within his living family. Sudan and France also have their own variations of ghost marriages as well. Although ghost marriage is not considered legal the ritual is still practiced today.
Would you ever consider marrying the deceased man you once loved or participate in a ghost marriage for social and financial gain?